Often, during the month of November, people embark on a month long journey toward gratitude. There are blog and instagram and daily facebook “today I’m grateful for” posts. What a wonderful way to celebrate life, right?
While I’m all on board for capturing the spirit of gratitude prior to Thanksgiving, what about real and true daily gratitude? How often do we remember to pause in the hustle and bustle of daily life to take a deep breath and really appreciate what we have? I feel like I’m a person that remembers to be grateful for the life that I’m allowed to live – but I don’t remember to appreciate it every day.
I’ve long struggled with bouts of depression in which I forget to be grateful for anything. My boyfriend told me that he overcame a period of depression in his own life when he started keeping a “grateful things” list. I scoffed a little at how simple the idea was. I didn’t spend 6+ years studying psychology and treating disorders such as depression because I believed it can all be fixed with a list. However, I’m starting to think he’s really on to something. Sure, a list won’t CURE or fix everything. But changing your thinking? Recognizing how lucky you are? Those are all helpful tools on the way to making your life fulfilled and happy.
There are so many small and wonderful things that we are allowed to experience by just being alive. Food, for one. TASTE BUDS ARE AMAZING, amiright?! Sex, for another. I’m unabashedly pleased that sex is in this world. The feel of a soft cotton throw, hugs from little kids are awesome. I mean, every single moment of life is made possible by a natural reflex that we are all born with. Breathing is something we all take for granted. I urge you to stop everything that you are doing, right now, just pause and take a deep breath. Relish, for a moment, the lift and fall of your chest, the sweet way the air fills your lungs, and how great it is to release that breath. Now tell me, isn’t that freaking awesome? We are alive because our bodies’ reflexes.
Okay, okay, I’ll calm down and stop being so over the top grateful. You get my point though, right? The goal is to share my Grateful Things List with y’all, and hopefully you’ll share with me as well.
I’ll start today with a very simple grateful thing: I’m beyond happy to wake up each and every day. I’ve just completed my second bout of chemo for ovarian cancer and I never forget to be grateful that we caught my cancer so soon and that there were treatment options available to me. Life itself is pretty fucking cool.