Grief, death, darkness leaves so much mess and murk swirling around inside that there are times when I need to give myself an emotional alka seltzer. Gratitude is my best tonic, my tomato-tabasco pick me up.
There is much that hurts, that rubs and irritates me. Ignoring it would be plain silly, after all to look for the bright side you must first look at the cloud. But I try not to let myself dwell in the dungeon for too long, not to get too comfortable rattling my chains.
I try to treat myself like a child with a scuffed knee – give myself a moment to feel the pain, howl a little, administer a kiss and then introduce a lollipop as a distraction. My lollipop is all the things I have to be grateful for, the thoughts that seem to bring a little sweetness to everything.
At times it’s not easy to be thankful when I’m tear-soggy and cursing the world. I think of it as being like vigorous exercise. It’s painful and awkward at first, stretching me in unexpected places, and I don’t quite see the point. But with time and practice a habit forms, my new mindset comes more naturally and leaves me stronger and happier – though still aching!
My weekly workout is to count my blessings so here are a few:
I’m thankful for …
having a few opportunities to be kind – and taking them – after a long time being sustained by the kindness of others.
for the sweet simple pleasure of cherries swiped from a tree.
for being loved and loving – warts and all.
for the five foot of me (out of five and a bit) that still believes this all means something.
for great books that help me lose and find myself, just when I need to.
for the healing powers of cheese cake, icecream and friendship.
for having a puppy to cuddle when nothing else with sooth.
for the inspiring strangers who come to feel like friends.
for the smart words that seem to live inside me and turn on the light when I’m squinting.
for more time, more life.
Right now I’m looking out of a window and letting my eyes go fly through some bright fluffy cloud tops which are shining above the rain…