This week has been a doozie for my family; a death in the family; a divorce; a lost job; and many serious health problems.
In response to all of this, Dad sent out an email to all of us this week asking us all to share good news, he being the first to collect some really choice pieces:
- Noah had a successful piano recital
- Alex won an important prize at art school
- Max got a sports casting internship
- Phoebe will be in an ice skating show this May
- Faye is having an art exhibit in New York
- Sarah (my niece) was elected Student Body Vice President at her college
- Rick received an Eagle Scout award
- Elizabeth was recently reacquainted with an old family friend who has published a book
- Elise got a part in the school play
- Dad recently celebrated his 77th birthday, where Rachel helped him unwrap his presents. Daughter Sarah (me) was also there from out of town to help celebrate.
- Martin learned how to whistle (his dad still can’t)
- Andrew read a poem at the MLK celebration at his school
- Robyn and Charlie finally replace the 20-year-old linoleum in their home
- Margaret and Sarah (me) both had positive reviews at their jobs
- Sarah (niece) won some sort of spaghetti wrestling competition at college
You can probably tell that these are mostly grand kids and young nephews and nieces. Children most certainly are a blessing and a joy, and I think that we grownups need to learn from them to look within us and around us and count all of our blessings. It makes me realize that it is the small things that are bringing me joy and satisfaction, as well as appreciating the larger things that I take for granted.
Last week, my new friend Jean made me aware of a gratitude meme on Twitter, asking people to participate in an online and real life dialog about all the things they are grateful for. I have been thinking about all that I’m grateful for ever since, so when Dad sent out the email calling on us to share everything positive that is happening in our lives, it really resonated with me. Even the small things that seem mundane can make a difference in the right direction. Here are some things that I am grateful for:
- A job and career that provides for my family and gives me personal satisfaction
- An exceptionally strange and wonderful family that I adore, whether they realize it or not
- Getting acquainted with old friends through social networking tools, many of whom I wouldn’t have any idea how to reach
- Five years of marriage to the love of my life, and the community that supports our relationship
- My yoga practice that is making me increasingly mindful, open-hearted, and grounded
- My beautiful home in my favorite city
- Watching the drama of the change of seasons
- Challenges, past and present, that make me stronger, and life lessons that I continue to learn from years later
- The incredible generosity of my parents who provided me with everything that I need (and then some) to lead a meaningful life
So when the stress of my job rears its ugly head, making me cranky and moody and blue, or when personal drama threatens to bring me down, I now react by taking a step back, breathe deeply, and think of all of these the wonderful things in my life. This is not to deny the reality of the things that are hard, and sometimes suck, but to simply look at the good stuff along side of those challenges recognize the opportunities.
What are you grateful for?