On this day before the mother of all days of gratitude, I am not going to go on and on about being grateful (shocker). Instead, I’m going to remind you to notice the moments in real time, as they are happening, that you can lay some gratitude on. This is different than just considering that which is making you feel big time thanks. It’s actually turning your radar on to notice when something in the gratitude department is happening. Because as they say, you can’t win if you don’t play.
Example. (You knew that was coming.)
Yesterday I was shopping at Whole Foods for Thursday’s wingding, and I bumped into a friend who I adore, but rarely see. We decided, despite our busy day, and groceries developing salmonella in the car, to have coffee, and we talked for like, 90 minutes. STRAIGHT. And there was a true and real sharing. Not just chit chat, but getting down to the real stuff. It was fantastic and so good, and I recognized almost immediately that this was a moment to get on my knees for.
But that is not all.
My daughter was getting a haircut, and I was meandering around Coolidge Corner waiting for her, and went into KaBloom and saw this fabulous woman who works there and who has helped me out buying quantities for school events over the years, and is smart and sweet and always just so damn nice (plus she has the MOST BEAUTIFUL EYES, not that that has to do with anything, but you know, I love a detail). I hadn’t seen her in a long time, and we hugged, which was so adorable! Again, this was a genuine moment and I so appreciated its rarity.
As we were catching up, another old friend of hers walked in and I let them catch up and then she introduced me to the friend and we all started to talk. The friend had moved away from Brookline, and she did work for a homeless shelter and had a daughter also getting a haircut and we knew some common people and she gave me her card and then I told them both about the blog (because they seemed like people who would like it and it seemed we were connecting in a real way), and we talked about gratitude, and the woman who I had just met said “this is coming at me from all sides right now.” And I understood that to mean this wasn’t her first run-in with the g-word, because when you need something, sometimes it just keeps showing up, and if you are observant, you notice and it changes your fucking life.
Well, anyway, this woman, who I had never laid eyes on until 10 minutes before, took off her bracelet and said that a friend had given it to her as a way to remember to be grateful (you count the four pearls on it and give each a gratitude shout out) and she now wanted to pass it on to me. SHE GAVE ME HER BRACELET. This stranger, who by now, didn’t at all feel like a stranger, GAVE ME HER BRACELET. I tried to say no, but she wouldn’t take it back. She wanted me to have it.
It was the most extraordinary moment.
And here’s the thing– I noticed it. I didn’t let it slip away, or get past me, or disappear without its due. I somehow got lucky enough to have these two completely amazing, enriching moments in my day. And I was not going to let them pass like they were everyday occurrences, like I was sitting at a light in my car waiting to go, I opened the door to them and let my every freaking cell take in the absolute fabulousness of these minutes of my day.
So, here’s the thing–YOU gotta notice the good stuff. You have to wear your gratitude specs 24/7. Throw a little celebration in your head every time you find yourself in a moment when shit is going well. And congratulate yourself for noticing it. It’s like a “where’s Waldo” kind of thing. And seriously, just being aware of what’s happening–that’s something to be grateful for right there.