It takes 21 days to cement a habit, so I’m deciding to try a new one: The habit of gratefulness.
Every day someone gets shot, stabbed, raped, killed or hurt in some other way. Some perverted cad takes inappropriate liberties with a minor; some jealous person hurts an ex-girlfriend or boyfriend… then commits suicide. Sometimes folks find out the arrangement with a sex buddy isn’t as exclusive as he or she thinks it should be—so the person somehow threatens the “wayward” buddy… and catches a case.
It gets overwhelming at times, but I refuse to get salty. I don’t want to forget life’s niceties: family, friends, and simple pleasures like memories of warm sunshine on my face spiked with the perfect breeze, which can create a perfect temperature. Other niceties include hearty laughter after a witty joke shared with friends, and outdoor concerts with music I really vibe with down to my bones. Observing smiley parents and carefree children frolicking with newly twisted balloon animals, and having conversation with folks who ooze kindness complete that experience.
There’s so much bad news everywhere, but I’m determined to maintain a grateful attitude no matter what I hear, read, or see every day.
It isn’t always easy.
To stave off and eliminate encroaching cynicism, I decided to undertake the gratitude challenge. I don’t even know where I got this idea. It was probably from a mixture of places: random inspirational readings, Facebook posts, and the constant back-of-mind reinforcement from my childhood (I went to church almost EVERY week growing up). During those early years, I learned that gratitude is key to the Christian life, and later learned it’s woven throughout other viewpoints as well. I don’t recall if I read a social media challenge somewhere that encouraged folks to find one thing to be grateful for daily, and I decided to write three—or if I encountered a challenge that encouraged folks to jot down three things for 21 days to inspire the habit of choosing happiness.
Whatever the case, I started writing three a day in October. It was my intent to only write three things for 21 days, but I’m still going with this. Must be a habit.
Anyway, these humble entries represent some of my self-reminders to stay grateful, to cherish the simple things, to know there’s something to be grateful for at all times.
Might as well start on Thanksgiving.