Back in Korea my boyfriend and I started a tradition of thanks. At the end of each day, we wrote down 10 things we were thankful for that day and one thing we had learned. At first, this was quite a difficult task. It is not exactly natural (at least for me) to think throughout the day, "I am so thankful for this glass of water. This air I breathe. This disrespectful Korean child. . ."
I don't think that gratefulness is a natural human instinct for anyone. I think it has to be learned. And the more often we forced ourselves to sit down and think through our day, intentionally recognizing all we had been given, the more natural it became. Eventually, it became less of a chore and developed into something we even looked forward to.
My favorite part of it all was sharing with each other what we had written down for the day. It was always eye opening to see what the other person had recognized in that given day.
Sadly, I have not practiced the art of thankful writing in months. The last 'thankful' journal entry I have is dated back in March, when I was in London for an evening en route back to the States. My excuse for lack of thankfulness is that I always wrote my thanks and things learned and then shared it with "Bob."
Well, Bob's not around anymore. And although there have been several times I seriously considered sitting down to contemplate my day intentionally, I have not—out of Fear. What if I have another break down? Who will I share my thankfulness/things learned with? I have no one to read it to. I just can’t.
Bob is gone, folks. And that leaves you :)
Today I am thankful for:
1) HGTV. I grew up without cable. And I could care less about real estate. But for some reason HGTV calms me. It miraculously distracts me from my own meandering and often depressing thoughts. It makes me think of my dear friend A.P. in Fayetteville and all the times we watched International House Hunters over sleepytime tea or red wine.
2) A meeting with my mom's boss concerning a career change into non-profit development. It was actually quite helpful and encouraging. There is hope. . . I will not wait tables for the rest of my life. . . maybe.
3) 'Tour of Homes' with Coldwell Banker Gundaker. Am I a real estate agent? No, I am not. Do I ever wish to be? Absolutely not. But sometimes my dear mother likes to take me along on her real estate ventures and act as if we are a mother-daughter realator team. Today I enjoyed touring a 93 year old three-story home complete with pet odor (hair + urine) strong enough to make any grown man violently vomit and then faint. The tour of homes was entertaining, to say the least. Anything to float your boat, Mom :)
4) Coffee date with sister. Enough said.
5) Full 45 minute afternoon nap, completely void of howling siamese cat and 9 neighbor dogs barking incessantly at aboslutely nothing.
6) A splendidly cool/functional a/c in my car on days such as this 93 and humid St. Louis day.
7) Bike rides and blueberry ale.
8) A life-altering conversation with my big bro’ over Shakespeare’s pizza and Shock Top.
9) The opportunity to meet at least 15 new people every time I go into work at the Little Hills.
10) Wine bottling. Historic stone brewery. Donuts. Classic Rock. Free wine.
*Today I learned:
That I don’t have to freak out over going to my ultimate frisbee game because “he’s the one who taught me how to play.” I don’t have to pretend I never taught in Korea or traveled Southeast Asia “because I went with him and I just can’t talk about it.” I don’t have to quit being thankful “because that was our tradition.”
So here’s to ultimate.
And to traveling the world.
And to giving thanks.
And to everything else I’ve avoided for the last three months because it reminded me of him.
Here’s to living beyond the pain.
Here’s to living beyond the pain.