Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday night grateful moment

This week I'm going to do something a little different (but still grateful, of course!). I follow a lovely blog, Gyspy Mama, where every Friday there is a writing prompt--one word--and you're supposed to sit down and freewrite for 5 minutes, and that's your post for the day. You link back to her, go and visit another blog or two, comment, etc.--the usual blog drill. I've seen this for many weeks and always thought of participating, but then last night I saw that the prompt this week is a word I love: Grateful. And well, that just sort of seemed like the tipping point, no?

So here goes. Not so much in list form...


I never gave much thought to gratitude, in my 20s and early 30s. I just had what I had, was pretty consistently happy, lived my life. When I look back now, I see a certain smugness to my thinking, a bit of a bubble-life, pretty narrow, allowing the good circumstances of my life (more or less) to dictate my mood. But, I suppose that's the whole thing with looking back... you get to see how you've grown, but you (I) might blush a bit at some of the immaturity and naivete of the way-back-when.

But then my bubble DID indeed burst when my first marriage ended. In some ways I felt like I woke up from a really long afternoon nap in the sun, and everything I thought was real wasn't anymore. Oddly, there was one aspect of the whole split I didn't mind. I liked the wide-awake-holy-cow-the-future-is-my-own-making feeling. Which is not to say I was somehow repressed or held back, I had just been functioning as part of a couple for so long, it was a jolt not to need to think that way.

So to the grateful: Even in the midst of the jolt/kick in the stomach/bubble bursting time, I was somehow usually able to see the good in the situation, and for the first time I identified that as gratitude. On particularly emotionally bleak days I would make myself a list and post it by my desk, identifying what I was grateful for at that time... the original Friday Night Grateful Moment, if you will. The list looked a lot like it looks these days--family, friends, health, food, Seth, something about the seasons/weather, color, words. But seeing it tacked up there on my bulletin board, it really pulled me through some rough patches, and reminded me where my mind needed to be: on what I have, not what I don't.

That discipline served me really well then, and it still serves me well, many years later with more love in my life than I know what to do with. I am so grateful to be able to put husband on the list every week, for I am truly grateful for the blessing of love he's shown to me in our 7+ years together. I never doubted it would be possible again, I just didn't realize it would be this good.

OK, so that's five minutes and I just feel like I've gotten started... Hmmm. This topic is obviously one that's close to my heart, as I focus on gratitude at least once weekly here on the blog. And it's a topic that I have been meaning to write more about as my blog has grown beyond specifically family and friends who know my story (oh, how they know my story!). Hearing others' stories can encourage, uplift, help us understand each other better and feel known. So, I promise to return to this topic again, sooner rather than later.

But for now, just know I'm grateful. As ever. For everything this life holds: the good, the challenging, the downright horrible. Mucking around in the ugliness of this world really does help one to appreciate the beauty of love and acceptance and peace. For me, the peace/love/acceptance is a window into God's love for me, daily. I would say, a decade later, that is easily what I'm most grateful for.

Happy, peaceful weekend to you. I'm off to read what others wrote about the word Grateful... (Holy cow, there are 75 people over there already linked up. Wait, no, I just refreshed... I'm 131. Gulp.)


  1. Welcome to Five Minute Friday! It is a blessing to have a husband on your gratitude list. Thank you for visiting my blog.

  2. I can see that you jumped all over this "Five Minute Friday" with the word Grateful. To me you have become a shining example of a grateful person.

    To be grateful is a very winsome quality... and in the wake of it comes a multitude of more things that make you even more grateful. What a pleasant snowball effect.

  3. I *love* this post so much. And I agree with Sherwin- when I think of gratitude, I often think of you and your Friday evening posts! What a wonderful way you have incorporated it into your life for such a long time, and I love how you continue to find new ways of thinking about it.


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