It’s so often the “little” things that make my day and dictate my mood. Many of them are things that bring such joy and fulfillment to my life when I take the time to notice and appreciate them.
My day today was filled with many of these little blessings today …
The sight of the star magnolia I planted last summer blooming for the first time today and the Japanese red maples starting to unfurl their leaves.
The sound of running water coming from the fountains and waterfalls in the ponds in my backyard.
The sense of accomplishment at getting all of the water features up and running again for the season and being able to check off so many things on my to-do list lately.
The feel of the softness of my cat’s fur and the warm, gentle vibrations of his body as he cuddles next to me and purrs up as storm.
The fun of having friends meet me for lunch for conversation and laughter.
The taste of a cup of good tea with that perfect hint of sweetener added.
The peace of a quiet evening at home.
The ease of a hot bath to soothe tired muscles after working in the yard.
The delight of having a good book to read.
The simple connection with strangers in conversations about the lovely weather when running errands.
The pleasure of feeling my body stretch in a favorite yoga pose.
The joy of really good hugs from friends.
Unfortunately, I all too often tend to overlook and take for granted those kinds of little things while I’m busy focusing on other little things that are much less helpful. My day today was also filled with these other little things …
The annoyance of construction zones, traffic jams, and bad drivers.
The worry about money, bills, and taxes.
The frustration of house issues that need to be resolved.
The pressure of a to-do list that seems to grow faster than I can keep up with.
The anxiety about upcoming travel that will make my schedule hectic.
The fear that I will not be able to create the life I want to live.
The sadness that I have had to surrender things I wanted in my life.
Both sets of little things are equally real and equally valid, but one set is much more helpful to me than the other. Given that fact, I am so much better off when I spend my limited energy and attention on things on the first list. This doesn’t deny the reality of the items on the second list, but I don’t have to give them my energy.
The best part is that I can choose what I focus on. It’s completely up to me.
And I am choosing to focus on the helpful things, the things that feed me and nurture me, the things that make me more like the person I want to be. That’s what a practice of gratitude is all about.
Today, I am grateful for the many little blessings in my life.
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