I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.
I remember a few years back gratitude journals were thee big self-help/spirituality fad. Oprah talked about it, even, and it became fairly mainstream.
I’ve been listening to a bunch of interviews with successful people (free content, here and here and here). And the feeling of gratitude is strong, especially in the woman-centered spiritual groups, but really, in most of them. Even in the Amos Winbush interview I referenced yesterday, part of his daily affirmation is “Thank you, LIFE!” and he used it even in his darkest times.
I’ve tried, in thee last few years, I’ve really tried to find things to be grateful for. There was a point, even, where I hand-wrote and sent “Thank you” cards to various people in my life in one of my darkest times.
R, who has been my friend since 6th grade, once sent me a postcard saying, “You suck for never writing to me!” because, well, in our whole friendship, I’ve probably written to her less than a handful of times, even when in the military or separated on summer vacations. When she got hers, she called me to make sure I was ok, since it was so unusual for me to actually mail something.
I tried keeping a gratitude journal, but I’m sporadic about journaling to begin with and it quickly went by the wayside.
This fall, there were a lot of people on Facebook and blogs and stuff doing “30 days of thankfulness” for the entire month of November. I just couldn’t come up with anything to write about.
I can always say that I’m grateful for my daughter, and for N for sticking by me even when I’m a totally selfish shit, and my imaginary intermaweb friends. . .
And that was it.
I couldn’t come up with anything else.
An indication of my depression, maybe?
Suddenly, today, I’m bursting with gratitude for the strangest things. . .
I hated my job at [small company]. I mean enough to make myself a nervous wreck and physically ill at times.
But that job helped me go from renting a room in a toxic person’s house to being in my own place again. It introduced me to the person I bought my car from, which was a very serendipitous event. It introduced me to the woman who helped me come up with a name and logo for my tutoring business. I managed to maintain a good relationship with the company and even got a glowing letter of recommendation from them (and how often does that happen these days?). They sometimes didn’t want to but still ended up being flexible around my school schedule.
And I still have a business relationship with them. It’s not much, but in the last 6 months, the small checks from them have really made a difference. It showed me how much the owner’s attitude and force of will can shape and set the tone for a company.
And it modeled for me some things I would never want to do if I owned my own company – and that, too, is a blessing.
I’m still so, so grateful to R and N for always being there even when I push everyone away.
Modern forms of communication. . . and even the ability to look up someone from long ago. I’m even grateful to J for looking me up last spring, because it was a huge push I needed to finally stop wallowing in a particular pile of shit and become open for what could happen next.
My imaginary intermaweb friends, who are always so encouraging and protective and helpful, delivering hugs and a kick in the ass as needed. You know, even the grumpy old uncle and the guy living in Pleasantville – as annoying as they can be – have their place in that community [the people who need to know, know]. 🙂 When I was completely unable to connect and communicate in the real world, you guys were there.
And now, my comfort level with electronic communication has me researching all kinds of crazy things.
No idea where it’s going to lead, but I’ve ignored my intuition for a long time, and maybe it’s time to stop doing that. So, I’m riding this thing out and taking copious notes.