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Three On Thursday

The world is a heavy place these days. People are scared. People are hurting. People are dying. It’s very difficult to find a balance between information and peace. I’m not here to add to any of that but, as I said the other day, this blog can be a respite. A place to come where we talk about everyday things that are fun, sometimes messy, and generally safe.

In thinking about all of that, I have come up with 3 ways to help lower my own anxiety and I’m thinking maybe they might help you, too.

  1. Cultivate gratitude. It’s no secret that I write in a gratitude journal every morning. I do this right after I get up while I am waiting for my coffee to brew. The things on my list are as simple as seeing the moon from my window to as deep as being grateful that my husband wasn’t killed when he got hit by a car. (The day after his accident I listed the same thing 5 times: Dale is alive.) Sometimes my list feels like a highlight reel of the previous day and that’s okay, too. I frequently think about what I will put on my list and it helps me to remember that I have lots to be thankful for and it’s also pretty cool to go back and re-read my lists occasionally now that I’ve been doing this for over 2 1/2 years.
  2. Recognize contentment. There are moments every day where I feel content and at peace. Sitting on the couch with my feet in Dale’s lap. Having Fred and George curled up next to me. Reading a book while snuggled under a super soft blanket in my favorite chair. Sharing a good belly laugh with a friend. Coloring with Jackie. Writing a really great blog post. These are the moments that make me feel most like myself and I think it’s very important to acknowledge them when they happen.
  3. Extend grace. Sometimes I forget to be grateful. Sometimes I feel resentment instead of contentment. I go to dark places in my head. I wish I hadn’t experienced childhood trauma and had felt safe and carefree. I wonder why I got this stupid autoimmune disease. I get cut off in traffic or the grocery store doesn’t have something I need or I hear annoying political comments from ignorant people. In those moments, I try to extend grace to myself instead of berating myself for my thoughts. I acknowledge that things can be shitty and try to remember that it’s all just temporary and that not everything is about me. Everyone has something in their life that’s crappy, whether it’s a job or relationship or physical ailment and we all deserve a little grace.

Those are the things I do to increase my happiness and bring more joy into my world. I recognize that it’s a privilege to have the ability to do this because my needs are met and I am safe. And those are things I’m grateful for every day.

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This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Sometimes my gratitude is in being grateful something or someone isn’t me. I am absolutely a rules and fairness/justice person. Instead of being annoyed with some stupid situation, I try to remember I am not married to the jerky guy or I can just walk away from a $2 error by a clerk when they can’t do the math properly for the discount. And some days I don’t quite make it to that point. ¡C’est la vie!

  2. I so strongly agree with this Carole. It is so easy to forget to be grateful, yet so important to remember to acknowledge what we are grateful for – or whom. This does wonders for one’s mindset. Likewise, extending grace can be a difficult but important thing to do. I had not thought about #2 contentment, but will be paying more attention to that today and moving forward. One more way to boost one’s spirit. Thank you.

  3. Well, I think I just heard the best “sermon” of my life, in the most perfect way, Carole. I really needed these reminders. I have been feeling sorry for myself a bit lately, and that is a surefire happiness killer. I appreciate so much your generosity in reaching out and telling me to snap out of it. I know intellectually that I am lucky and that my struggles are nothing compared to others, but it’s helpful to hear someone else say they have the same dark thoughts occasionally. I need to remember that thoughts are not actions, shift my thoughts, and appreciate my blessings. Happy Thursday to you.

  4. I agree with Vera… I had not thought of contentment until just now! I am going to pay attention to contentment today.

    Thank you so much for these little reminders of grace as well!

  5. It’s funny how contentment often slips by people. I’m very often content at home, even if I’m doing some sort of chore, but especially if I’m reading or knitting. I hope gratitude, contentment, and grace can lower your anxiety and worry today.

  6. Just catching up with the blog for the last few days. Whew. I completely agree with your comments on The Maid and I love Stanley Tucci even more after reading his book. Too late for my own money March, such a great idea, maybe April? And the world is such a heavy place right now. I’m grateful to escape while catching up with you.

  7. One of the things I’m grateful for is your blog. I have kept a gratitude journal from time to time, but this was a great reminder to start that up again. Thank you!!??

  8. I don’t necessarily have a gratitude journal, but part of my daily journaling practice is listing five things that brought me joy. Often those are things to be grateful for, and I’ve found that listing them really does help to shift my attitude when I’m having a bad day. With all the terrible things happening in the world, it really does make me feel a lot better to know that I and my loved ones are safe, healthy, and relatively happy.

  9. YES to all of this. I’ve been really thinking about AND these last days. Sorrow AND Joy. Delight AND Despair. Diana Butler Bass shared a poem on Sunday “A Brief for the Defense” and this line screamed out to me “to make injustice the only measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.”

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