There have been a lot of blogs and videos popping up lately about being grateful and expressing gratitude. Especially as it relates to people who have overcome tragedy or experienced a loss that has shaken their ability to be happy and feel happiness. I came across one last week that made me think deeply about what it means to be grateful and how I could maybe start to play with that idea in order to try to keep moving forward through what have been some rollercoaster times the last while. With the Winter Solstice just passed I have been searching for a way to celebrate the new start that it brings within me and the chance to begin something that will grow over the next year.
Grateful has always been a word that I have had a hard time embracing. My personal take on the word is that it insinuates that you are grateful, or thankful, to someone or something. Whether that is a spiritual belief in god or more vaguely, the universe, it leans towards giving thanks in a specific direction. Just never really found a place in me that the concept resonated with me in a way that I felt it should. Yet at the same time, I see and understand the concept and wanted to find a way to make it mean something to me as I start this new year.
Living with grief and finding happiness with grief and loss as a part of day to day life is rough. Some days it’s harder than others to find something that makes me smile. There are days that it feels like all I’m doing is just putting one foot in front of the other, and that isn’t how I want to live. That isn’t what I want for the rest of my life. There are other days though that are filled with joy and smiles and being happy that I’m here to live that day and have those moments. Those days are happening more and more. What’s also there is that even on the hard days, I am starting to be able to see the little things within those days that give me even a little something the be glad that I’m there to experience.
So the new year has started for me and with it, the chance to be aware. To purposely look for, and record, the happy in every day. Even on, especially on, those days that don’t seem to have any. A project for myself more than anything else. A picture every day to show myself that not only have I acknowledged that moment but that when I think there aren’t things to smile about I can look back and see that indeed there are.
Sometimes it’s hours lived loudly and fully and being so full of life that I want to scream. Sometimes it’s merely a little smile at the pretty sunset as I walk home quietly along the oceanfront. It doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small, just that it’s there, and it is.