Day 3 - 10 Days of Gratitude

Ante and Koda

Walking through the dog park today, I encountered a woman with a massive bag of dog excrement and a black and white border collie named Koda. Greeting me with a rosy-cheeked smile, she held out her hand gesturing at the fenced dog park, and in a Swiss accent said, "I'm just so grateful we have this lovely park to bring our dogs to. I want to keep it looking nice." She was cleaning up after other people's dogs. No malice. No anger. No annoyance at inconsiderate dog owners. Just a desire to take care of what we all had the opportunity to enjoy. Honestly, I had often looked at this park and mentally complained about how small it was and how muddy, but looking through her lens of gratitude, I saw it in a different light. Flash forward five minutes, we were both walking, talking, and caring for our park together...albeit her more enthusiastically.



As an aside, I made an unexpected connection when Ante introduced herself and told me she was a violinist. I try to remember people's and dogs' names if I can, but for some reason, her dog's name kept dropping out of my mind...even while we were walking. Driving home, I connected the dots and now will never forget Ante's dog's name. A violinist with a dog named Koda...A coda is a conclusion at the end of a musical piece that is distinctly different from the rest of the piece. Those years of music lessons on the organ finally paid off. Here I am in my late 40s making my parents proud.


I am grateful for people like Ante who remind me that I always have a choice on how I view the world.


The Men in My House

Feeling pretty drained after a busy day and another bad night of sleep, I settled into my bed to read and/or watch Netflix wherever my fancy decided to take me. Around the corner of the door peeks my eldest son and in his hand, the holy grail of candy...a peanut butter cup. Then a moment later, my youngest son peeks around the corner and tells me he is shutting my door because he is going to be vacuuming and does not want to disturb me or the dogs. Hearing the vacuum moving around the house, I then hear my husband make a sound of annoyance. He has cups of hot tea for me and him, and our bedroom door is closed...the reason for annoyance. Problem rectified...I was now in bed with a cup of tea, a chocolate treat, and the soothing background noise of work getting done that doesn't involve you at all. These weren't kind acts because I was tired or even specifically directed at me. These were kind acts just because...and those are the best kind.


Water

The shower is often the place where I ruminate and/or start thinking about my to-do list for the day, but this gratitude challenge has me paying more attention than usual, as well as the serendipity of listening to a water-related podcast. The podcast had indicated that women in undeveloped countries spend a significant amount of time fetching and carrying water because they had no ready access to water. This chore alone contributes to inhibiting women from economic and educational development. Feeling the drops on my skin just from the turning of the taps, I could only feel gratitude (and some guilt) for how plentiful water is here in our province. For the whole morning, I noticed water for washing the dishes in the sink, watering my plants, washing the dog's face (Lizzie always seems to have schmutz on her face), drinking water from my water bottle, and even enjoying the sounds of a spring rain shower. No water-related lack of opportunity in this household. No excuses for not conquering my corner of the world.



What I Am Learning

How we exist in this world is a choice. Gratitude is a good reminder of that. When we spend our time appreciating what we have and caring for it without drama, complaint, or a social media post, doing something nice just because, or noticing the natural resources we take for granted, we make a conscious choice to participate in a world that lights us up.


What a gift.


Resources

Super Soul: Oprah Winfrey – Grace and Gratitude


Our Great National Parks


If the only prayer you say in your entire life is ”thank you,” that will be enough.

– Eckart Tolle

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