I know Thanksgiving is over (and that it can be a controversial holiday), but I’m still thinking about gratitude (Also, please excuse the cheesy title. My inner Dr. Suess loves rhyming.).
Gratitude isn’t something I only think about during the giving of thanks. It’s often on my mind because I know it’s a good thing. But it’s been on my mind even more than usual because right up until Thanksgiving this year, I was quite cranky. There were a number of culprits. Too many tasks I really had no interest in but had to be done. Too many big decisions. Things not quite going my way. Yet. Burning candles on all ends. That doesn’t leave room for other emotions, especially gratitude.
So after work on Thanksgiving Eve, I made the mistake of grocery shopping. I’d never done this before and quickly realized it was the worst idea ever.
Simultaneously, I also realized I needed to check myself big time. I’m incredibly lucky to have a vehicle that I can drive to four different grocery stores to buy food. Not to mention live somewhere that has far more than four grocery stores on my route home. And that I can afford to buy food to turn into delicious dishes to share with my loved ones.
That was just to get me started.
The funny thing about gratitude is once you get yourself there, it becomes a lot easier to find more to be grateful for.
So then I really got my appreciation on.
The bf had to work late so I decided to hard core enjoy my alone time. I lit some candles, turned on my latest podcast obsession, Invisibilia, and got to work on some cornbread stuffing balls, bread, mashed potatoes, and apple pie as contributions to the Friendsgivings we’d attend the next day. Then, when the rain began, I silenced the podcast and just enjoyed the straight up sound of water droplets hitting the roof. It was perfect for getting my attitude mostly straight.
Thanksgiving was good. Black Friday was good (I went nowhere near anything resembling a store.). Every day since has been good.
Yet, nothing in my life had changed since those days when I was so crabby. Other than my attitude.
It’s easy to spiral. Spiral into everything we don’t like about a situation. Or our entire lives. Or the more preferable spiral, everything that is in our favor. Now of course, there are going to be things we don’t prefer and that’s helpful in figuring out what we want and like. But we can always choose our focus. And often when we choose to focus on the things that are positive about a situation, we get more of that. Or we simply see more of it. Who knows exactly how this magical thing works.
The point is, rarely is much ever about the actual physical situation or things in our life. It’s more about our attitude toward them. Thanksgiving also marked when some of our home appliances decided to kick the bucket so we needed to buy some new ones.
Now who ever really wants to spend their money on boring things like that? But instead of bemoaning that some of my SpaceX fund was going toward something so lame, I thought about how lucky I am to have the money to spend on them and that they broke down during a good time to buy appliances (I popped my Black Friday cherry on this one.). Then, I spiraled my appreciation into that I don’t have to traverse to a laundromat and if I want to replenish my SpaceX fund quickly, I can brainstorm some creative ways to make some extra money, which might help my business in the long run, etc., etc., etc. By the time I was done I happily handed over my credit card info. And when they arrived, I was embarrassingly excited to do laundry and rearrange a fridge. Now that rarely happens, so this gratitude thing has to be magic!
Finding appreciation isn’t something that’s always easy to do, but the more I do it (Even when I don’t feel like it. Hmmm… this sounds familiar about a lot of things.), the easier it is to go there and if nothing else, I feel better. I mean, if you have to deal with a lame situation, at least there’s a way to feel as good as possible when doing so. And so that’s my soapbox on the attitude of gratitude. Now I’ll leave you alone to try to find some appreciation for my appreciation for rhyming.