Today I am grateful. Are you grateful? Do you write in a gratitude journal? I stopped writing in a gratitude journal. Not because I’m not grateful. Not because I still complain. A lot. Just because I get tired of writing the same thing in my gratitude journal. Over and over again. I have to break out of the mold and get jiggy with a new kind of gratitude appreciation system.
And rather than just write it in a private personal journal; one that maybe has a fancy cover with birds or stars or some oriental print from the 18th century (Hokusai?), I’ll write it here. On this computer. This big lumbering electronic thing with a giant monitor. Not exactly plants and stars and sunsets. But who cares? I want this gratitude stuff to get deep into my bones and my pores and my soul.
Does anyone even know what their soul is? Just asking. We throw these words around, “spirit,” “soul,” “higher power,” “god” and maybe we don’t even know what many of them mean.
No disrespect. There’s enough of that going around lately. I respect anyone’s right and desire to believe in what they want—as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone and they don’t force their beliefs or frozen yogurt flavors on me. Just because you like mocha swirl doesn’t mean I have to. We’re all in this giant frozen yogurt shop together. Let’s all get along and enjoy the plethora of flavors we’re presented with. We can even sample them all and find out which one we want to spend our lives worshipping or enjoying or whatever we do with frozen yogurt metaphorical spiritual flavors. (Huh?)
But as for gratitude. I simply need to get this gratitude stuff deep into my daily routine, and not even a “routine,” but a practice, and not even a “practice,” that sounds dull and conforming.
It sounds like a chore.
I just simply want to walk around and spend more of these precious minutes I have on this planet in a deep state of appreciation.
Maybe “appreciation” is a better word than “gratitude.”
It’s really about appreciating these precious holy minutes.
As they rush by.
We, or rather “I,” maybe not you (or maybe it’s you as well) spend a helluva lot of time pontificating and planning and visualizing and scheming and wishing and hoping and dreaming about a future state in which things are just that much “better” in our lives.
It’s ingrained in our souls. “What do you want to be when you grow up, Johnny,” the 3rd grade teacher asks Johnny. (Sub you own name here.)
And you’re damn near not even 10 years old yet and you have to start answering for a future so far away you can’t even spell it.
“Uh…” Johnny mumbles. “I don’t know…an astronaut….”
Not many people grow up to be astronauts. It sounds romantic. Travel through space in a tiny soda can filled with food you have to eat like toothpaste. But in actuality, not many of us want to be shoved together into a little metal can and thrust into space without even a WIFI connection for our cellphones that we probably can’t even use.
I’m not knocking space. Or astronauts. Or even food that comes out of a toothpaste container. (That would probably be really cool. Eating a cheeseburger like eating toothpaste. All the mustard and onions and ketchup all mixed together in a cheeseburger swirl and you just squirt it into your mouth…)
I’m just saying we are indoctrinated into planning a future that never really appears. And I’m certainly not saying planning, dreaming, scheming, visualizing isn’t important.
You have to have some goals. Or do you?
How about those people who simply fall into a new life and they’re as shocked as we are when it happens?
I was listening to an interview with Boy George and he talked about how he, yes, dreamed about being a musician or performer when he was a kid, but, no, he didn’t really think it would ever happen—and then, it just happened.
(And yes, I know, he worked at it and blah blah blah. I just mean there’s that element of chance, that “X” factor, that magic ingredient we can’t just manufacture. It comes from somewhere else. We just have to be open and willing for it to take hold of our lives and roll us forward into a future that might be a lot more perfect than we could ever plan.)
There are probably a ton of instances in people’s lives where they just magically fall (or stumble) into a new life—one they were destined for; one that fits them perfectly.
We don’t wake up and plan our heartbeats or our brain signals or our autonomic nervous system functions. But they still happen…on their own.
So maybe sometimes we need to just be grateful and appreciate what’s right in front of our noses. I mean REALLY appreciate.
And maybe the future will take care of itself.
But maybe not. So I still will secretly write down my goals and plans in a notebook with a fancy cover.
Maybe one with a spaceship in deep blue black space…