Every year as I begin a new series of blogs I look for a theme. 2016 will be the year I attempt to cultivate gratitude. I, like a lot of people, have a lot to be grateful for. In the December 2016 issue of Better Homes & Gardens, Juno DeMelo’s article 10 Micro Resolutions says it best. And of the ten resolutions, the best was saved for last. The author suggested that instead of just saying, I will be more positive, count your complaints. Fewer complaints will help me cultivate more gratitude.
I had a great day yesterday and I am grateful for several things. I got up early and met a friend to work out at the YMCA. After a quick shower we met another friend at her first author event and book signing. In the afternoon my husband and I drove to Oklahoma City to an 80th birthday party for another long-time friend. I am so grateful for so many friends and so many of them wanting to spend time with me.
However, some days it’s not so easy to be grateful. Somedays I wake up on the wrong side of the bed (my mother used to say that) and my world suffers, especially my husband. He is my constant companion and consequently he gets the best and the worst of me. The rest of the world sees parts of me too, but not as much as he does.
I am not suggesting that I will change my personality and hide the bad parts, but just take more responsibility for seeing the good around me and cultivating it. If I decide to grow tomatoes, it makes more sense to pull the weeds around the plat than to complain about them choking out the plant. The tomato will grow healthier and produce more fruit for my consumption given the room to grow. Less complaining and more gratitude for the salad before me.
This January morning it is a balmy 23 degrees here on the plains. I am sitting in my new fluffy bathrobe and socks in a centrally heated 35-year-old home in a medium sized town of 50,000 people. I have a cup of coffee and a new computer on my lap. How many people in this world can say that? How many are living in a drafty hut with soldiers outside and a hungry baby inside.
I will count my complaints and try to make that number smaller all the while reminding myself of the things I have and the people I love.
What are you grateful for this morning and have you counted your complaints?