Being Thankful (Mindful) Every Day

I put a post up today on my other blog, Bike Style Spokane, about the things I’m thankful for that biking has given me. Three years ago when I started this blog I wrote a Thanksgiving Day post that still rings true for me in many ways: Thanksgiving Is an Act, Not a Menu.

Both posts reflect my deeper philosophical stance, which can really be summed up in two words: Pay Attention.

Now, as my darling Eldest Daughter and Second Daughter will attest, I don’t always do this. I get head-down into my screen (where I am right now as I write this), caught in the frenzied tab dance I wrote about recently. I keep typing, my mind on the thought I’m trying to complete, even as I try to process the information from Second Daughter about rehearsals for her upcoming star turn as the lead in “Legally Blonde: The Musical” (Dec. 1-2-3 and 8-9-10 at Lewis & Clark High School. Go. Best $10 you’ll spend for entertainment all year. And I’ll sell you some delicious Roast House Coffee at intermission, too.)

My mind works much like the paragraph above: with a main thought but a lot of parenthetical asides running in parallel. I used to credit this to processing power and figure that I had plenty of capacity to manage all these pieces and parts.

I now think part of it is Internet-induced ADD, to be honest, along with a lifelong habit of taking on just a bit too much so I feel as if I have to keep spinning all the plates at once, instead of taking a couple of them off the sticks and setting them gently, gently, on a side table.

Nonetheless, I find the deepest, richest moments come when I simply pay attention. And when I do that, I am thankful, every time, for the many simple gifts in my life.

A partial list so I can be conscious in this moment of the things for which I am truly, deeply thankful:
  • My once-in-a-lifetime and forever love, Eric
  • The two amazing young women I am fortunate enough to call my daughters, who astound me all over again on a regular basis with their talent, intelligence, charm, beauty, insights, and sarcastic wit
  • Having two sweet, well-behaved stepchildren who cheerfully accept the strange schedule we have and settle in happily in our family routine, giving our lives a different shape (and a lot of movie-watching and board games) every other weekend and half the summer
  • Being safe, warm, and fed in a world where too many people cannot say that
  • Having been raised by a loving mother and father who gave me a solid sense of values that I find shaping my actions and priorities every day and a specific understanding of the privileges I have been given and the responsibility to give back to my community—to pay it forward
  • Being strong, healthy, and active—again, I’m conscious that not everyone can say this and that I’m incredibly lucky
  • Abilities and interests that match up well with a good job that I’m able to keep even in this tough economy
  • Wonderful, funny, caring friends with whom we can sit around our dining room table or theirs, drink good wine, and laugh ourselves silly
  • The luxury of time in which to reflect on these and other gifts

I’m paying attention. I’m lucky. I’m thankful.

1 comment :

  1. This is a great reminder to be present, or as Swil Kanim says "give the gift of your presence".

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