Golly. This posted started out as one about how I got my gratitude back through an exercise I created for myself. (I needed my gratitude back because I’d been feeling the need to cash in my “get out of LA free” ring for a bit.) I came up with a way back to gratitude and — after only two days at it — I was already sure it was worth sharing.
So I started drafting the post, thinking of how many of the specific details I wanted to share (you’ll see why, later), and then got bombarded with things that made me rant, and I decided the post needed to be both about the new gratitude experience and the stuff that put a “bee in my Bonnie,” as Dyana says.
And then I finished the post and kept it saved as a draft. And it sat…
’til I realized I just didn’t need it any more. I eventually put the non-ranty stuff into a column, because I never want to send that many keystrokes off to the slush pile, but the rest of the post just sat in the drafts folder.
And now I’m a good 16 days into the gratitude experiment and I really must share it. It’s simple. But powerful. And the ranty stuff sooo doesn’t matter. Probably never did. Good.
Because I’m not connected with as many folks on Facebook as I used to be, because I don’t like filling my Twitter stream with lots of direct replies, because I’m seriously contemplating just shutting down my LinkedIn profile altogether due to what it has become in my life, because blogging has become a now-and-then big-ass post activity rather than the daily dose of me that it used to be, I had to get resourceful about how I could do another gratitude experiment, easily.
Of course. Email.
So, just like back in the days of the “gratitude journal” (when, before bed each night, I would list in my bedside journal five things for which I was grateful, no matter how hard the exercise might be on any particular day), I now send one last email before calling it a night. It’s the last thing I do, so I go to bed in a place of gratitude. I think of people in my life and choose that night’s recipient. (No, I’m not gonna tell you who. The decision comes organically. It’s lovely, really.)
The email is simple. It’s short. It’s just a thank you. I don’t do it on a Facebook wall because I don’t need a dozen LIKES to make me feel like I did a good thing. Yes, even writing here about the fact that I am doing it feels a little icky, except for the fact that I’m seeing so many people complaining about being in low places lately that I think this thing that’s fixing me — slowly, and sweetly — might fix you too, if you’d like to try it. I’m all about sharing my toys, and I’m pretty excited about this one. It’s not about replies or “you’re welcome” or an angle or anything other than appreciation… and getting my worldview to be a little more pleasant. I’ll continue to do this every night ’til I run out of people for whom I am grateful. I figure that means an email a night forever.
No, this nightly practice won’t change the world, but it may change me. And anything to shake off the crankypants sounds great sometimes.
I want to let folks know they’re appreciated (quietly, without fanfare, with no agenda beyond letting them know they matter… and shifting my personal peace) while appreciating that 99% of my life is beyond-my-wildest-dreams awesome, rather than fixating on a niggling 1% that seemed particularly inflamed when I started this exercise.
That 1% now? It’s 0.01% today. This exercise is powerful stuff.