More On Gratitude
So the last time I wrote here, it was a little bit about why I make a gratitude list each day and how I make it fit my life. I am still writing but with more intention these days. I stepped into this new year, 2021, hesitantly. Isn't that strange? I hesitated but I have no control over it. It happens no matter what we do. Usually it's a celebratory time, right? This year felt different to me but to move myself from those gloomy feelings, I focused once again on gratitude. Sometimes my list is boring: good coffee, cozy blankets, takeout dinners. Those are certainly things I'm grateful for but I'm trying to push myself to think of more and maybe even go a bit deeper. Winter can be tough for some people especially those of us who don't like the ice, the cold, dark evenings and driving in winter conditions. Some people find escape during the winter to warmer locations for months or even just a week. This respite brings them joy and something to look forward to. This year is very different though for obvious reasons. Our children are having hard days to. Being a teenager during this pandemic is tough. In this stage of life, friends and school can be the most important part and instead, they've been stuck at home with parents and siblings... the most "annoying" people in their life. Knowing our parents (60s/70s) can't make their way to warmer locations where they feel better and can get outside safely, is hard to think about. It's sad. More importantly, our in-person connections aren't always possible and thinking ahead, there are still so many unknowns. I could go on and on with negativity but you all know what I mean.
So how do I move out of this negative frame of mind? My answer has been expressing gratitude and being much more intentional about it. I'm challenging myself to think about winter in a positive way: pretty white snow that makes our days brighter, snowstorms when we can be hunkered down at home, comfortable and content (we haven't really had any snowstorms though!), bundling up for a beautiful walk in our snowshoes (we live in a very beautiful area and trails to walk in are all around us), having children old enough so we can all take our snowmobiles out for a drive on the local trails, watching entertaining television shows, watching hockey/basketball/football on tv again, more time to be creative, less worry for driving because we don't need to go anywhere and zoom meetings/game nights. I could go on and on, which is amazing!
Expressing gratitude is a powerful thing and it doesn't require much effort. I know many of us are wishing for spring to come sooner rather than later but I am trying my very best to enjoy these moments we are in... it will change and it will get better even though we don't know when. The unknown can keep us all up at night. In the mean time, I'm going to keep writing (typing) in my journal each morning; I'm going to keep pushing myself to think about going beyond the usual and easy things to be grateful for. When I think about what I'm grateful for, I am actually sharing with God. You might even consider that the most important part of prayer... I do.