Saturday, October 4, 2014

Taking my Gratitude to the Next Level

I'm grateful that mom left a story for me to tell.
I mentioned in a previous post that I began to share a gratitude list every morning on my private Facebook page. I started this practice about three months before mom died. In the beginning, I felt very self-conscious about expressing appreciation for what I had, although now that self-consciousness seems ludicrous.

I was late posting my gratitude a few days. Some days I was up before the rooster crowed, pondering how I could turn things around in my head to show that I was looking at a brighter side. Believe me, some days I really worked hard at this list. I skipped the list for at least five separate days, because I just couldn't shake my funk enough to see the light.

I don't know why I stuck to five items daily. Perhaps that fifth (or fourth, or even third) item on the list really takes some genuine reflection and change of attitude on my part. By the time I'm through with each morning's list, I often gain a tremendous amount of insight into my feelings and motives.

A few of my friends are in the habit of offering up a gratitude list on a daily basis. What I love about these lists is that I get to know that friend just a little bit better because of what she (yes -- usually a she) is going through. A number of friends, even those who don't post a gratitude list, have approached me to tell me how much my lists mean to them. Mostly, they can relate to a lot of things I went through during my time as a caregiver to mom.

I continue to post those lists on a daily basis, and the focus now is more on the aftermath. I can't seem to get my head wrapped around the lists these days, and I think I've reached a threshold. I think I know the cause behind my lackadaisical attitude...I've become less grateful. The habit is now just a habit, and I need to challenge my perspective. As a result, I want to take my list to a new level.

Starting tomorrow, I'll be posting my daily gratitude lists to my Cancer, Caregiving, and Contentious Love public Facebook page. I think this is the right thing to do, because I'm feeling very self-conscious about the move. I realize that many new readers may not know my entire story, and that's another prompt for me to become more aware of my motives and my explanations.

Maybe, after a few weeks, I'll begin to see my new self-consciousness as ludicrous. And, I hope that my habit will help someone else. I would be most grateful if you'd let me know.