Gratitude

Noun: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

As I was going through my day today, I was constantly reminded of how much I really have to be grateful for. I make a practice of recognizing at the end of each day, the things, people, situations, I had appreciation for. It serves as a way to ready me for sleep and as a reminder that this day is ending and another one awaits. This post won’t be a long list of all the amazing things I have appreciation for in my life, this post is to remind each and every one of us that every day we have the capacity to recognize and show gratitude for all we have; for most of us are not lacking. Even in times of sorrow and strife, of confusion and fear, we have the ability to make a choice and see the light within the dark times, however hard it may be, to identify something, no matter HOW SMALL it might seem at the moment, that we can express our thanks for. I guarantee you that simple act will lift you up out of the depths of despair. In those times, the times we feel heartbroken or just plain broken, feeling gracious is like being thrown a life-preserver when you are drowning; being grateful can save us.

For some of us, the holidays can cause gloom; the winter weather can bring us down because there is less sun, its damn cold, and we tend to spend less time outside and with others; hormones can go insane, communities in turmoil, the list of what is out there to send us in a downward spiral seems endless; on the other hand, the tangible list of what we HAVE (and this is beyond material possessions) within ourselves and in our immediate grasp is beyond endless. All of us have the breath of life to be grateful for every morning when we wake up. Most of us have a roof over our head and a warm place to lay our head at night. Most of us have a means of getting from place to place, by car, public transit, our own two feet and/or legs. Most of us have a way of paying our bills, whether we love our job or not, we make ends meet. I don’t know anyone who is unable to take care of their basic human needs. Most everyone I know is beyond fortunate in their health, livelihood, family, friends, possessions; from that aspect, most of us have MORE than what we need.

Graciousness isn’t just one day on the calendar, it’s everyday. Everyday we can find at least ONE thing (if not 5 or more!) to be grateful for. I invite you to begin a gratitude journal, to begin each day (or end each day) with writing 5 things you are grateful for, see if you can’t go beyond 5, take note on how this simple act starts to shift you and pay attention to how it may even help to shift those around you. Saying to yourself, “I am so very grateful for…” is some of the best medicine I know to cure what ails you.

May peace, love and gratitude seep into the very core of all of us. Today and everyday.

 

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“it’s a pity youth is wasted on the young” George Bernard Shaw

So, Jerry Seinfeld is 60! I saw that tonight and I was like “WHAT?!” its not old. My mom will be 60 in April, but there’s something about seeing a public figure hit a mile marker in life, like 60. I guess it makes palpable my inevitable aging markers too, but I think I prefer to look through rose-colored glasses and young people eyes. 🙂 When interviewed by my news boyfriend, Brian Williams, Jerry shared with him how he is still learning about who he is. I am 38. I have just recently started to feel comfortable, maybe even bordering on proud, to tell people how “young” I am. I find that each year, maybe even each DAY I can learn something new about myself. I am fascinated at this. I sometimes want to tell a whole slew of people what I learned and see what they learned about themselves and how they/we are going to see changes manifest from what we learned! I think it’s not only growing into ourselves with age and experiences that bring us closer to ourselves, but for me, I have the added benefit of practicing yoga and meditation, as well as reading, writing and journaling; all of these things I find so therapeutic for me and such gifts of insight to myself as well as helping me to see others in their most true form.

None of the above means I have embraced aging, because I haven’t. I still have plenty of fears around getting older. And, as a single person, I sometimes feel like I have to apologize for who I am at my age. Or lie about it because of how society views what women of my age “look” like, what they should have or not have, etc. What does that even mean? That is a crock of societal crap! I shouldn’t  feel like I have to hide the fact that I am the age that I am in the life that I have: single. never married. no children and completely (most days) content. I read tonight in my current book of choice that those who were always striving to be the very best person they could be in life and always made sure they were surrounded by the very best people, wouldn’t care if they died tomorrow. That really resonated with me and I can see how that is so very true; A happy exit, if you will. So, on behalf of single women (hell, ALL women) everywhere, I shall move forward shouting (ok,maybe that’s taking it too far), OWNING my age when asked and not hiding behind a wall of other people’s’ projected perception of what my life should look like.

And as it relates to learning about oneself,  I have made strides in my attitude toward the dating quest. As you know, I am on one (maybe two) dating sites, I’ve started to approach dates more like an experiment or a clinical trial, rather than an interview or a check list (not that I was doing that before). I have learned so much about myself and behavior in general by taking this approach and it’s a lot more fun to go in with that attitude versus one of expectation! I also make sure I have a reality check and touch base with the best straight guy friend on the planet, who keeps it SO REAL, he can yell at me and I don’t cry. ;-0 haha. kidding. But seriously, gals who are dating, it is MISSION CRITICAL to have a sane, heterosexual male friend in your corner to help navigate you through the male language, mind and thoughts. I am telling you, I would be lost without him, I am so grateful for that pharma job in 2002 that brought him into my life and how we’ve been able to sustain our friendship through all of (mostly his) life’s changes; even though he is old (KIDDING!!;-) and married with twins, he can still dish out the truest of true HELPFUL advice.

In these past couple weeks, I have met or talked with 4 potential suitors and 75% of them are moving forward to date #2. One of them is coming up on date #3:) I asked him to see some Blue Grass tunes next week at a local venue, I thought it would be fun and we haven’t been able to see each other in a couple of weeks, so I thought what  a great way to bypass the typical {“boring” dinner/drinks stuff} to do! He’s kind of my favorite so far, it’s real easy to communicate with him and I don’t over think ANYTHING. He’s easy-going, we’re casual, it’s friendly and easy. I like that. #Hashtag guy, some of us have taken to affectionately calling him, is still a possibility. We have been playing some serious phone tag, but it’s all good. I had lunch with, well, let’s call him Shorty, yesterday… good conversation, we both enjoy the theater and arts. But it’s highly possible I am taller than him, and I am 5’1 ” and he has a very thin upper lip. I know! I know! I am JUST SAYING….. I am doing my astrology homework,in that I am trying my very best to tell my Virgo to take an observational backseat on these dates, but sometimes she has to see what she sees…..BUT I am not letting Virgo make any front line decisions, so it’s all good. 🙂

SO, a date break this weekend as I head home to Iowa for my Grandma D’s 90th birthday! Family time awaits, as well as some much-needed technology unplugging.

Happy Full Moon Folks, and thanks for stopping by!:) ❤