in 8th grade home-ec we had these lovely things called "grateful books". our teacher would hand them out at the beginning of class, and we had to write five things for which we were grateful on that particular day. I don't remember what all I put in there, but I remember really racking my brain to come up with my quota on some days.
there are many reasons I think home-ec should be offered in college rather than 8th grade. if I remember correctly, I could make a mean omelet at age 12, but that skill has since faded with a negative correlation to its usefulness. did I need to make an omelet for myself in 8th grade? no. college? well, it couldn't have hurt.
along with cooking and the ability to sew a stuffed squirrel (yes, I chose to make a squirrel and moose as my stuffed animal creations in 8th grade...rocky and bullwinkle, anyone? no wonder I wasn't ever cool in jr. high), the ability to be grateful seems to have slipped through the cracks of my memory, too. what if I took the time to look for the things I take for granted every day? what if I thanked God for getting me to work every morning instead of grumbling over long traffic lights? what if I was looking for little, joyous moments instead of skimming over them because I'm so focused on the negative? I'm going to try this. maybe it could radically change my attitude, alter my state of mind. even if it doesn't, though, I'm going to be grateful.
here are some thank you notes for the last day or so...
1 - dear lab partners, thank you for being brave, awesome morticians who are not afraid to handle a cow heart. and thank you for not getting grumpy with me when I wasn't as enthusiastic. and thank you for not getting cow blood on me.
2 - dear police officer, thank you for not pulling me over when I whizzed by you going...well...over the speed limit. speeding always seems like a good idea until I see a cop and am reminded that a ticket will not only cause a delay, but deplete my bank account as well. so once again, thank YOU.
3 - dear evening runs, thank you for being therapeutic. thank you for allowing me to clear my head and find joy in the little things, like saying hi to little old ladies having conversations in the middle of the sidewalk or watching a family play softball in their yard.
3.5 - dear beautiful weather, thank you just for being and for making number 3 possible.
4 - dear community nutrition professor, thank you for making class fun and reminding me of why I want to be a dietitian. thank you for letting us pretend counsel you and for not being an easy client. I like a challenge. and I also secretly like it when you tell us you don't want to make any lifestyle changes, that you're just "big boned-ed" and that your "baby daddy" is lucky cause he isn't. one day I hope I can counsel a real patient like this and talk her into drinking only one "big gulp" a day.
5 - dear mom, thank you for letting me talk your ear off about everything I've done the past two weeks. sometimes a girl just needs to chat with her momma. thanks for telling me about yourself at my age, too. I love hearing your insights and remembering that you were once in your 20s, going to school, stressed out, and trying to get by - just like me. also, thank you for answering the phone at 10 pm your time when I forget about the time change.
6 - dear co-worker, thank you for seeing potential in me. thank you for encouraging me to do more with my life than I sometimes think I can, and thank you for challenging me to not just stay content with where I am. thank you for letting me know that you think I can do more.
well, ok, so that was kind of seven, but who's to say there needs to be a limit on what you're grateful for? I'm grateful that I have so much to be grateful for. cheesey? maybe. true? you bet your bottom dollar.