Sunday Snippet: The Mid-July Gratitude Check-In Edition
Every couple of years, I break out my copy of Sara Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance. She calls it “A Daybook of Comfort and Joy,” and it truly is. If you’ve never read the book, I recommend it highly and it’s even available as an e-book! I downloaded it to my Kindle a few years ago, which makes it easy to have wherever I am, but I’m still partial to the hardback book because it has my notes in it from previous years, and it’s cool to read those, too. I’ve been doing the Simple Abundance meditations this year because I need that centering after the last eighteen months.
Part of the meditation is to write in a Gratitude Journal. Believe it or not, blessed as my life is, sometimes I find it hard to list five things I’m grateful for without repeating the same things each day. I think that’s because the exercise requires more thought than I’m willing to put into it, and maybe also because some days, I’m just not in the mood to be grateful. Gratitude is the first principle of the six Simple Abundance precepts. The first two months’ worth of meditations focus on learning to be grateful for your current life, your current situation.
My life is wondrous. I am more than amply blessed with a lovely new home, a great family that includes a Grandboy who is a constant joy, a son to be proud of, a sweetie of a daughter-in-law, and a loving and gracious husband. My sister is close by and I have several dear and intimate friends. I am a well-published author with readers who anticipate my next book. I have a great job that I can do in my jammies. I am a creative and healthy person—what’s not to be appreciated?
Well, there’s my ass…it’s big. If I don’t keep the size of it under control, my joints are going to turn in their notice. Food is not the enemy, my compulsive overeating is. However, it’s going to be up to me to fix this, and I can do it. I know I can do it. I simply need to well… do it. I’ve been tentatively making small changes. No sweets (my Red Light food) in the house, no baking, no grabbing a candy bar at checkout, or stopping for ice cream. No wine every night. I’m making smaller meals that are veggie and fiber focused and choosing to leave food on my plate if I feel comfortably full. I’m walking in the ’hood and swimming in the lake, so I need to let up on myself and relax about the shape of my ass.
There’s also my inability to say “no” to job offers, which leads me to taking on more work than I should. Why? I think because I believe I need to be “earning my keep,” as it were. I need to contribute to the household income, particularly if I want to do things like do my writer trips with Liz or have a mani/pedi regularly. I do need to earn money and help out, but I don’t need to work myself into literal exhaustion just to prove my own worth. No one expects that—as a matter of fact, Husband has told me repeatedly to work as much as I want to, but not to overdo it. And just because there is work waiting for me, that doesn’t mean I have to be in my office, butt in chair, every waking moment. It’s okay to watch a movie with Husband, have lunch with friends, and focus more on my writing, particularly since I’ve got deadlines for new books through 2022.
Today, this 18th day of July, when about half the year is over, I’m going to make a promise to myself to try to be more writer and less editor. To try to be a more healthy, happy woman and less aware of the size of my behind. To embrace all the good and lovely things in my life and to stop wishing for things to be different. All I have right this moment is all I need. Someone quoted Henry David Thoreau to me this morning, “It’s not what you look at that matters, but what you see.” Yes and what I see is that life is good. Life is very good… I know that with all my heart. I’ll continue to count on the daily Simple Abundance meditations to help me remember what a lovely life I have.
So…stay well, stay safe, and most of all, mes amies, stay grateful!
Roseann McGrath Brooks
A few years ago, as a Lenten discipline, my husband and I began naming to each other three things we were thankful for every evening before bed. We’ve kept it up. You’re right; it’s not always easy. But it does, indeed, adjust my attitude. As an added benefit, it helps me sleep better!
What a great thing to do each evening–we probably need to start that, too. I love it! Thanks for stopping by, Roseann