“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” ― Anthony Robbins
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings…” ― William Arthur Ward
“[Gratitude] turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ― Melody Beattie
“What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.” ― Brené Brown
“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer
A man walked in to the quaint café where I work, all smiles. He beamed like the weather was not, with its rain coming down and washing my outdoor chalkboard clean of the written specials.
He asked what we all ask,
How are ya?!
I said, Oh, I’m okay...because I’m still getting over some sickness, and I’m tired of clouds.
Well, Heather…you woke up this morning, didn’t you?
Yes, I did!
Okay, then…it’s a good day.
The truth. And now, a few days later, I’m still coughing, but the sun is out and there is food next to me on the table. My kids are healthy, or on their way there, and I get to pick them up from school and daycare and spend the rest of the sunny day with them, outside.
I came across more proof, too, on Twitter, that our lives are better for gratitude. Our actual physical hearts are healthier, and our figurative hearts too.
So we woke up this morning, and if we pay attention, there are thousands of reasons to answer the constant question, I’m well. It is well. I am well.
It’s the first day back to school after spring break, and it is raining. The house is darker than it should be for this hour, and turning on the lights doesn’t seem to help. Everyone is worn out, tired from running all week, tired from the weather.
We need the rain.
Finding our way back to routine feels a little like groping around in the dark. We so quickly lost the rhythm. But here we are, filling the backpacks and finding the shoes, putting on jackets and grabbing lunches. Like foreigners. And by week’s end it will all be old hat, and the rain will have washed away the grime of winter for the new beginning.
Before we know it, we’ll look up to see those May flowers, grateful.
The littlest things can be noted, even on paper, at the end of the day.
The way the wind blew away the cloudy day, the curtain pulled back, the sun warming us up. And then I stood in the doorway and let the warmth settle in, soaking through my vitamin D deprived skin. I stood there a good long while.
The way I had time to set aside the to-do list(s), for just a little while, and watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
And finding new-to-me music accidentally, to love like crazy, even though I wonder how I missed it when everyone else discovered it.
It really is about the little things…let’s look at them, maybe even write them down.
The first day of spring arrived on Friday. It always shows up, on the calendar, and that feels like a promise even if parts of the world are still battling snow. (Like my part of the world.) I look out the window at the fresh layer that arrived overnight, at the way it settled on branches and the railing around the deck, inches of it.
I want to yell at it, but instead I am trying gratefulness.
The farmers needed this, for its sure-to-come melt, the way it will seep into the earth and bring up spring like a tricky gift.
And it is beautiful. It will always be beautiful, like most disguised blessings.
The kids will play in it while it lasts, boots and snow pants back out of the closet and pulled on to small legs. It is thick and bent toward snowmen and snowballs. Have at it, I tell them. It won’t last.
We took a walk around town, the new puppy on a leash for the first time. He didn’t even try to eat the leash all that often, and the oldest child pulled the wagon, every once and a while asking the little one, Are you having fun in there, with kindness lilting.
It was late in the afternoon and the breeze was light, the sun out, the temperature still up for the time of day.
Truth be told, life has not been kind lately. It has not turned back to ask if I’m having fun, no not at all. But I am, I can, if only I tell myself the stories of hope and light.
So we walked, drinking in each other and the beautiful day, we stared it down until it was us.
The driveway to the elementary school is long and curvy, tucked in next to woods and a pond, a playground settled in at the bottom of the building. As we pulled in this morning, we watched the snow-suited kids, running up and down the hill, splashes of bright color they were. All the trees were painted white over night. The evergreens, the spruce, the cedar, the oaks. Gone from dark greens and drab browns to sparkling white.
Winter has a hold on the country for now. All the Facebook statuses speak of strange conditions in warmer places, and unusually extreme conditions in the wintery northern parts. People are snowed and iced in. Roads and highways are closed. So many snow days call off school and cabin fever sets in.
We are on hold for spring. And it will come.
I pointed out the kissed trees to my three small children, and they stared wide-eyed, though here in Minnesota, they see this all winter long, on and off. Then when I dropped the smallest of my set off at daycare, she gasped as the minivan door slid open and pronounced the snow-covered lawn “lovely”. Look, she said, the snow is sparkly from the sun. It is glittered!
Let’s face it, it’s getting hard for some of us to stay grateful for any kind of beauty in this long winter. But the truth remains, always, that small things are the beautiful things, and spring always comes.
It’s Thanksgiving week, which seems like the perfect time to get back to Grateful Mondays around here.
Maybe you’ve noticed? We’ve had some work done, and we’re grateful for that! The website needed a little fine-tuning, and we hope it helps you find your way around, learn more about FUN and healthy living, and connect with the inspiring products, posts, and people that keep sustainable living playful.
2015 is going to be here before we know it, and we’re grateful for some really exciting projects and endeavors we have in the works. It seems we’ve been saying that for a while, and that’s because the behind the scenes work of growth is always A LOT (of work, AND a lot to be grateful for), and is best not rushed, to bring the highest quality products, messaging, and projects to YOU.
Yes, you guessed it, we’re really grateful for you.
Minnesota summers are a bit of an indecisive sort. Mostly full of sun and fun, they surprise you when you go to bed sweating from the humidity and wake up chilled by a fresh cool breeze.
This morning it is at least twenty degrees cooler than last night. I opened all the windows and now I sit with my feet on the coffee table, my feet too cold because of the cross-breeze caress. Last night I wanted to take a cold shower before bed, the stickiness was so thick in the air.
It feels so good to open the windows after that kind of heat. It’s so refreshing to receive a pleasant surprise from something you can’t control. A gift from Mother Nature, kissing your toes.
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