At 6 a.m. this morning I was leaning over the sink with peach juice running down my chin. Not my best look. I don't eat a ton of fruit but I love fruit in season. And I have a flat of peaches on my counter right now. And apparently little self-control. But I was enjoying that pure innocent peach. A major shift from the way I felt about it earlier this week.
I've been thinking about consumption and abundance. I've got about 15 books on my shelf to read, podcasts ready to go and a couple of audio books in the queue. There are people to see, places to go, things to do, and experiences to be had. And at times I feel overwhelmed.
I actually found myself feeling a little bitchy about my list on Sunday. I was planning my week and thinking about everything I wanted to do and how I couldn't possibly squeeze it all in. I started feeling pressure and resentment. And at the same time I was beating myself up for being so whiny. My internal voice started mocking me, "Oh poor Sandy, she has too many people to see, a house to take care of, work to do, and fruit to process. And she said she would blog every day. Poor baby. Life is so hard."
I definitely needed to reframe things and so I started being intentional about practicing gratitude. I made a list of everything I needed AND wanted to do this week. And then I went through the list and reflected on how grateful I am for each one of those things. Visiting my father in LTC gives me a chance to be with him in this difficult season and driving there gives me 30 minutes to listen to a podcast. (As it turns out that podcast was just what I needed that day.) I have a house to clean! I love writing and I've got the opportunity to write every day!
I've been reading Gratitude by Diana Butler Bass. She writes, "Practice takes time. But that is not the only relationship between time and gratitude. When gratitude becomes a habit of being, our capacity to see time -- past, present, and future --actually changes. Not only does gratitude open our hearts; it also give us new perspectives on our own lives. It stretches through our experiences -- past, present, and future -- creating a fabric of appreciaton and awareness that forms the story of our lives."
By the end of reviewing my list, I had a new perspective. Simple? Yes. Obvious? Yes. Automatic? No. Our lives can be overwhelming. And we need to make good choices about what we consume and I want to talk more about that this week. But let's start with gratitude.