Join me in this 10-minute Exercise in Cultivating Gratitude in the New Year.
For the last few weeks, I have spent some serious time reflecting on the year past and considering all that I have to be grateful for. Then a few days ago, I stopped over at The Ten Thousand Hour Mama to read Catherine’s latest post, and learned that she was taking part a LinkUp for bloggers hosted by Tales from the Motherland focusing on Gratitude. I had to jump in.
The rules are pretty simple:
If you’d like to join in, here’s how it works: set a timer for 10 minutes; timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list (the timer doesn’t matter for filling in the instructions, intro, etc). The goal is to write 50 things that made you happy in 2015, or 50 thing that you feel grateful for. The idea is to not think too hard; write what comes to mind in the time allotted. When the timer’s done, stop writing. If you haven’t written 50 things, that’s ok. If you have more than 50 things and still have time, keep writing; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful! When I finished my list, I took a few extra minutes to add links and photos.
So here – in the order they flowed out of my brain – are some of the many things that I am grateful for or made me happy in 2015:
- My sweetheart, Mr B, who is my best friend ever (and wicked sexy to boot).
- My family and extended family – kids, grands, nephews, nieces, siblings, in-laws, out-laws, and parents all.
- Clean water to drink.
- Clean air to breathe.
- Legs that are strong enough to carry me on adventures.
- The green, amazing, infinite beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
- Hiking trails, and the people who worked so hard to create and maintain them.
- Our dog, Patches, who gives Em companionship and comfort.
- Our chickens, who don’t lay very many eggs but are very entertaining to watch.
- The ability and confidence to make art.
- The nights that Mr. B and I spend singing and playing music together.
- The scent of a horse’s neck.
- Riding the Timothy Lake trail in the crisp fall air.
- Mr. B and I are both healthy and capable of working.
- Fresh bread.
- Sharing my story about Doernbecher, and doing some good in the process.
- Everything that my sweet grandson Jude and his mommy taught me.
- That one fleeting moment when I felt his little head still warm in my hand.
- Modern air travel and the ability to buy a plane ticket while riding in a car and racing to the airport.
- Compassionate medical professionals who allow their hearts to break along with ours, no matter how many times they have seen it happen before.
- The wisdom to know that while prayer does not always heal bodies, it can always heal hearts, if we let it.
- Faithful friends who love me through it all.
- Daddy’s life lessons.
- How close we live to the ocean.
- My teaching license.
- Bathroom products that make life easier: specifically, toothbrushes, toilet paper and feminine hygiene products.
- Art supplies in abundance, and my new art desk.
- 132 Prisma Colored Pencils.
- Our camping trip in the Columbia Gorge.
- Our vacation in Hawaii. Every blessed moment of it!
- The chance to go kayaking in both Hawaii and Oregon this year.
- The little dancing hula girl on my work desk.
- Fresh pineapple.
- People who are willing to put in the hard work it takes to make a living farming the land.
- Fresh, organic fruit and vegetables.
- The abundance of farmer’s markets in our area.
- Everything about this picture:
- Our daughter at U of O, who is thriving and loving her college experience.
- Our new son-in-law, Mason, and how crazy in love he is with our daughter Grace.
- All those years I spent as a Girl Scout leader, and the chance to watch all my girls grow up into amazing young women.
- Waking up and seeing our cat, Tarzan, curled around Mr. B’s head and not mine.
- Long, lazy summer evenings lounging in the backyard.
- The blessings of being born with a cup-overflowing mindset.
- My mom’s little dog, Teddy, because he makes her so happy.
- The lady who gives my mother a manicure and haircut every couple of weeks.
- The smell of rain hitting the ground after a long dry summer. (Which, I recently learned, has a name: petrichor.)
- A warm, dry home.
- A refrigerator that works.
I’ll admit, I had to really rush through those last few entries to make it in under the 10-minute wire, but I ended up with one to spare! (How I got through 50 items before I mentioned “books,” I’ll never know!) In the interest of complete transparency though, I should note that while my core list was completed within the 10-minute limit, I did take some time afterwards smooth out the bumpy spots a bit and add a few links and pictures. That’s not cheating, right?
Everything from common sense to respected research tells us that cultivating gratitude is good for us, body and soul. Moreover, it just seems like a good thing to do. Whether you are a blogger or simply a reader of blogs, I encourage you to join me. The time limit forces your brain to stop editing every response, so you may even discover a few things about yourself along the way.
If you happen to be a blogger and you’d like to take part in the LinkUp, you can find the links you need at Tales from the Motherland. Here’s the nutshell version:
To join us for this project: 1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste the instructions from this post, into yours) 2) Click on the blue frog at the very bottom of the post. 3) That will take you to another window, where you can past the URL to your post. 4)Follow the prompts, and your post will be added to the Blog Party List. Please note: the InLinkz will expire on January 15, 2015. After that date, no blogs can be added.
If you’d like to check out more Gratitude posts, go here.