gratitude-a-thon day 866: now

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Sometimes shit gets real. Things happen and you see through the mayhem.

When you’re an adult, it’s so easy to live life by skimming the surface. You can punch your time card, and call it a day. There is no committee that makes you give more than your 40 hours. Unlike toddlerhood, when you have your parents and a whole host of other adults looking out for your little behind, when you’re a grown-up, nobody can really force you to right yourself, when you veer off course. It’s all yours, baby.

Put your glasses on. Make the day count. Get off the fucking couch.

 

gratitude-a-thon day 865: life hack: avocado

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Would you marry an avocado if you could? I would possibly trade my children, no, but maybe the dog, no definitely not the dog, ok, my car,  for the creamy taste of a perfectly ripened avocado. Too often though, I am faced with the first world problem of an artistic hill of rock hard options. I stand there, in the market, squeezing every green oval, like a pervert copping a feel. There are lots of times when I can’t find one that’s ripe, and my taste buds start whining, and carrying on like a two year old, until I distract them with the cheese department.

Anyway, looky here, I haven’t tried this yet, but what if it works? Kinda made my day. Say it with me: GUACAMOLE!

gratitude-a-thon day 864: telling it like it is

Public and Private check boxes written on a blackboard.

I have a privacy issue. Which is to say, I am not at all private.

Here’s how I see it. When I share the good, the bad, and the ugly, whether it’s on this blog, or social media, or in a conversation, I’m being a real person, with cellulite, and bad moods, and a difficult dad, and parenting struggles, and a mouth a sailor would be embarrassed by. In other words, imperfect, but a flesh and blood person.

Some people think they open themselves up on social media by giving a blow-by-blow of their days—“And then I got a parking ticket while I was at the dentist having my lower left molar filled.” But this isn’t sharing, so much as it is a calendar of events.

See, I am interested in real people–in what they do when they fail, in how they get up and at it. I’m interested in hearing about the ugly (but honest) underbelly of a person, in addition to their fabulosity.

Social media is creating a population of one dimensional clones.

I am grateful I’m ok enough to be out there with my imperfections. The real upside is that it allows others to share who they are and what they think. That seems a really good thing to me.

 

gratitude-a-thon day 863: five things about gratitude you should know

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When you hear the word gratitude, certain things come to mind. Like for instance, Thanksgiving (particularly the mashed potatoes or stuffing, oh sorry, that’s just me), or a cheesy quote your Aunt put on Facebook, or a church sermon (with all due respect).

But here are five things you might not have considered when you hear the G-word.

  1. Gratitude does not have to be loud. It can be 100% internal. You do not have to shout about what you’re feeling grateful for. It’s nice to spread the word, but by all means, practicing gratitude without talking about it, is still practicing gratitude.
  2. Speaking of practice, gratitude is like doing push-ups. The first time you do them, you’re all like, “this shit is too hard.” But the more you practice gratitude, the more easily it becomes part of your routine, and the better your life will become. And by the way, I’m not saying you’re going to wake up tall and blonde (unless you are tall and blonde), I’m just saying, that the act of noticing what you have is a life-enriching act.
  3. Gratitude is contagious. Like a case of the chickenpox, when you start living with an eye out for gratitude, those around you start to do it, too.
  4. Gratitude loves the little things. There is not one thing on this green earth that can’t be cause for a minor celebration. The wonder of this whole party has gratitude written all over it.
  5. Teaching kids about gratitude is a powerful way to start changing the world. When you are focusing on what it is you have, and doing the happy dance in honor of it, you aren’t wasting energy on “wanting.” You’re creating good internal feelings, instead of negative ones. Bring that into the world, and see how it effects people. Chain reaction, baby.

gratitude-a-thon day 859: smell the rain

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I am all about the sun. But sometimes I like rain. It’s not the wet that I like, because I find that annoying. It’s the smell.

Rain smells like the beach to me, like so many days on the Cape with my mom, when I’d blame her for the weather, but secretly enjoy the raucous waves and the smell of the sea. It brings me to the Vineyard when the sky was emptying buckets down, and the kids were complaining of boredom, and the days seemed endless, but the air smelled like a perfume I wish existed.

Today smells like that. Like so many moments that have already been, and the ocean, and the beauty of things that are simple.

 

gratitude-a-thon day 858: dearly beloved we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life

 

All 5’2 of him was brilliant.

When I hear “Let’s Go Crazy” (my all-time fave Prince song) I still do. He made boas and turbans and decadent army jackets and jewels downright manly . His name change was legend. His influence was epic.

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Dead at 57. Of, conjecture at this point, the flu. I am starting to feel really old (and like I should have gotten the flu shot).

Prince was one of the great musicians and disruptors of my generation. Gratitude to all that he left behind. It was a purple reign. “And if the elevator tries to bring you down,  go crazy, punch a higher floor.”

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The Zakim Bridge in Boston goes purple.

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South Station honors Prince.

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Paisley Park, hours after Prince’s death.

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This.

gratitude-a-thon day 858: the grace space

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Last week I saw my cousin. You would like her. She is smart (she used to work for Carly Fiorina), and beautiful (a stunner), and crazy capable (she’s raised four incredibly kind and successful kids about a minute apart).

Not that many years ago, in her late 40’s, she had breast cancer. She is healthy now, but she was telling me about a fundraiser where she’d be sharing that experience (she works at a private school). And we got into the discussion of how when you are facing something down that threatens your life, you get very clear about what is important, and very grateful for every second of every minute of every day. She gave it a name–“the grace space, ” which is kind of a brilliant way to describe this concept.

She’s been there, and I’ve been there, and probably most people at one time or another have visited that hallowed ground. The problem is, seems the grace space is impossible to stay inside of. It’s a slippery box. Seems we can only stay inside of it when our way of life is at risk. So, we talked about how to achieve the feeling, without the threat.

We, um, didn’t come up with an answer.

But just talking about it, is a good thing. I try to do it with gratitude, with focusing on what it is that I am grateful for each day, but it’s not the same thing as when you think you might be facing something that will dramatically change your way of life and the world suddenly comes into technicolor and everything, EVERYTHING seems magical.

I am grateful for my cousin. She is awesome. And I’m a little in love with this idea of the grace space and how to achieve more time inside of it than outside of it (minus the life threatening illness, or other horrible event that always gives you a ticket to the show).

 

gratitude-a-thon day 857:boz

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Seems I’ve been on some kind of personal oldies tour this week (maybe this happens when you’re old?) Friends surprised me with a birthday gift of tickets to Boz Scaggs last night (yes, my birthday was in January, but isn’t a gift you get months later even better?!)

Anyway, I was sort of excited because I get excited watching the guys who drum on plastic containers, but I hadn’t remembered all of the great songs that were his. BOOM, at 71 he killed it. A true musician with an amazing band. The tour could be called “Songs from when you didn’t have wrinkles.”

Damn, live music is transformative. And the stuff from your youth brings you right back there. Major gratitude to Boz, and Georgia, and It’s Over, and What Can I Say and Harborlights, and Lido, and Look What You’ve Done to Me, and We’re All Alone, and Lowdown, and Tim and Joanna!