Gratitude in Small Things

It’s surely irritating to some, but I’ve always been that “glass-half-full,” “Where’s-the-silver-lining” sort of person. But while I have a higher happiness set point than what most people might consider normal, I am not the relentlessly positive, bubbly person who throws cheer in your face. Quiet resolve is the way to go!

With all the sadness and negativity in this world, it’s easy to get wrapped up in anger, fear and mistrust. Taking a little time each day to remember the things for which you are thankful, things that bring you joy, helps to correct and improve your focus.

Each morning, in the car during the ride to school, the kids and I have a small devotional practice. After a spiritual thought of some sort, we think of requests for the day: focus for a test, high energy levels, wellness for a sick friend or relative, etc. There’s no minimum and no limit to the number of requests.

Following this, each of us thinks of three things for which we are thankful, and we share aloud. It is my hope that this teaches my kids, in some small way, to look beyond troubles and reach for joy.

Today my “thankfuls” are both large and small, though most days my list doesn’t look like this in terms of drama.

While it sounds dramatic, you’ll have to trust that I am very serious about this first one. We’ll get into the “why” in future blog posts, but experiencing a life-threatening medical situation this past week has made me extremely grateful for life, and reminded me of the fragility, whether or not we respect that.

Secondly, I am extremely thankful for my new little robotic vacuum! See? Small can sometimes seem silly! But this past week while I’ve been attempting to recover, that little guy has kept the tumbleweed from two very large dogs and three cats mostly at bay. Thank God, because the mess drives me insane. (Says someone with a high energy set-point, too.)

Back to a bigger one: I am thankful for the care and attention of loving family members and close friends. We chose not to disclose the situation to many at the time, but those who were made aware acted swiftly to help in any way they could. Knowing we’re surrounded by love and care reminds me how often we overlook the care and kindness people are ready and willing to give, yet we must be willing to accept it.

What are you thankful for today?

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