Chasing gratitude

imageToday I woke up on the wrong side of the universe and it just kept going.

I didn’t want to get out of bed. I couldn’t find my socks. The dogs wouldn’t eat — and one of them is really sick and I’m afraid he will slip away soon. Then the dogs made a mess. I spilled my shampoo. My hair wouldn’t cooperate.

Then my car wouldn’t unlock. There was a traffic back-up on my road, which was due to an accident on another highway (I didn’t know at the time).

By the time I pulled into my parking space at work, I wanted to throw in the towel and just go back home, sit on the couch and forget Monday existed — all for a bunch of small things.

On days like these where nothing seems to be going right, gratitude isn’t easy. On days where a bunch of little things add up into one giant pile of frustration, gratitude is far from my mind.

As I settled into work and got a few things done, the frustration I was feeling slowly lifted and I realized a few things. In my frustration I missed out on an entire beautiful Halloween morning. The air was cool and wet this morning with low-hanging fog. My dogs probably didn’t eat well because they knew I was frustrated. And I missed my few precious moments with them this morning — because of my frustration.wpid-20150525_140935.jpg

I didn’t enjoy my cool car ride with my windows and sunroof back. I didn’t even look at the campus as I walked to my office.

I wasn’t feeling grateful for much of anything. And now I’m wishing for a do-over.

What these nearly 1,000 days of writing daily gratitude posts on my Facebook page have taught me is that gratitude works. When I allow myself to move away from gratitude and get caught up in frustrations, I lose my perspective. This morning’s frustrations were all small things. VERY small things.

As I type this, I’m so grateful for perspective. I’m so grateful that I was able to pull myself back into gratitude and gain that perspective again. I can’t get a do-over of my morning, but I can move forward with gratitude — which truly changed and transformed my life over these past few years.

Stay tuned. Wonderful things are coming.

B.

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Life history in a make-up bag

wp-1477763413647.jpgGoing through a make-up bag you haven’t cleaned out in decades (and still use daily) is truly like taking a walk down memory lane.

Today I became frustrated with the many items in said make-up bag because I couldn’t get to anything I truly needed. So I dumped it in the sink — and my life history unexpectedly fell out.

First there were countless old hair bands — the kind that ripped your hair out at the end of the day. Those came from my late teen years — with my near waist-long hair — oh how I miss my long hair.

Then there were tons of those silver barrettes — that kept my hair out of my face when I was driving with my very first car — a Chevy station wagon. This car had no air conditioning, if you wanted heat it took 30 minutes before it produced any on a cold winter day and it dropped a quart of oil and power steering fluid — A DAY. I used to buy them in bulk at Sam’s Club. But, it was my first car. My first wheels. The first time I could get into my own car and drive anywhere I wanted (as long as I had cardboard to put under it so it didn’t drop oil in friends’ driveways).

Next came the make-up brushes. Seriously, I don’t even think I ever used them. I was never truly into lipstick for long periods of time and I just have no idea what all those brushes were for. My daily make-up routine has never included those. My guess is I received them as a gift and I just put them in my bag.

Then out tumbled an old foil Cadbury’s Egg wrapper. Huh? Maybe I was eating one of those and putting my make-up on at the same time? Who knows. But I sure do love those Cadbury Eggs.

Then there was eyeliner — I swear like 10 kinds of eyeliner and they were who knows how old! There was pencil eyeliner (which I don’t use anymore), liquid eye liner, glitter eye liner (so cool!!) and some that had the labels worn off. Most I threw away.

As I unpacked my make-up bag and tossed old items in the trash, memories kept tumbling out. Of my days as a student working two jobs to get my associates degree. Of my days driving an hour to go to school to finish my undergrad degree. And working on the side.

Of people past. Of friendships past. Of countless experiences. Of living at home with my mother and brother. Of hanging out all night with friends and still managing to make it to school and work the next day.

So. Many. Memories. Bittersweet in many cases.

Who knew my life history was located in my make-up bag? It almost made me sad to throw the items away, but it’s really nice to be able to find what I actually need.

I’m grateful for those memories. Those treasured memories. I’m hoping this post will preserve them.

 

Deep, fierce gratitude

20160310_194909.jpgDeep. Fierce. Gratitude.

As I walked across campus to my car earlier this week I was filled with gratitude. I looked at the changing leaves, listened to them crunch under my feet — and realized as I was walking that I don’t have the life I had always dreamt of — I have the life I never DARED to dream of.

I have an amazing life filled with so many things to be grateful for (and in no particular order):

  • Love. There are so many people in my life who I adore to the moon and back. Most of these people don’t even know how truly amazing they are. (I must tell them more often).
  • Career. I’ve had an incredible career, which, over the years, has afforded me the opportunity to meet so many of the above stated incredible people and be involved in my community. In March I changed jobs — and I’m loving this job so much!
  • Adventures. So. Many. Adventures. I have traveled so much more in my life that I ever thought I could. I’ve seen many amazing places and made incredible memories. I can’t wait to see what adventures lie ahead!!
  • Wealth. I’m not talking monetary wealth here. I am not “wealthy” by any means, but I have enough. ENOUGH. And I know that alone, makes me wealthy.
  • Kindness. This is a big one. Not only do I strive to be kind, I have met so many kind people. Even the simplest act of kindness can change a life.
  • Health. Another big one. I treasure my health. Because it can be ripped away in a second.

I could go on and on with the list above, but in the interest of brevity, I’ll move on with my thought process. With all the above said, 2016 hasn’t been all roses. And without getting too intensely personal (which I rarely do on my blog posts), a few people in my life decided to head for the exit sign and I have also chosen that path with a few friendships that had become toxic. I’m talking people you never think you’d ever have leave your life. Not easy. But, again, I have some really amazing people in my life that were right there, helping me put the pieces back together. (And this portion of the post makes me teary-eyed). For all those who listened to me, texted and consoled. Thank you. 

Deep. Fierce. Gratitude. 

It’s what keep me humble.