I'm Pam, and I'm glad you're here. I hope my thoughts on family, faith, and the flux of life help you laugh, fire you up or just make you think.

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bringing back the book

Pencils and Moleskines 04
Do any of you remember my fall post about cultivating gratitude

Yes?  No?  Me too. 

I admit, I put my 1000 gift list project aside these past several weeks. The little black book got buried in that basket of homeless living room stuff.  We were just so busy with Christmas,  back to school, that nasty shingles attack, and all those things that get in the way of gratitude, that I, well. . . forgot?

Actually, I didn’t really forget.  I semi-consciously let it go, and I will own that behavior, since I’m trying to teach my children to do the same.   I should have kept it going, especially during the crazy times, but I also promised myself I would not “should upon” this project.   Gratitude is voluntary.  It’s also a choice, not just a feeling, but it must come from within.

Why do I raise this today?  Because I’m a little bit cranky.  I haven’t been feeling especially grateful lately.   Rather, I haven’t decided to be especially grateful lately.  So, I need to make a fully conscious decision to cultivate gratitude. 

Time to dig out the little black book of 1000 gifts (I’m only on #121). 

While I’m so weary of winter and notice I haven’t seen the earth since Christmas, I note these gifts:

  • the beauty of fresh snow
  • bright sun and blue sky in the coldest temps
  • the cosiness of fleece blankets and down comforters
  • the way children radiate warmth when we snuggle
  • an upcoming winter vacation planned well in advance

While our family drags with winter colds and recovery, I note:

  • our overall good health
  • the joy of touch after missing it for awhile
  • the easy fixes of modern life

While I’m distressed about the 10.6% unemployment in my state, local businesses closing daily, and too many layoffs hitting close to home, I note these gifts:

  • support of G’s professional job with benefits
  • my part time work to fill the gaps
  • my husband’s rock-solid composure under stressful working conditions
  • a community of support
  • blessed assurance that we’ll be okay no matter what

Even when I don’t feel grateful, the conscious act of recording my gifts gets me just a little bit closer to the real thing. 

What about you?  How do you cultivate gratitude when you’re feeling crabby?

Creative Commons License photo credit: Paul Worthington

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