Herman and Maud Bohlman under a fir tree, and they are indeed staring romantically at what looks like a sunflower.
Gratitude - for little things like a sunflower, for big things like education and friendship - is something that I could really stand to develop. It's very rare that I'm actively ungrateful for my blessings; more often than not, I just pass them by and go on my merry way, completely forgetting to say even a little "Thank you" in my mind.
I know that gratitude journals and gratitude lists are somewhat overdone, or at least they seem to be in my view. When shared publicly, it's like they almost become an ego thing or a status thing, something to complete for the awe of people who read your blog - "Wow, what a charmed life she leads. And look! She's even grateful for the tough stuff in her life! How enlightened."
Sorry, is my cynicism showing? All I'm saying is that I've noticed several instances where the gratitude lists that people wrote and shared felt somehow tainted with yuck, with self-satisfaction and attention-grabbing, and the fact that I've noticed this on multiple occasions makes me reluctant to join in the fray.
But. But but but. All that said, I would sincerely like to start exploring this virtue of gratitude, of evaluating my life and making an account of all that is good and worthwhile inside of it. For a little while at least, I think I'll explore this virtue here on my blog and see what comes of it. This test run comes courtesy of a feature on Love, Life, Lace, appropriately called Weekly Gratitude.
Herman Bohlman sitting along a river bank.)
(ordered according to what came to mind first)
1. I'm grateful for Netflix, especially the feature that allows us to watch movies and shows instantly through our Wii console.
2. I'm grateful for Acetaminophen. The headache that I had last night persisted through the night and into this morning, when I dragged myself to the kitchen and took two pills. Thirty minutes later, and presto change-o: no more headache.
3. I'm grateful that we were able to eat taco soup with our neighbor-friends tonight. As a couple and as individuals, my husband and I are not incredibly social, but the rare times when we do spend time with friends are just so great. Plus, the soup was delicious (as was the accompanying cornbread).
4. I'm grateful that our home is so much warmer this winter than it was last winter.
5. I'm grateful for a seriously cushy dream job that I practically lucked into.
6. I'm grateful for time, an endless supply of it. That sounds pretty hokey, I'm sure, but I've really been appreciating lately that there's no need for me to accomplish everything or know everything right this second. I have time to explore and mess up and course-correct; I have time to repeat those steps again and again, if necessary. What a relief.
7. I'm grateful for my bike (called "Alexandra," or "Lexie" for short), which is sitting on my front porch and waiting so patiently for days when I'll have someplace to be and when I won't be tempted to drive to that someplace because of the cold.
8. I'm grateful for curly hair that, when I'm lucky, dries into a big, ferocious, lioness mane.
9. I'm grateful that I have someone to be in love with, someone to make sacrifices for.
10. I'm grateful that I am the owner of many, many socks.