I started a personal experiment a year or so ago to try to live in thankfulness.

I know. It’s a big buzz word that everyone throws around. But I really mean it. The purpose is to learn to love and appreciate what is, rather than yearn for what isn’t.

That’s harder than it seems. I came to this decision after being crippled with loss and anxiety. Without being too melodramatic, I really wanted to wish away every day, to get it over with, than have to live through each one. I wasn’t sure I could.

Weeks and months flew by, and then a year or two of mere existence, and little joy.

I’m not sure what exactly it was that turned my thoughts around. There were a few key moments in that time frame, both good and bad.  A loved one in the depths of depression got better. But then my mother died. And I turned 50.

Was it one, or all of those things? I’m not sure. But I do know I was so entrenched in surviving I really had forgotten how to live.

I remember how my dad would gather us around the table during family dinners and make each person say something they felt thankful for. I dreaded it. And wanted to say I’d be thankful if we never did that again.

But everything mellows. Today, I’m thankful I had my dad as long as I did and I’d give anything to sit through one of those meals.

As my experiment progressed, I found I was praying more. Not church-type praying. But ongoing conversations throughout the day, like with a friend. And I began to take time to notice things again.

Like the silent beauty of a falling fall leaf.  The mammoth trees that line my yard.  My daughter’s radiant smile.

I’m learning to appreciate quality of life one small, comforting moment at a time. And be thankful for it. Because it’s my moment.

So, basically, I’m just thankful. For my life. My family. That I lost 6 pounds. And for you, too, out in the blogosphere. What are you thankful for?


About Michele

I am a freelance writer with three kids, two cats, and a dog with thyroid disease. I'm bouncing back from a divorce and making the most of every day. There is so much beauty around me. I am grateful!
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3 Responses to FIGURING it out

  1. mmm61 says:

    Thanks, Michele, for making me stop and think about gratitude. I don’t spend nearly enough time in the moment, let alone in gratitude for the life I have.

    For a moment earlier today though, I could think clearly about my husband and feel so grateful for who he is. I have enormous respect for the way he chooses to live his life, for the work he does, for how he fathers our children, and for the good he sees in people. I don’t appreciate that often enough. I am also grateful for the work I have been doing lately. It’s engaging, challenging, fun, flexible and lucrative – what else could I ask for? And, of course, I don’t stand back often enough and thank the universe for my children. They are healthy and happy and, on the whole, we are a close family. So, I have a lot to be grateful for – and I should make a practice of being thankful each day.

  2. mmm61 says:

    Oops – forgot to check that box to see follow-up comments

  3. Michele says:

    What a great reply, mmm61. Thank you!

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