At The End Of The Day

If you’re anything like me, you’ve stepped into 2021 hoping for a better year. The year 2020 went out with a bang. Literally, for me: I hit myself in the head with a metal ladder, requiring a trip to Urgent Care, a single stitch, and a tetanus shot. No permanent damage, though. How did your 2020 end? And how’s 2021 going so far?

I could complain. First, my attempt to replace a beloved pair of shoes (that are falling apart from being worn practically everyday), by ordering three similar pairs online, resulted in having to return them to three separate venues a week later. So much for trying to stay home and stay safe.

I could complain. My elderly mother’s home aide came down with Covid-19, necessitating a test for my mother and a waiting game for me and my sisters who’ve been sharing in my mother’s care.

Again, I could complain. But, on a much larger and completely unrelated scale, a mob invaded the US Capitol, shaking us to our democratic core. The news media and social media sites report on every disturbing angle of that appalling attack. While it’s important to be well-informed, it’s draining and anxiety-inducing to obsess over every scrap of news.

I see an awful lot of people complaining on social media. I see people griping and clinging to the worst of it all. But focusing exclusively on the negative just bring us all down. It really doesn’t help anyone. I’m not suggesting we ignore it and pretend everything’s rosy. I’m suggesting that we shift our focus for the sake of our mental health and well-being.

This pandemic has impacted everyone. Violence and hateful rhetoric impact everyone. Anxiety and depression increase, the more isolated and crisis-focused we are. So I suggest, at the end of the day ā€” literally, at the end of each day ā€” that we take a moment to focus on the positive instead. Turn off the news. Log out of social media networks. Choose gratitude ā€” even if it’s only for the air you breathe or the blanket that covers you. Reflect on something positive that happened in your day. Maybe the sun shone. Or maybe you let someone into traffic in front of you today. Or maybe you had food to satisfy your hunger or you smiled at someone. At the end of the day, cling to what’s good. Practice gratitude. Take a deep breath and try to let go of the negative, the hate, the fear. In doing so, we make 2021 a better year. Are you with me?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 300

Today, I’m grateful for three hundred days of gratitude.

I started this Gratitude Spiral on Thanksgiving Day, 2019. It’s an accomplishment to still be posting daily doses of gratitude hundreds of days later. I’ve not only developed a habit of practicing gratitude, but have also practiced blogging daily. We’re entering the home stretch for this series of posts, but who knows what could be next. šŸ˜‰

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 5


Today Iā€™m grateful for the air I breathe. I take one long deep breath when I wake up in the morning and am thankful that the air is clear and that my lungs are full. Air. Definitely a blessing I take for granted.

You?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 4

Today, I’m grateful for this first day of December which, in my home, means a change of decorations is in order. Out with the autumn leaves and in with snowflakes and a Christmas tree! A little sparkle in the face of an impending nor’easter. šŸ™‚

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 3

Today, I’m grateful for my two good, healthy legs. Each morning, I slide out of bed (a sort of dismount from my unusually high mattress) and land on my feet. My legs carry me down a flight of stairs to breakfast. Then, I challenge them to a bit of stretching and a thirty-minute walk. What a blessing they are. šŸ™‚

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral

It’s Thanksgiving Day in the USA. While the stories of this holiday’s origin may be varied and even controversial, they all have one thing in common: people celebrating their good fortune by setting aside time for a communal giving of thanks. And that’s what counts.

Sometimes we forget to be thankful. We take what we have for granted. It’s easier, or perhaps just habit, to focus on what we’re missing, what we’re wanting, or what terrible hand we’ve been dealt. It’s a habit worth breaking. I remember a parish priest who used to encourage us to strive for “an attitude of gratitude”. (Thanks, Fr. Ron!) I think he was on to something.

In the Radiant Recovery community, founded by Dr. Kathleen DesMaison, where members deal with recovery from sugar addiction and depression, “joy dots” are a suggested practice. These “joy dots” are written down first thing in the morning before recording anything else in one’s food journal. These “dots” aren’t things we think we should be thankful for, but rather things that send little (or big!) sparks of joy into our day. Things that engender real, heart-felt gratitude. And many people report that doing this, incorporating this habit into their daily lives, changes them. Who wouldn’t want that kind of change?

But, like I said, sometimes we forget. I know I do. I want this new habit, this “attitude of gratitude”. Yet, I forget to look for the little joys. That’s why I’m going to practice, starting today, for a whole year (Yikes!) so it becomes habit.

I’m calling it my Gratitude Spiral. I thought about calling it a “Gratitude Circle”, but if you travel in a circle you end up back where you started. I want to come around to gratitude over and over again, but be moved forward or outward, like a spiral. I’m aiming for a new place. A more grateful and appreciative place. And I’d love some company.

If you’re with me, follow this blog so you can keep up. Visit regularly and post your own reflections of gratitude ā€” daily, weekly, monthly, or just every once in a while. I look forward to it. šŸ™‚

Today: I’m grateful for this first day of a new habit.

Cultivate positive emotions…

“So it makes sense that we should concentrate…on consciously cultivating heartfelt, positive emotions, such as gratitude, joy, excitement, enthusiasm, fascination, awe, inspiration, wonder, trust, appreciation, kindness, compassion, and empowerment, to give us every advantage in maximizing our health.”

Dr. Joe Dispenza, You Are the Placebo: making your mind matter