Wednesday, June 8, 2011

First Post!

Today is June 8th, 2011.  There really is nothing special about this date, no reason I'm choosing to begin The Grateful Life today as opposed to any other day.  I just decided it was time to start living a more Grateful Life, and putting my gratitude "down on paper" as it were, putting it in written form.  I feel like expressing it this way will somehow make it more meaningful, and lasting, and give me the creative outlet that I've been craving.  So Grateful Life, here goes!  I'm excited to see where this experiment takes me!

So for my first post- while I am going to stick to the purpose of this blog and talk about what I'm grateful for, today, I want to first explain why I'm doing this.  And that really comes down to one quote, that I've always carried with me, spoken by my beloved Grandma Sally, back in 2001 or 02, at one of our many family gatherings.  She was thanking everyone for coming, I think it must have been an anniversary or birthday party for her or my Papa, and she was talking a little bit about what makes her tick, what keeps her going, and she said something I've never forgotten.  She said- "Everyday you wake up, and you open the blinds, and the sun comes in, and you smile.  And that's life- letting the sun in and smiling." 

Life really is that simple.  You let the sunshine in, and if you're lucky, you get some happiness out of that- a smile.  Finding happiness in the everyday, the mundane, the little things, cliche as it sounds.  That is how I've tried to live my life.  Finding joy in the hundreds of little blessings that are happening all around you every single day.  A kiss from your puppy, a heartfelt "thank you" from a stranger, someone letting you go in front of them in the drive-thru lane at Starbucks, making dinner for my husband and watching him enjoy it, or seeing my baby daughter experiencing something for the first time, and the indescribable joy she gets out of something seemingly meaningless, like a remote control for the TV, or a leaf on a tree in the backyard, or a chewed-up dog toy, a lukewarm bath with mommy...

I think we all know that life can be hard.  Life can be a struggle.  It can break you, make you cry, render you speechless, alone, desperate.  Those moments of desperation, of hopelessness, they can become your whole life, your everyday, if you let them.  They can swallow you up whole, and steal your life away from you without you even realizing.  They can make you do terrible things to yourself, and your loved ones.  They can be a time-machine, transporting you to the future so that you've lost days, weeks, months, god forbid even years. 

But what is the point, of living like that?  Of losing whole chunks of time, of wasting yourself and your energy on nothingness?  What is the point?  Why even bother?  Hopefully if this happens to you, you learn from it, learn some valuable lesson(s) and can move on, stronger, happier, with a wealth of knowledge you didn't have before.  And I hope you take that knowledge and become someone stronger, wiser, and more adaptable and flexible, and elastic, if that makes any sense.  I hope you are able to snap back, more efficiently and more easily next time the unthinkable happens.   Because if you can't, then it's nothing more than wasted time, wasted tears, wasted breath, and that is a shame.  There is just no point.  Of course there are always exceptions, I honestly don't know how many people could still find the strength to be happy in certain dire circumstances, like if you were in a concentration camp, chronically ill in the hospital, or imprisoned, but god knows people have managed even in those cases!  I think many if not most of us, could probably benefit from being more grateful, from taking a moment to savor the small bits of joy in every day and every experience, from stopping to realize just good you have it, even if it seems like you don't.

There is nothing worse than losing time, wasting time.  Once it's gone it's gone.  You can't get it back.  No amount of money can buy it, no amount of work or effort will earn it.  It's just gone.  And I refuse to lose any of it willingly.  Life is too short and too precious, and quite frankly, too much fun!  Life really is a blast if you take a second to realize it!

But I have gone off on a tangent and gotten all preachy and I'm going to barf if I keep this up so I'm done!  I just want to get the most out of this short vacation here on planet Earth and enjoy every little nanosecond that I can.  And this is a tool I've devised for at least attempting to do that.

So today- here is what I'm grateful for.  I'm grateful for cheap High School babysitters that are sweet and trustworthy and happy to watch baby S, I'm grateful for warm summer weather and sunshine, I'm grateful for how great S's 9-month check up went, how much she smiles and laughs, how she is starting to try to dance and bop her tush to the music when we listen to J.Lo's Get on the Floor.  I'm grateful for fresh fruit and cold vino and good friends to enjoy them with.  I'm grateful for my sweet husband who god help him could use a little more gratitude in life, but no amount of nagging or gentle reminding from me is going to help him get there!  I'm grateful for Door County WI on the horizon and playdates and bbq's and texts from friends I don't see much asking to hang out.  I'm grateful it's Wednesday and I'm grateful I'm coming up on our first Father's Day and our third wedding anniversary.  I'm grateful I get to be a bridesmaid in my cousin's wedding in September and that I have fun events to celebrate.  And I'm grateful that this idea popped into my head, I can't believe it never did before!  What a dumb-ass I am!  I read a zillion blogs, how was I so blind as to write my own?

So happy reading and writing and here's to a more Grateful Life.  XoXoRG

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