Gratitude: Discovering the Small Joys in Life

Wednesday I wrote about feeling grateful in the face of a challenge. Readers left wonderful comments with examples of gratitude they felt as a result of a challenge. It was very inspiring to read. Thank you to all who shared.

The best marshmallow roasting stick ever. It's coming home with us.

What about when there is no great challenge? How is it possible that gratitude can be elusive in the good times in life? Slowing down in order to evaluate blessings is necessary. Everyone has frustrating situations daily. Traffic, a child misbehaving, a slow line at the grocery, a boss yelling, an argument with a spouse, someone letting us down, to name just a few. Why is it easier to focus on a bad day at work and not on the positive events during the day? Why do negative events have a residual effect, but not positive?

Each night at dinner or at bedtime, without fail, I ask my children to tell me about their favorite part of the day. This routine brings about a dialog of gratitude and I get an opportunity to learn about their day. This moment of connectedness with the kids is one of my favorite routines. I have an opportunity to  experience Princess Daisy and Monkey being positive and sharing stories from their day.

As I wrote on Wednesday, the challenge I face with the divorce has been so consuming that at times gratitude has slipped away. This week I have been able to tuck away my challenges and just rest. All the divorce issues are waiting for me when I return home, but for this week, I had a break.

This break has been good for me to rest and recharge. I return to divorce issues and another mediation session in one week. But having rediscovered gratitude on this trip, I know next week will not be difficult. Finding the small blessings in life bring about peace and joy.

Here’s what I am grateful for this week:

  1. Listening to the rustling of leaves on mature trees.
  2. Enjoying a contant breeze.
  3. Watching my son swimming in the lake with no fear of the water.
  4. Seeing the pride on my daughter’s face as she reached the top of a climbing wall.
  5. Sitting in an Adirondak chair, enjoying the lake view and breeze.
  6. Low humidity, cool temperatures.
  7. Swimming in the lake.
  8. Perfect running weather.
  9. Relaxing each day.
  10. Reading a great book.
  11. Learning and becoming addicted to Rummikub.
  12. Sleeping well.
  13. Laughing more.
  14. Meeting wonderful people.
  15. Seeing my children happy.
  16. Enjoying time with AC.
  17. Eating dinner on the patio nightly.
  18. Exploring a state park.
  19. Watching the kids play in the falls at the state park.
  20. Having a beautiful lake in the backyard.
  21. Frisbee with the kids.
  22. Watching chipmunks scurry around the patio each morning.
  23. Eating well.
  24. Finding the perfect marshmallow-roasting stick.
  25. Eating S’mores.

For the Song of the Week this week I chose something based upon gratitude: Cheryl Crow’s “Soak up the Sun.”

My favorite line in the song:

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