Today I’m grateful that I get to go to work. It’s not the most glamorous job out there, but it’s a job that’s helping Tracy and I to make it through while she finishes her PhD. And I’m working on being grateful (and loving!) all of it, even the annoying parts. Not always easy, but worth it when I can.
Today I’m grateful for the pain in my back.
It’s probably about a seven on the 1-10 pain scale. But I’m going to keep pushing forward with the day. And that’s something to be grateful for – that it’s bad, but not so bad that I can’t get to work today. Advil and trying to avoid straining it should be enough.
Today I’m grateful for the lack of sleep I got yesterday – the exact opposite of the day before.
I’m grateful for this because it shows me, once again, that what I do matters. I didn’t sleep well because I didn’t go to bed well – I didn’t do those things before going to bed that help me to fall asleep and to sleep well.
Today I’m grateful for the sleep that I got last night.
I’ve always had trouble getting to bed and going to sleep. Since I’m still a man-child, when evening comes I never want to go to bed, but last night I was able to get myself to work in an evening bookend (as Brian Johnson calls it) and hop in the bed at a decent time. Of course, I wasn’t perfect about it – I still played on my phone and had the TV on, but I told myself that it didn’t have to be perfect. And I shut it down at a decent hour, and ended up getting 7-1/2 hours of sleep. And I’m grateful for the whole process, imperfection and all.
Today I’m grateful that I failed in my goal to write here every morning.
It’s been 17 days – on day one I failed to reach my goal, and for the sixteen days after that I failed to get back on the horse.
Failure isn’t a dirty word. It’s a reality – I planned on doing one thing, and by my own actions I didn’t get it done. I failed.
I’m grateful that I can face the reality of the situation, and that I can learn from it.
I’m jumping back on the horse today. But I’m not just jumping on and riding it the way that I did last time – I’m adjusting the saddle, changing how snug the stirrups are, communicating with the horse a bit differently. If I just hop back on and ride the same way that I rode before, I’ll fall off again. As I first learned in AA – I’m not going to do the same thing and expect different results.
I’m grateful that I learned that.
These are the changes that I’m making:
- The biggest adjustment has to do with the direction of the blog. The purpose of this blog was to Amor Fati – to develop the habit of not just accepting, but loving my fate. Loving everything that happens to me and everything that is currently in my life. I was only focusing on being grateful for the “bad”, since that’s the part of my life that needed that most work – the positive stuff is easy to love. Now, I’m going to acknowledge the positive as well, especially since the “good” things in our lives outnumber the “bad” by at least a hundred to one. Our brains are wired to look for what’s wrong. I think that the theory that it’s an evolutionary trait is right, since for our ancestors it was much more important to keep an eye out for the lion than to appreciate the beauty of the sunset. Although it still exists, in modern, developed countries physical threats are a much smaller problem, regardless of what the news tries to tell us. My life requires that I appreciate the good on a regular basis, if only to combat the negatives that are shoved down our throats on a regular basis so that people with power can feast on the foie gras of our fear. (Wow, Lyman, quite the rant there… take it out or leave it in? Leave it in for honesty’s sake.)
- Sometimes it’s the people in our lives that we end up not being grateful for. To call them out publicly because of a small, silly, private slight or annoyance would cause misunderstanding and harm, and I want live my life causing as little harm as possible (I’ve already caused more than my share). So I was avoiding writing about these things but still stewing about them, and therefore not doing the exercise honestly. I still need work in that area, but if I choose to write about it, it will go in a private journal.
- I’m going to get away from using the word “thanksgiving.” I’ve been starting most entries with the phrase “Today I’m thankful for…”; I thought I had to because that’s the name of the fricking blog. That doesn’t feel right to me, and never has. “Today I’m grateful for…” feels better.
I’m grateful that I’ve identified these issues, and that I can implement them and move forward.
So, to recap – today I’m grateful that I failed, I’m grateful that I got back on the horse, and I’m grateful that I’ve identified the problems that caused that failure.
Fate permitting, I’ll be back tomorrow. I hope you’ll join me.
Today I give thanks for the warm weather we are having. It’s 6am, and the temperature outside is already 37F. Not too shabby for January in Massachusetts.
Not something that it’s difficult to be grateful for, but there you go. Funny thing is, is getting harder and harder to find things that it *is* difficult to be grateful for. And that’s a good thing.
Today I give thanks that I don’t feel like writing here – again.
I’m grateful that even though I don’t want to do it, I’m doing it anyway. Because even if I don’t feel like it in the moment, over the long term I can see how useful it has been and will continue to be.