Some days it’s easy for me to wrap myself in gratitude–noticing the tiniest of things–a person who holds a door for me, the garden outside my house, the way my dog’s fur feels. Other days, my mind clamps onto something negative and it permeates my thoughts and colors me dark and stormy.
Staying positive is a task. Feeling gratitude takes time. What I mean is we have to slow down to notice what it is that’s good. Gratitude is adept at hiding if you’re going over the speed limit. It demands your attention. Sometimes I have to put it on my TO DO list to remind myself to head for the light in a methodical way that wakes me and shakes me to the rightness of the world. But the thing is, if you’re woke to this trick, it can actually change your mind. Check out this article and some of the work done at University of California, Davis that shows scientific data on how gratitude can actually alter our heads for the better.
I am a microwave in a slow cooker world. I’ve never been patient Who wants to wait around? I WANT IT NOW. All of it. I don’t want to wait until tomorrow. Overnight delivery, Express Mail, Fedex when you absolutely have to get it there overnight–YES PLEASE. I don’t even wait for my addled brain to think of things anymore, I just google them.
But what are we missing (I’m sure I’m not alone, here) when we can’t settle? What is being forgotten when we decide to wait until all 12 episodes have aired so we can binge them in one sitting, instead of waiting for one each week, wondering a little every day what might happen? What gets lost when we decide to get quickie takeout instead of simmer a sauce, or a slow cook a soup, or methodically chop up vegetables for a carefully built fresh salad? Why can’t we just relax a little and focus on what’s in front of us, instead of what will be. What’s the fucking rush?
You know what gets lost when you are a right-this-minute person—anticipation. Anticipation gets lost in the pre-made sauce –that thrilling feeling of thinking about what’s to come that gives you a chill down your spine, and makes you feel like a fleet of butterflies are doing a jig in your chest. It’s that hope that something is maybe about to change your life, or make you better, or smarter, or more successful. It’s the idea that what’s around the corner might just be the most exciting, fun and fulfilling thing you have ever done. Anticipation is the island where all things are possible, but impatient people don’t even bother stopping there anymore, they need to get to the mainland, need to get off the boat, and on the next shuttle.
I’m on a mission to slow myself down without feeling like I’m drowning in yesterday. What will I miss? Probably nothing at all. There is enough time for all of it. Gratitude goes to the fact that everyday we can make corrections. I’m anticipating a good outcome from this one.