As I continue to manage my personal experiences during this current pandemic situation, I realize I have been marking time by what toiletry I needed to replace. This week feels like number 457 as toothpaste and body wash mark off another one. I felt like I had reached a wall this week, when I was lying in bed and at 7:00am the cacophony of birds chattering outside my window began to irritate me. I was thinking “don’t you know I am trying to sleep in?…I can…and I need it”. And it didn’t stop there. I had work demands looming and people counting on me to come through. I just wanted it all to go away.
I decided to stop a moment, take a breath and listen to some of my own advice. While it is difficult not to focus on what is going wrong or is inconvenient these days; I realized I hadn’t been focusing on what was going right. Slowing down, I was able to notice I was still able to work, when so many are not. I have a stable home life and can talk to my grown children more now because they are at home and available. I forgot about being grateful.
Gratitude is something that we often take for granted. We expect these constants in our life to be…..well …..constant, and don’t notice the importance they have or how impactful it would be if they were not there. People often say it’s ”the little things that matter most” and I think they are on to something. Look at it like it’s a numbers game. For every 1 irritating thing we are aware of, if we can notice 2 things we are grateful for, perhaps that will balance out our feelings and leave us in a healthy space.
I challenge you to complete the list below of things you are grateful for. You can start with the short list which can quickly identify the “big ticket” items like family, friends, etc. Don’t spend too much time here as these will be the more obvious ones. Then move on to the long list; identifying each with a letter of the alphabet. Keep this list handy for when you need to remind yourself of all that remains constant for you despite all the things you cannot control.
In my list I now have something for W as the bird that was singing their heart out at 7:00am was a Wren. They didn’t care about a pandemic, they were excited to be alive and tell all their friends about the 6 bird feeders they had found outside my house. Sing on little bird……