Celebrating small things

Writing hasn’t come easily lately. I sit down at the computer, or with my notebook, and my mind drifts towards the hard stuff- the family’s work on the complications of my recently deceased uncle’s estate, my daughter’s upcoming surgery, my other daughter’s experience as a non- affiliated girl, surrounded by close friends who’ve all recently joined sororities,  my cousin and uncle who are both struggling with serious illness.  I don’t feel like writing about the sad, hard stuff.  But clearing my brain to focus on the rest is a challenge. Lately I’ve opted to turn off the computer or close the notebook and find something else to do.

That has got to stop.

Two years ago I kept a gratitude journal. I wrote in it nearly every day of 2014. Some days my gratitude was for the smallest, simplest of things- hot coffee, clean sheets, a text from a faraway friend. But the exercise of keeping it and writing something, even something small, every night before falling asleep, was a good one. I’d like to begin that practice again.

For now though, I am going to celebrate small things  from this last week for which I am grateful.

  • my high school senior proudly sharing the comment from her teacher on her English paper. 
  • two- yes, two- naps last weekend.
  • the sun that quickly melted ice and snow.
  • listening to a recording of Gwendolyn Brooks reading her poem “The Tiger Who Wore What Gloves or What You Are You Are” with third graders and discussing the poem with them.
  • time to catch up with colleagues outside of school last evening.
  • a powerful story with a helpful message shared with me this week.
  • writing time this morning.
  • making plans to run a 5K with a good friend and my daughter.
  • making plans to run that 5K in honor of an amazing woman.
  • finding time to reread A Year In Provence and letting my brain drift to the south of France for a few minutes each night before going to sleep.
  • a vase of Spring flowers on my bedside table.

10 thoughts on “Celebrating small things

  1. I was doing a list challenge in January but got a bit sidetracked. And last year, I had a book that was just for one thought a day. It was nice to record something but freeing to know it could be super simple. This morning, I had a specific goal for what I wanted to accomplish in my writing…but then I saw a tweet that inspired a blog post and I went with it. It felt good to loosen up my brain with that blog post and then I could get to the other writing I “had” to do. Julia Cameron talks about morning pages and writing three pages first thing every morning. I've never done it but I like that as a way to get started. Write where you are, what you see, what's around you, you know? Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Sometimes troubles seem to weigh us down and make it hard to find the celebration, but when we look closely at our lives there is always something to celebrate. Small celebrations allow us to see the richness of the lives we are living.

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  3. As a fellow nap lover, I'm celebrating your TWO naps! I'm not familiar with the Gwendolyn Brooks poem you mentioned and now you've piqued my curiosity. Joining celebrations every Saturday helps me stay alert to the good in my week.
    Blessings as you work on the tough stuff.

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  4. I love your list of things to be grateful for. I have started keeping a gratitude journal as part of my routine each morning. It really helps me to keep positive even when I don't feel particularly positive.

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  5. Sometimes when there is so much on our plates, it is hard to find the little things that are good, Lisa. I like your list, see that it can flourish with a new journal. Hugs to you for all that is happening in your life.

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  6. I have started a happiness journal because I feel like when times are tough, happiness needs to be noticed more than ever. Prayers for your troubles, though. Sometimes it helps to put them out there as well.

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