Gratitude 2.0

I failed. Last year, actually just under a year ago, I set myself on a 30 day gratitude challenge: write one thing every single day for thirty days straight about something for which I was grateful. I was excited about it, and thought that it would be a great idea. Alas, all I did was write one line on the first day of the challenge and then left it alone. I can’t recall why though.. I couldn’t have been that busy back then.

So, I want to try it again. Yet this time, I wish to focus on the most mundane. I can easily write about being grateful for family, and friends, and experiences, but I’d like to focus on what we truly take for granted and from which we can derive simple joys –just one good thing that happened in my day or that I found a moment of pleasure and happiness in. I also want to make this more meaningful than just checking this task off from my daily list. Rather, I would put thought and effort into this and write at least a short paragraph to give it more meditative qualities.

Thank you.

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The Book

I started re-reading Eat, Pray, Love.

As I saw the book cover on the grey and black screen of my Kindle, I knew I had to read it again. Feel free to make fun of me following the footsteps of a thirty-six year old, post-divorce woman, but that book is a sort of a spiritual guide for me. Scratch that.. it’s a guide to self.

I first read the book in the summer of 2010 –my summer of change (I just threw up a little bit in my mouth typing that). I bought it originally for my mom on Mother’s Day, and she put it aside until she was in the mood for reading.. she always does that. So a couple of months later, in the middle of summer, I needed something to read and the book lay there basking in the glow of afternoon sun in mid-July. I stared at it and it taunted me back.. “this is totally a ‘women’s book”‘. but you know you wanna read.”

When I first picked it up, impeccably new yet covered with a fuzzy layer of dust, I had no idea that this book would actually change many things about me. Prior to that summer and the couple of years that ensued, I was an entirely different person. I was bitter, cynical, and very much disconnected from myself.. and it drove happiness away from me.

I don’t know how to explain the process of change –it was partly instantaneous and partly long. But at the core of it was figuring out who you are; find yourself and find happiness. And for a long time I did. I did things that made me happy and made me feel so in-tuned with myself –mind, body, and soul. There is just no other way to describe it. It’s when everything aligns and everything fits. It’s a hard balance to keep, but it’s not impossible.

The book was brought to me yet again in a time of need, or at least that’s the way I see it. I have been feeling less myself lately, and it has to do with many aspects of my life –job, living situation, mental state, fitness. And my question is if it’s all because of my relationship. I am fully aware that I am the type of person who gives his all in relationships.. I’ve done it once before and it didn’t work. I give so much of myself to make the other person happy, but that’s not what I get in return. I told myself that it would be different this time, but now I find that it wasn’t. At this moment, many parts of my life are not originally mine.. which leads me to another set of questions: am I living in somebody else’s life? And I wonder if I can find that balance again, the balance that the book helped me seek and achieve. Can I find it while I am with another person? Or do I need to find it individually? Whatever the case may be, I need to love myself first, and put my own happiness at a priority –maybe then I’ll figure it out.

Quick Thought, #7

What I crave the most these days is driving fast.. No lights, no stop signs, no pedestrians.

With the wind blowing across my face, my hair wild, and fresh air filling lungs.

Those drives where that just keep going for a while, and a  song comes on that is so perfect for the moment –it strikes a chord so deep in you and you feel like yourself in this one moment in time.

Unequivocally, unapologetically, undeniably you.

Quick Thought, #6

You told me who I should be and what I should do.

And I zoned out of the nonsense, and all I saw was my best friend and I driving through the red, orange, and yellow desert, with bright blue sky above, and dust billowing behind us.

Escaping from my thoughts and seeking freedom and adventure.