Gratitude #1 – Twentieth Edition? Really!?
I have stuck with this Seven Sunday Gratitudes post for roughly five months now. I’m impressed with myself. It’s so easy to get busy and sidetracked and want to rationalize that people aren’t really that interested in my silly gratitudes. Sticking to it anyway has shown me that I can keep a commitment to myself, and that it’s worthwhile to take a few quiet minutes to think about what has given my life meaning over the past week. You don’t have to have a blog to do this. I challenge you to take some time with your journal and think about what blessings have come your way during the last week. You might be surprised at what floats to the top.
Gratitude #2 – Writing Helps
I’ve been in a slump with my book lately, but the writers conference I recently attended helped pull me out. It’s not necessarily easy now, but I’m moving forward. I took the time to create a work schedule for myself (which I frequently deviate from) and it helps me to make course corrections throughout the day when I get sidetracked. Also the program “Anti-Social” has really helped to boost my self control so I can focus better.
Gratitude #3 – Reading Well-Written Books
Sometimes I just need to read. A lot of times I read fluffy stuff. But sometimes I get smarter and read something that makes me think bigger ideas or bumps up my awareness of how to improve my own writing. I’m a little rough at this, but the WIFYR writers conference helped me to pay more attention to flaws and strengths in the things I read, and how I can use these observations to help myself. My writing partner has always been good at this, and listening to her talk about books and writing is one of my favorite things, because she reinforces the pay-attention-when-you-read lessons for me.
Gratitude #4 – Friends Who Share Their Struggles and Stuckness
It is SO NICE to know I’m not the only one who wrestles with no-one-at-church-even-knows-who-I-am syndrome. And while the label may be a bit of an exaggeration, it’s hard to find people with the time to spend getting to know each other. Also, it may come as a surprise to some that knowing someone’s socially attached labels, however positively intentioned, are not the same as knowing them. Being called “the smart one”, or “the spiritual one”, or “the friendly one”, or “the one who’s good with youth”, or “the musical one”, or “the one with all those kids”, to name a few that I’ve heard go around, is isolating rather than inclusive. I heard a woman at church today say, “What good is intelligence when you don’t have any friends?” I wanted to shout, “AMEN!” but that would be a big shock to people in my LDS ward here in Utah, so I didn’t do it. (I might be able to get away with it in other parts of the country, but it would rock the boat quite a bit here.)
Gratitude #5 – Automatic Sprinkler Systems
I grew up dragging a hose across the lawn every twenty minutes, three days a week. In fairness, I probably did it one day a week and my parents did it all the rest of the time. Nevertheless, I’m so happy I don’t have to do that anymore. Sure there may be times when the system needs repair and so we hose-drag a little, but it’s nothing like “the olden days”. Hallelujah.
Gratitude #6 – Cooking for Three
Oh My Goodness! I can cook in the small pans! It feels like a throwback to our last six months in China, only a lot easier.
Gratitude #7 – Getting up early enough to watch the dawn’s early light become a sunrise.
Seriously. Do you know how early the hummingbirds are up? Way before a lot of other birds bother making any noise. The quiet that early in the day has a different quality than the sounds at sunset and I love being there to see and hear it.