This practicing gratitude exercise is much more difficult than I had anticipated. In my effort to find a rhythm, a framework, topics, [anything!], I’ve scoured the internet (and my own well-intentioned collection of self-help, self-actualization and positivity books…). I eventually found Marelisa Fabrega and her Daring to Live Fully site. Maybe because her message is not too ooey-wooey, or maybe because she and I share an interest in Reiki, her writing voice and attitude clicked with me, and helped me to get unstuck. She posted a series of gratitude prompts, and I plan to use some as a jumping off point — starting with today.
I Am Grateful for These 3 Simple Pleasures
1. quiet time at 4:30 a.m.
Shout-out to my fellow 4:30 a.m.’ers. I do not spring from bed at this hour. It is not without a struggle that I slowly pull myself up and out. Sometimes I am not successful and wait for a later 6 a.m. call-to-action. But I am, nevertheless truly grateful for this quiet time of the day – often my only quiet time of the day. I miss it when I don’t have it – and it shows…ask David.
2. morning walks with David and our dogs
As daily chores go, this one is complicated — involving multiple steps even before leaving the house. It centers around a ritualized routine that I’ve given up trying to summarize for you as it is just too complicated and, I realize now, makes us sound batshit crazy. Ultimately, David and I and the dogs end up on one of a few close-by routes. Though sometimes David and I walk mostly in silence, more often we talk about the website, our son, wedding plans, aging parent issues, presidential elections — stuff. What I am grateful for is the time together. Time to enjoy our dogs. Time that we are not distracted by our phones or our son. Time that helps us to reconnect with each other, appreciate central California, and just talk. A time that encourages us to slow down and be present.
3. right to marry the person I love
Just a few months ago we, and many inclusive, fair-minded adults around the U.S., were celebrating this giant step toward full equality as anything but a “simple pleasure.” But really — when separated from the long and difficult struggle to achieve it — this right is the simplest of pleasures; one that most couples have not ever had to even think about not having. It is so basic a right that it does not register as something to be grateful for being able to do. I look forward to a time when same-sex couples need to be reminded to list the right to marry on their gratitude lists because it will have become so unsurprising and so unremarkable that it will be just as overlooked and taken-for-granted.
Next-up — finding three life lessons I am grateful to have already learned, I think.