The hard part about gratitude is being grateful, truly thankful, for the stuff you don’t ask for, the times things aren’t going your way.
When I went to bed last night, I didn’t set an alarm for yoga, I intended to sleep in, such a loose term for moms, and let the kids be my alarm clock. Well, my husband’s alarm went off at 5:30 and I couldn’t fall back asleep. So here I am able to write down all the words that have been swirling in my head the last couple of days. Groggy and sleepy, I am so grateful. This is how I will get my writing in for the day, my passion fulfilled, by doing it when the rest of the family sleeps. How lucky am I?
Being grateful for the things we don’t ask for doesn’t come naturally to me. It’s something I have to practice. When the tire goes flat, the uncomfortable argument, the screaming child, the unexpeted bill to pay, being grateful doesn’t usually spring to mind. When bitterness, frustration, confusion, and sadness have given birth in a situation, what would happen if we were thankful for exactly the opposite of what we were hoping to happen? Thanks for the flat tire happening in a safe place off the side of the road, the argument that taught me how to set boundaries in the future, the child who was able to find words to express his anger, the cash present that had been saved for soemthing else.
Last night I was given the opportunity to sit at a restaurant table by myself for over a half an hour as I waited for two girlfriends. Instead of choosing to be pissed off and frustrated for waiting, I sipped the most delicious margarita and wrote in my tiny notebook I carry in my purse. The moment was perfect, although something I didn’t ask for. The sun shone down on me through the restaurant window, the salty lime flavor was summer in a glass on my lips, and the laughter coming from the other tables filled my ears with sweet music.
I was truly glad my girlfriends were late. I was given time alone to catch my breath from a day of care taking and reconnect with myself. I could unwind before winding up with my girlfriends. Before connecting with them I could enjoy the moment of anticiaption, awaiting the laughther, the sharing that would happen at my table and just taste the salted lime on my lips. Savoring the moment for what it was instead of calling it, waiting time, it was me time.
Instead of getting another hour and a half of sleep like I planned, I have had time to write, like I dream of, like I pray for. All is well. Life is good.
by J.G. McGlothern