I think it's far too easy to get hung up on the things that make us feel less than grateful. Instead of focusing on the kindness you might have performed or witnessed, instead you focus on the lack of acknowledgement received. It's comfortable, in a way, to stay the course of not-grateful, forgetting along the way exactly why it is you might have been feeling ungrateful to begin with.
So, why gratitude? Why now?
I miss updating this little blog, and the ungrateful me would justify the continued lack of blogging by thinking, "Well, only 1 or 2 or 3 people read this anyway... Why bother?" Sometimes, it's okay to be a little selfish - and I think it's even acceptable to be grateful for those flashes of selfishness. Why did I ever begin trying to create an online presence? For fame? Glory? Or for the satisfaction of expressing my thoughts and sharing ideas not for accolades but simply for the enjoyment of writing? It's completely wonderful if you, my audience, find humor or joy in these posts, but it's truly great if I do. Does that make sense?
This last year has not been the best for me and my circle of friends. And it became easier to NOT share anything - good or bad. But 2015 wasn't a total waste. I actually learned a lot about gratitude. I learned that it's not too late to make new friends. And I found that even as my heart broke watching Miki go through pretty much the worst experience of his life, I was grateful for the experience of being able to be present. To be in the moment, however sad it might have been. There were multiple days that I felt my own heart swell with gratitude - friends being there without invitation, strangers becoming friends, people in the very face of grief opening their arms to those they might not have ever otherwise considered talking to. I found myself again and again feeling more gratitude than not as the year wore on.
Maybe it's part of now being in my 5th decade (math nerds, you'll get it), but suddenly those trivial things that caused me to hold myself up in comparison to everyone and everything just no longer matter. We're all here for a similar reason, it's not a competition. You can have successes and I can not, and that doesn't mean I've lost. Or you've won. The inter-connectivity of gratitude is something that's become more apparent to me especially in this last year. Gratitude for love, life; for self and others.
I hope to explore this topic more over the next 52ish weeks, and I hope to revisit these posts next January and see where I end up. I hope you enjoy the introspective journey!