Friday, November 19, 2010

Gratitude Lists

Thanksgiving is coming to Promise House today. We will enjoy our annual Thanksgiving Lunch with staff and teens. Our infamous cook, Peggy, has already done the turkey, dressing, and gravy. The rest of us are bringing sides (I hope!) We usually end up with five times more desserts than anything else.

So, what to be grateful for today? All of the twelve-step programs encourage daily gratitude lists to connect with what is right in our lives. In several of the darkest times of my life, these lists have saved me from absolute despair. But, when things get better, we (at least I) "forget" to do them. It's like the saying, "No one in a fox hole does not believe in God" our very worst or most fearful or most desperate, we call out, reaching for anything to ease our misery. In better times, we slide into complacency and forgetfulness. We take good things for granted.

But life is only a fleeting moment. What is here this minute is gone the next. There is no tomorrow.....certainly no guarantee of one. To be grateful in the moment, for whatever is in your life is a true gift and skill. To be present, really present TODAY, this minute, this second, is no easy task. Yet, it is the ONLY way to stay in gratitude.

Sounds great, huh? I can only get glimpses of that state of being. I can take baby steps every day. I can text Leslie and tell her I love her. I can "FaceTime" Kat and tell her how beautiful she is. I can look around at my home, my neighbors, my "hood" and smile. I can call my father and yell (he's almost deaf) how glad I am that he is still with us.

Today, I am grateful for Peggy's sweet potato pies, Sonja's green salad, Paloma going and getting ice cream cakes, and the fact that the kitchen and dining room at PH will be crammed with teens and adults sharing a meal together. The smells will be intoxicating, the conversation loud and hilarious, the Turkey games stupid and fun, the amount of food our teens eat, awe-inspiring.

What's on your gratitude list today?

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