July 21, 2012

Bits and Bobs: Gratitude

Sometimes, maybe cause our knees hurt (me!), or we’re suffering from a bit of writer’s block (me again!), or it’s just been so dark and dreary that it might as well be March (New York, I’m looking at you), we lose all sense of perspective. On three separate occasions this week I read about the importance of gratitude. Oprah wanted me to do it. The Unstuck folks wanted me to do it. But if you’re in an Eeyore frame of mind, counting your blessings–even when you have an embarrassment of riches piled up around you–can be the hardest thing to do.

I got a couple kicks in the pants to help me along. The first, a gentle nudge, was Tara Brach’s reminder to commit to joy. And then someone sent me this link of stories of life on unemployment. Talk about putting your life into perspective. Of course it’s never as easy as snapping your fingers and that’s that, but just the intention to shift our perspective can start to slowly make a difference. So I looked for just the tiniest moments.

Like: Last night I bought these pink snap dragons at Trader Joe’s. When I brought them home and placed them in a blue coffee pot, I thought they looked as pretty as a still life.

And: When I walked into this narrow sliver of a cafe, I had been sliding around the sidewalk. It is very hard to walk in sopping wet sandals. I stood with this cortado in my hand and looked out the windows and waited for the rain to die down. The barista was playing melancholy Beach Boys songs. It felt oh-so right.

It’s a start.

What are you feeling grateful for, right this moment?

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Comments

  • Stephanie: I just wrote a post about this very same thing! I agree that it is so important to really think about those things we take for granted (our health, family, home, peace etc) and to feel grateful for them. It seems that just when we have forgotton how lucky we are, life taps us on the shoulder to remind us.2 years ago

  • Bethany: Right now Sarah, I’m grateful for my paid internship. The people I work with are exceptionally patient, understanding, and instructive. I just hope that I get a full time offer from them when I graduate this December. I’m also grateful for money in the bank after 5 years of being broke. It’s not much, but it will get me through graduation.

    I’m blessed with good health, and people who love me. I have a small circle of friends that can take it seriously when I suggest 90′s pop karaoke. I have a guy in the Air National Guard who is safe and coming home today, not from a war zone, but from Alaska. And I have family who are sweet, wonderful, and imperfect, but supportive.

    And then there are the little things: strawberries in the fridge, Caribou coffee, cool nights after 111 degree weather, a southwest print dress with pockets, the purring cat on my bed, swimming pools, and the time to read novels.2 years ago

  • Melissa @ Hilltop Hausfrau: I’m grateful for the fact that I have all the ingredients for homemade blueberry pancakes in the haus…and I’m craving them!2 years ago

  • Mandy: I’m grateful to have a roommate who loves to hang out and just chat. I’m also grateful to have a newsstand right next to my house that sells milk when we’re out!2 years ago

  • Cadi: I’m grateful that I’m healthy. I have a couple of dear friends who have life-threatening illnesses, and good health is something so many of us take for granted.

    I’m grateful for the fact that I live in Sonoma County. It’s a vacation destination for many, and I am a lucky girl to call it home.

    I’m grateful for my wonderful husband, loving family, a clutch of great friends, and my spoiled cat.

    And the little things: a home with air conditioning, the blessing of having a summer off to play, the good grace to know how to make raspberry lemon muffins from the stuff in my pantry. Coffee. A cool morning before a hot day. A new sewing pattern and *just enough* fabric to make it without going to the craft store. The foresight to clean the house during the week so I can play all weekend when my husband is home.

    Thanks for making us stop and look around. Sometimes we forget about the riches we are surrounded by, and it’s good to stop and look. Happy Saturday, Sarah, I’ve missed your posts!2 years ago

  • alyssa s: I’m greatful for all the love that I feel around me from all sides. I’m also greatful for choices. Whether I make good or not-so-good choices, I’m the one who gets to do the chosing. From the small things like coffee or tea to the big things like who do I want to be and am I on the right track am I making choice that enrich my life and those around me, I CHOSE :) 2 years ago

  • Tami -- Teacher Goes Back to School: i am grateful for:

    saturday morning yoga class with a wonderfully supportive curvy teacher – http://madyoga.wordpress.com/

    a teacher husband who lives for spending time with me and ruby girl on summer break.

    summer break!

    beautiful places to spend the night in the east bay and in mendocino county – with grandparents who are completely over the moon crazy about ruby girl.

    ruby girl.

    air conditioning.

    parental leave from my job.

    a little money in the bank.

    my job as a restorative yoga teacher – makes me practice so i can preach!

    coconut lotion.

    a great wash and wear summer haircut.

    so much to be thankful for – just today!

    missed your voice, miss sarah. thanks for posting today. xx2 years ago

  • Stephanie: Such a lovely post, Sarah. I’ve started my own gratitude journal just this week because the long, warm, and humid summer days have me longing for Fall.

    Right now, I’m grateful for: iced coffee, less traffic on my way to work because school is out, fun apartment decorating on the weekends, Mrs. Dalloway, and of course, ice cream.2 years ago

  • Sara Rose: -Being alive.
    -Being slowly on the mend.
    -Being done with a huge move to where everyone is happier.
    -Bright pink nails for summer.
    -Teal sandals.
    -My daughters toothless grin.
    -My son being a dinosaur who eats giant apples while yelling ROAR!!!!
    -My husband dutifully unpacking when I am too unwell.
    -Noosa honey greek yogurt.
    -Fabulous little grocery store bouquets.2 years ago

  • Helen: Right here, right now…I’m grateful for the little morning peace when the household is still snoozing and I can curl up in the early sunshine with a fresh cuppa joe and read. It’s almost like reality is suspended for a while and the world belongs to just me. I’m grateful that I have the luxury of such moments of bliss.2 years ago

  • Akaleistar: Sometimes it can be so hard to remember to be grateful, but then I stop and think about what a wonderful life I have and the world seems like such a much better place.2 years ago

  • Megan: I am so overwhelmed with the changes going on in my life right now and have been reminding myself to stop and take notice of all the good. The most important of which is that my family and I are healthy but also the tiny moments like noticing the dappled sunlight on my toddler’s chubby thighs.

    I also happened upon this site today and wanted to share http://chookooloonks.com/gratitude

    I keep finding more reminders of gratitude and I think the universe is trying to tell me something.

    Have a beautiful weekend.2 years ago

  • Michelle: I am feeling grateful that I have enough and that, for once, it FEELS like enough. It’s not me telling myself to be happy with what I have or telling myself to just be accepting of what I don’t have…it’s me genuinely feeling okay about how much there is AND how much there isn’t. However long this frame of mind lasts, I will be thoroughly grateful.2 years ago

  • Kimberly: Check out The Magic – Rhonda Byrne. It’s shocking to discover what one can be grateful for when you start looking! I was stuck in a pretty unhappy rut for nearly six months and, like you said, ‘a shift in perspective’ is a pretty powerful thing. The simple things like a beautiful coffee, a pretty colour, or having great food or small comforts at your fingertips are the best to be grateful for some days! Great post.2 years ago

  • Hope Johnson: Loved this post! A helpful reminder.

    I’m grateful for my mum, bed socks and music.2 years ago

  • Kimberly: I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve seen of your blog so far and look forward to reading more! I’ve nominated you for this award – http://cavedownunder.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/wooo-i-got-an-award/2 years ago

  • I love reading everyone’s “grateful for” lists. Such a powerful reminder!2 years ago

  • Katie @ cakes, tea and dreams: Such a lovely reminder, Sarah. I’m grateful for blackberry sage tea, fresh blueberries, dinners on the porch with my husband, great books, summer skirts and ice cream.2 years ago

  • Jess @ Sparrow + Sea: I am feeling grateful for:

    * The lovely mechanic man who tried to help me this morning out of the goodness of his heart (“how many cylinders has it got?” “ummmm, well it’s got four wheels, does that help?”!!)

    * Delicious kermit-green avocados that make lunch-time so delicious

    * My lovely, pretty camel-coloured faux suede flats, that are the perfect combination of comfy, cute and cheap and make my feet look good!

    * Incredible little love notes from people who have read my blog and wanted to connect. Yesterday I felt so much love I wanted to burst!

    xo2 years ago

  • molly: I hate to say it, but it’s the heat that gets me down, makes me dread waking up in the morning. “Dread” and “wake up in the morning” should, of course, never be in the same sentence. I’ve read my Mary Oliver. I still make this mistake. D(#* humidity.

    But. This week, I’ve been grateful for new eyes and new perspective and new, apparently latent tools to solve old, “intractable” problems. The time to work things out, maybe. The twist of the earth, perhaps. A Tuesday in July. Who knows whence the alchemy. I’ll not bother with questions. I’ll just bathe in the gratitude.

    Thanks for this Sarah,
    And yes yes yes to snapdragons and small moments of happy coffee.

    xo,
    Molly2 years ago

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That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.
- Henry David Thoreau