I’m struggling. But sometimes I’m not. Maybe that’s just the way we all are in life.
I’m cleaning again. For the past two days, I’ve been cleaning out my office area. I found a bunch of my notebooks. I have notebooks for everything. I use them as journals, I use them for lists, random notes to self, recipes, research, etc. Other than the ones I use as journals, I don’t separate them. One page might be an essential oil recipe, the next a grocery list or list of things to do, and the next research on the toxins in candles, possible places to stay in Columbia, or an idea for a blog post. If someone else finds them, I’m sure they will think I’m manic and crazy. I’ve done this for years though. I save the old ones thinking that I’ll go back through to pull out the “important” stuff, but there they still sit on a shelf or in a box. I never seem to get around to it. I didn’t “get around to it” while cleaning either, but I did pull out some of the journal notebooks that weren’t completely full.
One of these not full notebooks was a gratitude journal that I started last year and then thought I had lost. Yesterday morning, I started right back up with a new gratitude post though some of my “un” gratitude crept in just a little. I decided that it was destined for a blog post……
You know it seems both awful and illuminating to say that I’m grateful for a sunny morning, a cup of good coffee, music, birds, writing, flowers, and happy dogs. I’m also very thankful this morning for my dad. Today is his 81st birthday. He continues to inspire me with his spirit every single day. That’s a lot of thankful considering that I haven’t even been up very long!
Why would this thankful list be awful or particularly illuminating? Well, those items seem a little trivial compared to what would be on my UN-grateful list. Since the death of my child would be at the top of this list, if I let myself go down that path, I would soon convince myself of how unlucky and terrible my life is. I mean, how can a sunny day compare to that huge loss?
But why would I want to not be grateful for the good things?!? I don’t feel unappreciative, and I don’t want to become bitter. I’ve always worn rose-colored glasses, and they are intact with maybe just a slightly more grey tinge.
I’m also thinking of and grateful for a former student who contacted me last night. She said, “I want to thank you for being a great teacher. You have left an amazing impression on me for life.” (insert tears 😭) She was part of one of my all-time favorite classes, and she also said that the friends she made in that class (7th grade PreAP English) are still the friends she has today. This class wasn’t about me; it was about that rare and wonderful perfect class that makes one glad to come to work everyday and thankful that you got to be a part of their lives.
This young lady is a senior this year and dealing with the weirdness of a senior year in pandemic mode. I’ve heard some complain and focus on all the things that they are missing. She and many others have chosen to focus on the good things that have come out of this strange time and how she has learned what is most important. It makes me so happy to hear that she has these wonderful friends and is handling the curve ball that life threw them very well. If this group of young people is our future, we are in great hands!
Gratitude is funny in a way. It’s obvious to me that it’s all in what we choose to SEE. I’ll take the rose with a grey tinge over stark darkness any day.