This year, one of my many resolutions—in addition to blogging more often, reading all of the books on the BBC’s top 100 list, and being published in an academic journal or scholarly book—was to make note of at least five things each day that made me smile, just to reground me in the realization that despite everything, my life does not, in fact, suck. I’ve been fairly consistent with this exercise, and it’s made me realize that all-too often, because we spend so much time and energy focusing on the large things that make us happy—friends, family, food, clothing, significant others, etc.—we overlook the seemingly insignificant tokens of kindness that God sprinkles on us each day. Like barely-noticed handfuls of fairy-dust, we brush them off our shoulders and continue on with our days. Having someone hold the door open for you isn’t going to put an end to the unrest in the Middle East or conquer world poverty, but small gestures add up.
This morning, I received a spark of inspiration from this post on Butterfingers for Breakfast —a challenge to blog about one thing for which you’re thankful each day between now and Thanksgiving. Like me, she’s referring to the small, oft-overlooked things we take for granted. I won’t deny that I often take the major gifts in my life for granted—my family, my friends, my guidedog, my apartment—but if I do take them for granted, I at least register their presence in my life on some level. All too often it’s the little things that go entirely unnoticed.
Today I am thankful for the bliss of long weekends. In the midst of a whirl-wind semester of work, I’m grateful for the opportunity to pause and catch my breath before making the final push and clearing the crest of the hill in December. The weekend will be a blend of productivity and pleasure, which I desperately need. Last week my refrigerator broke down and some of the shelving in my bedroom closet collapsed, effectively turning my house into a war zone that I’ve had neither the time nor the energy to tackle. While I know I shouldn’t have left the project until this weekend, I’m finding it oddly comforting to be able to immerse myself in a mindless activity—turn up the Mama Mia soundtrack and dance around my apartment like a maniac in the pure bliss of not having to go to work.
What are you thankful for today?