I’m going to continue with thankful posts on Thursdays for the month of November. Of course I think about gratitude and thankfulness every day but it’s nice to set aside some time for sharing those thoughts and November is the perfect time to do it. Here are three things I’m thankful for right now; they may not appear to be connected but they are and I will elaborate on that after I share the list:
- Technology. When it works, anyway. I’m feeling a little frustrated by it lately, I must admit. I have a new set up with two monitors at work and I love it but the docking station for my laptop . . . well sometimes it might as well be a $250 brick. And yesterday we couldn’t get the projector in the meeting room at the library to turn on. And I’ve yet to successfully set up my new printer. Still, I love technology. I’m a big fan of gadgets like my Apple Watch and iPhone and iPad. I love apps like Knit Companion and Waterlogue and Transfer Pro. I still adore email and I’m fascinated by 3-D printers and interactive whiteboards and all the ways technology can enhance education and improve our lives. So long as it works.
- Collaboration. I’ve been going to a lot of meetings lately. A lot. And, while meetings interrupt my day and make it hard to get my regular work done, I so appreciate the people I work with and the efforts they put into brainstorming, problem solving, and thinking outside the box to get things done. Not all of the people who come to meetings are focused on problem solving, sadly, and sometimes those people take up the most time, but they are still valuable and important and deserving of respect. Honestly, one of my favorite phrases is definitely another meeting that could have been an email but even so, I work with and around some really talented and smart people and I enjoy spending time with them and working as a team to come up with solutions.
- Personal growth. Sometimes it’s hard and you have to dig through some emotional junk to move forward. Sometimes it’s easy and the timing is perfect and you make a big leap. I’m grateful to work with a terrific life coach who has helped me look at and let go of some truly icky stuff from my childhood. It feels dramatic to call it trauma but that’s truly what it was . . . divorce and violence and court orders that resulted in emotional fall out that I should have been shielded from but wasn’t. It’s been amazing to go back and let myself be angry at the adults who put me in that situation and then let that anger go.
Looking over that list I have to say that this is not what I would consider a typical gratitude list. I acknowledged that technology can be frustrating and meetings can be disruptive and personal growth can be difficult. But there they are. On my list. Because life is messy sometimes and we have to love the mess even while we’re wishing that it could all be cleaned up and put away and finished. And I really believe we just have to feel gratitude for all of it because on the other side . . . when technology works and meetings solve problems and personal growth results in healing . . . then we get to feel thankful in a way that’s bigger and better and more satisfying because it took some work to get there.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
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Today I am grateful to YOU, Carole, for reminding me that I am retired and I don’t have to go to meetings. Ever. That made a great start to my day. Thanks! 🙂
Carolyn S Thomas says
“. . . then we get to feel thankful in a way that’s bigger and better and more satisfying because it took some work to get there.” If that’s not an absolutely beautiful sentence, I don’t know what it.
I think it’s a great list! I often don’t post gratitudes, because I find myself doing exactly what you did today. But you’re right. It’s not wrong to acknowledge the things that went wrong and be thankful for happy endings. Life is always about good and bad things. I’m wearing a ring with the yin yang sign to remind me of that, but obviously, I need better reminders. Thank you for this post!
One of the days, Michelle posted about finding gratitude in difficulty – you have done that so eloquently here! I struggled with that day – but you have shown me a new way of looking it it! Thank you!
Jeannie Gray says
You’re spot on for all 3 items on today’s list.
We have to love the mess and feel gratitude for all of it – good words Carole. Thanks
Robby H says
What a thoughtful post about being grateful for every day and the everyday things that shape and form our lives. A reminder that we generally have the freedom to decide how we want to respond to those things and, to some extent we can choose how they shape us, or at least how we respond if we realize we have that ability. I’m grateful for that reminder, Carole.
So much of life is messy, so it is best to embrace the mess. That way we can be so much more thankful for all the times when things do work and we’ve come through some amazing personal growth!
Love reading your story and watching you discover and grow.
We are so lucky to be able to work through our pasts as many people never understand they should or they really never have the chance. Thank you for sharing the steps of your journey. You understand how true gratitude works.
I think we have to be grateful for when things don’t work or aren’t easy because they make us more aware of when they do work and are easy — and those are things we tend to take for granted.
I am so happy to hear that you are working through those early trauma and the emotions they caused. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to acknowledge that those things happened, recognize the legitimacy of the pain, and let it go.
What a great list and a wonderful post Carole! Thank you.
I like your list.
I have two monitors at work and love it. Those docking stations though can be a pain. Mine stopped charging my laptop and I had to get a replacement. I need to try Knit Companion on my Kindle. I think I would like it but I am so stuck in my printed patterns and cute little note pads to take notes that I haven’t yet.
Life . . . is really messy. Getting through it — with grace and wisdom and patience and reflection — is truly something to be grateful for. XO
Most of life is messy … how we deal with the mess is the key, and finding those bits of grace and gratitude is what makes it all work out. I love how you presented the mess … and the gratitude here!
That is a great story. Best to embrace the mess, it’s all part of life. Whether we recognize it at the time, we all go through those messy times. I agree with Mary, how we frame the mess is important. Your outlook is wonderful and inspiring.
You’re so right about life being messy, and sometimes you gotta grab that bull by the horns and wrestle it to the ground.