And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been – Rainer Maria Rilke
There are always flowers for those who want to see them ~ Henri Matisse
Given that I grew up in the ‘70’s and was a teenager of the ‘80’s, Queen’s hit song “Another One Bites the Dust” has been the “Auld Lang Syne” of my New Year’s Eves for some time.
I realize Queen’s song is about murder on the streets, yet, somehow I feel like I’ve often destroyed the 365 days of the departing year.
It’s difficult for me to not emotionally self-flagellate over failed goals. These fanciful goals have included maintaining a gluten-free, organic, unprocessed diet…sustaining the perfect fitness plan for my specific physical brokenness…preserving the organization of work spaces as they were when there was no work happening.
I could go on about all the failed New Year’s resolutions – but that’s not fruitful and only perseverates the flogging.
Instead, I’ll share what I have done well. Something I didn’t set as a New Year’s goal but something I have been intentionally working on for several years – gratitude.
What’s is amazing in the here and now? What do I have to be grateful for today? Instead of picking apart what I’m not doing well and nit-picking myself into a deep blue funk, why don’t I pause and recognize what I am conquering and the successes I have had?
Many days a victory for me is merely not letting my tongue split in half and jet evil venom on my family if the door is locked as I try to come in with arms full of bags from work, the grocery, the dry cleaners.
That’s a little thing, but trust me, I’ve hissed and squealed over that door and I've appeared as the disrespectful adolescent heading to the principal’s office. I’m fairly quick to observe my own behavior nowadays. So, after a couple of ‘door incidents,’ I knew I had to approach entering our home differently.
I went back to gratitude. What am I grateful for as I approach our home? I’m grateful to actually have a home.
I’m grateful that when The Engineer and I got married, we both owned homes.
I’m grateful we have a solid brick home with such strong materials that they aren’t even available anymore.
I’m grateful only one family before us – the family, who built the home in 1947, loved our home.
I am grateful the doors lock.
I am grateful not only for all the furnishings inside our home, but for the hearts and minds awaiting me…not to mention a wagging tail and jumping short furry legs.
When I begin to break down my initial gratitude for our home, it helps me see how blessed and fortunate I truly am. And the ugly words and negative attitude that were quick to appear, disintegrate in the presence of gratitude.
How can you begin this journey of gratitude? You could reflect on the previous year by recalling the times and/or things which brought you and loved ones smiles and laughter.
Or do a calendar review and pick one awesome thing from each month. Even in a really bad month, there was surely a delicious meal or a surprise find. If you can’t recall what happened in your life in February 2014, perhaps that’s something you should be intentional with in 2015…writing down amazing days on your calendar that may note small victories, large celebrations and perhaps even daily gratitudes.
When we focus on what is going well – what we love and appreciate about our lives – the little inconveniences, well, they will remain small.
I’m curious what shift we would see and feel in our world if even half of us focused on gratitude and goodness.
Would you like to join me with the intention of giving, granting and gathering gratitude and goodness in your own life and the lives of your loved ones? That intention could make 2015 an amazing year for everyone in your life.
Happy New Year!
Believe. Create. Live.
© 2014 Rebecca G. Townsend