365 Grateful: Preface

Awhile back…

No, scratch that. More and more often in recent days I’ve seen links to projects like “100 Happy Days” and “365 Grateful” on social media sites and blogs alike.

Although I have a near pathological tendency to revile bandwagons and sprint in the opposite direction when too many people like something at once, I couldn’t bring myself to hate this trend.

It was beautiful because it was so pervasive but still so rare. It was amazing because it was so positive that it benefitted everyone involved. It hurt no one, but had a staggering potential to help everyone. Even at it’s poorest most base execution, it still shimmered.

Sure, if I looked hard enough, I could probably poke holes in it, but what was the point in that? Who could be curmudgeon enough to tear off a butterfly’s wings or retch on a sunset?

If you’ve clicked neither link, I’ll summarize: in both cases, participants are encouraged to, via one form or outlet or another, memorialize things for which they’re grateful/things that make them happy/things they find beautiful for a set number of days.

The result is an altered perspective and a heightened appreciation for life and all it’s blessings.

It really hit home a few days ago on my taxi ride back from chemo.

Comparatively, this was an easy one, but it left me tired and as I leaned my head against the cool of the car door a blossom of color caught my eye. As we sped back toward home, there was a little flower garden radiating a petaled rainbow of yellows and purples so verdantly and with such off-season splendor that it’s very existence seemed to hold up the mailbox sprouting from it.

mailboxI’d likely passed it numerous times before as it was on my walking route, but that day it was as though I saw it for the first time…and my Lord was it ever gorgeous.

There’s stuff like that all the time, of course– sometimes something visual, sometimes a fleeting moment that is all the more precious for it’s ephemeral nature. Sometimes something that brings a smile in the hard times or a tear in the good times or a laugh that just warms you from the very base of your spirit.

Everyday we are surrounded by these moments and taking that moment, that split second to recognize how good life is just might be that elusive key to happiness.

It’s so easy to live for survival or live to get by or get through. Easy to feel sorry for ourselves or to focus on this or that, him or her, tomorrow or weeks from now, what might or might not be…

All that stuff is toxic. Gratitude is lifegiving.

So to hell with the “I hate bandwagoning.” Sometimes something is just too good to not get on board. Starting on the first of 2014 and ending (or maybe going in for round 2, who knows?!) on the first of 2015, I will be participating in 365 Grateful/Happy.

~all the love~

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