Monday, November 26, 2007


(Written on my laptop on the plane)
Back in 1998, I read a quote from a speech of Oprah Winfrey's in Reader’s Digest (of all places) that inspired me to begin keeping a gratitude journal. Here's her quote:

Keep a grateful journal. Every night, list five things that happened this day that you are grateful for. What it will being to do is change your perspective of your day and your life. If you can learn to focus on what you have, you will always see that the universe is abundant; you will have more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never have enough.

I have read the same or similar suggestions from several other sources since. For a few months in late 1998 and into early 1999, I wrote regularly in my gratitude journal. . . . if not every night, then at least 3-4 nights a week on average. I adapted it to three things a day, finding five too difficult sometimes. Considering my lack of self-discipline, that is pretty good for me.

Lately I have begun thinking that I need to resume this habit. Finding three things each day for which I was thankful was sometimes easy, sometimes difficult, but always seemed to give me a greater appreciation of that day.

It is so easy to live our lives looking forward, to how things will be, and back, to how they were, or how we wish they had been. I want to be fully present in the here-and-now, and I’ve found that keeping the gratitude journal was a good way for me to do this. . . . in addition to the reasons that Oprah suggests.

I doubt I will post my gratitude journal entries here, as many of them are quite cheesy and personal. I might throw in an occasional one to spice things up, but for me, this exercise seems to work best if I keep my thoughts private and actually write them out by hand in a pretty little book just before I go to sleep.

In that spirit, and in the spirit of the recently-concluded Thanksgiving Day holiday, here are a few things for which I am grateful:

*My nephew Rowan. Being an aunt is way cool: all of the fun of being with a baby and none of the responsibility of being a parent. It’s neat to see Rowan’s different characteristics, especially the ones that seem to come from our side of the family. He is in that wonderful phase where he is exploring his world using all his senses. You can almost sense all that he is learning from his observations.

*The airplane. I have to admit, I don’t like flying much. . . . not because I fear it (I don’t at all), but because it is a hassle and very tiring. Plus it makes me feel faintly nauseated. However, inconveniences aside, it is such a quick way to travel. It would be next-to-impossible for me to visit my sister and nephew without the airplane; 3000+ miles is just too far for someone who only gets two weeks a year of vacation to travel for a visit.

*My sister. As a child, I sometimes wished I didn’t have siblings. (Don’t all kids, in their own selfishness, wish this? Especially first-borns?) At least since college, I have been very grateful to have my sister. Our relationship is fairly close, especially considering that we have not lived within 3000 miles of one another since graduating from college in 1994. It is a wonderful thing to have someone you can talk with who has known you almost all your (& all her) life; who knows your crazy family, because she’s a part of it; and who is someone you would choose as a friend if she weren’t already your sister.

I could probably post more, but that’ll be my three for today. :)

Not wholly looking forward to getting home. I have a couple of things I must accomplish today at work before 5:00, and I’m a little stressed about that. Best case scenario, I will likely not arrive at the office before 1:00 or so. (Not much point in worrying about it at the moment, however: I am stuck on the plane and can’t make it arrive any faster than its schedule arrival.)

In addition to the crap I have to face at work, I left my apartment a mess before I left. It really sucks to come home to a messy, disorganized home. You’d think I’d have thought of this before I left, but nope. In fairness to myself . . . . I did think of it, but work and spending time with MM took precedence over the two hours or so it would have taken to set things to rights in my apartment. I can’t really say that my priorities were out of whack there. :)

Add to all this the fact that I am really tired. I got up at 2:30 a.m. Arizona time this morning, after going to sleep at around 9:00 p.m. Arizona time. I need my eight hours of sleep to function optimally. . . . more when I am stressed, physically, mentally or emotionally. Travel is stressful for my body, at least, so between that stress and my relative lack of sleep, I will probably sleep like a baby tonight.

I *am* looking forward to seeing Sebastian and MM. Yes, in that order. LOL I have talked to MM once and texted him a few times since I left, while I have had zero contact with Sebastian (obviously). Plus, Sebastian has never told me that he’s thinking of ending things with me, for any reason. tee hee

I am planning to leave work at 6:30 today and drive out to my friend’s house to pick Sebastian up. We will then stop at MM’s on our way home; MM told me before I left (& again on the phone Saturday) that he wants to see me tonight. Poor Sebastian will have to be sequestered in one of the upstairs bedrooms so that MM’s allergies don’t act up, but I do want to see MM.

I thought that this trip and my time away from MM might give me a needed opportunity to think clearly about him and our situation. I think what I realized is that I’ve had clarity all along. No new revelations came to me, and my perspective hasn’t changed. My feelings for him are still as strong as ever. My doubts about the relationship have not increased or diminished.

I am more than a little hurt (& a little resentful) that, by sharing his feelings with me, MM has put me in the position of worrying about what’s going to happen between us. I have been so proud of myself for having been mostly serene about “where this is going.” Though it may not seem so from reading this blog, I have never been so relaxed & Zen about a relationship before. . . . particularly not one where I really care about the man.

My sister thinks that I am silly to worry about his breaking up with me. Her belief is that, were he genuinely planning to do so, he’d have just done it and not talked with me about it and his feelings. And she may be right . . . . but I am now unable to completely silence the little voice of doubt in my head. Before our conversation of 11/18, that voice was either absent, or so quiet that it was easily ignored.

Damn him for taking our nice, easy, casual relationship and making it stressful for me! :)

Anyway. . . . I just need to let it go and let whatever is going to happen, happen. I am not going to positively affect anything by worrying and obsessing over it.