Thursday, November 26, 2009

Everday Gratitude: Bring on the Prancing Horses

On Thanksgiving, it's pretty typical for us to express gratitude for significant parts of our lives: family, health, friends, pets, bacon... you know, the important stuff. I am grateful every day for these gifts; however, I am also a big believer in regular appreciation for the little things. I once read something that felt really significant to me and I seriously try and remember this as often as my sometimes-chaotic brain allows me. The concept is to express gratitude all day long, even for the tiny things. You score a great parking spot -- thank you. You easily find the specific brand of chocolate chips for which you are looking -- thank you. You grab the last piece of chocolate cake before the kids clutch it with their grubby little hands -- thank you. Did I just use two chocolate references? Boy, do I love chocolate -- thank you. Sometimes I say it out loud and sometimes I internally breathe it in, but either way, I feel a rush of peacefulness through my body each and every time. If I've learned anything on my near-40 year hike on this topsy-turvy trail, it's that gratitude is the one true-tested way that I can instantly find peace even in the darkest of times.

As I lay in bed this morning, I thought about some of the little day-to-day things for which I am thankful. Here's a sprinkling of grateful to go with your mashed potatoes and gravy.

* A couple of years ago I realized that I could attach a Target bag between the two front seats of my van. This makes a great trash receptacle... when my children choose to use it -- thank you.

* My cats are not nocturnal. They go to sleep with us and wake up with us, thus allowing their people many hours of peaceful slumber. I know not all cat families are that lucky and deal with what sounds like Kitty UFC all though the night -- thank you.

* My route to work doesn't involve any highway time. Do you know what I see on my drive to work (when it's light outside)? I see mules, mini donkeys, mini horses, rustic farm houses, and corn. One day I may also see my van drive into a corn field because I am busy watching the mini horses prance and play. Seriously... have you seen a mini horse prance? Instant jolt of happy -- thank you.

* The first sip of magical coffee in the morning... that's all I have to say about that -- thank you.

* Sometimes I hear the perfect song at the precise time that I need to hear a specific message. It's a symphony of synchronicity and it happens all the time -- thank you.

I could keep typing for days -- really, when I look for the good, I find it. Not every moment of every day is picture perfect -- sometimes far from it. But when I notice the shiny parts, my life just feels more meaningful and I realize how truly blessed I am -- THANK YOU!

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