I’ve had a few major changes in my life. By that I mean not only that external circumstances changed, but also that (and perhaps even more frequently than the former) something within me changed.
Some of my external changes were moving to different countries, cities, landing jobs and meeting people. As for my internal ones, they’re a little harder to pin down. Maybe because I don’t know myself as well as I would like to, or simply because whatever is internal is often harder to define due to its nature; we can’t see or touch those changes.
The most recent one, however, is quite easy to define: I learned how to be grateful.
For a big part of last year, I made it part of my evening ritual to sit down and write three things I was grateful for on that specific day. It started off as something easy but soon became a chore and although I stuck to it for a very long time, I eventually gave up. It got pointless to sit down at the end of my day and about what I could feel grateful for just to fill out that list.
I quickly forgot about that practice and went on with my life. Around the same time, I started a small obsession with “small things.” That is, among other things, making sure I took my time to brew coffee and have it turn out perfect, or taking twice as long to write a quote for my commonplace book so that the handwriting looked neater.
And before I knew, I found myself sitting on my couch on a particularly free afternoon, drinking my cup of coffee and looking outside, with a big smile on my face.
Being grateful isn’t about sitting down at the end of the day and looking back at the memories. Being grateful is about appreciating whatever is happening, as it’s happening. And we have a fair amount of say in feeling grateful, as long as we’re present. I had to sit down, and as I doing one thing and one thing only, my mind cleared itself and appreciation kicked in. Maybe a good argument against multi-tasking?