One of the traditions I began ages ago was a weekly thankfulness post. Even if it became a bit repetitive over time, it helped to center me each week. The trick is to keep a thankfulness post from becoming a boast.
I’m thankful I earned this prize and got these accolades and my kids accomplished this and my spouse’s salary doubled and…
There’s nothing wrong with being proud of accomplishments and grateful for good fortune, but what happens when the accomplishments and good fortune run out?
What about when you’re unjustly forced out of your job due to workplace intimidation, unethical practices, sexual harassment, and your boss using both sexism and personal reasons to create an environment impossible for you to function?
Should you stop being thankful?
Thankful for the boss, no. But still thankful.
Because when we stop being thankful, we forget how to live.
Through it all, I’ve been thankful for my puppy. Thankful for the little booger who whines, misbehaves, and drives me crazy. Thankful for the ridiculous energy and endless kisses and licks.
But what about when the puppy grows up and dies? What if she’s run over by a car, or–as really happened–is nearly killed at a young age?
My challenge has been to find thankfulness in all situations.
Because, for me, there is no alternative except to give up on life.
Deepak Chopra said:
Be happy for no reason, like a child. If you are happy for a reason, you’re in trouble, because that reason can be taken from you.
I was happy because I found the love of my life.
I was happy for a brand-new, ready-made family.
I was happy because I had a new job and a new living situation that seemed everything I’d ever wanted.
I was happy because I had a new puppy who calmed me with her love, kisses, and trust.
When it was all taken away in an instant, I lost my ability to live.
I wandered through minutes, hours, weeks, and months simply going from one motion to the next. I didn’t care what happened to me, and I didn’t care if I died or lived. I only wanted the misery to stop, and my only hope was for my puppy to live.
Now that she is back in my arms, I’m starting to find reasons and ways to rebuild my life.
What will come next?
I don’t know, but I’m sure writing will be part of it. So will my puppy.
Other than that, I’m waiting.
Celebrating the tiny victories.
Working toward my puppy’s next exam.
And finding reasons, even trivial ones (especially trivial ones), to be thankful.
To be happy.
- My bedding is clean
- Ladybug has nuzzled her nose in between her teddy and my thigh
- The daylight hours are getting longer
- It’s warm enough to turn off the heat
- A dear friend called yesterday
What are yours?