Thursday, December 29

Yes, Virginia, Oprah was right

It's almost 2012. I cannot even begin to tell you how amazed I am that it's already almost 2012. Yikes!

Instead of the usual New Year's resolution nonsense, I think we should start a new tradition: a New Year's gratitude-tion. Or something like that. (Help me come up with a catchy name, folks!)

Oprah Winfrey used to have a regular topic of discussion somehow related to gratitude. I remember wondering why Oprah had the nerve to tell people to journal things they were grateful for. I mean, really, she had everything. Or so it seemed. Rubbing it in seemed rude. Years later, after some thought, I decided that she may have seemed to have it all, but did she? She's really the only one that knows. But, given the few things that have been reported about her past, maybe she had something there. Ya know? If regularly remembering the things she was grateful for helped her, who was I to judge?

Now that Oprah's off the air, I'm sure her gratitude journal idea will wither away along with her "favorite things" shows. (Damn it! Why couldn't I have been an audience member just once?!) And while I don't know if following all of Oprah's advice would be wise, her gratitude idea has merit. Lots of merit. And I think it's high time more people took the time to appreciate what we already have. Preferably on a daily basis, but at least once a year. No time like the present, right?

I thought I'd give you all some ideas to get you started. You may or may not agree with me on the actual things I'm grateful for, but this hopefully will spark some thoughts on what you're grateful for in your own life.

My Gratitude List 2011
I am grateful for:
  1. This life I've been given (literally and figuratively)
  2. My family
  3. My friends
  4. My health (OK, this one has to be on my list for various reasons. Cliche' I know.)
  5. Continuing my journey through healing
  6. Creating stronger bonds with my friends
  7. My travels, both past and future
  8. Knowing the difference between want and need
  9. Still being able to fulfill some wants in life
  10. YOU! My friends and readers
That's just a start to my list. I think it should be enough to get you started, too. Some might be the same, some are sure to be different. I usually list a few silly things that I'm grateful for, so I remember that in life, silliness is a necessity. It helps us break the tension, and keeps things in perspective.

So, in the immortal words of Oprah, is this your AHA moment? Are you ready to embrace all that you're grateful for? I promise, it will do you good. It will make you feel more peaceful, more joyful, and more aware. And isn't that what it's all about anyway?

Friday, December 23

Whaduyaknow?

Huh. Sometimes I'm amazed at things.

Recently, my husband, on a whim, wondered what would come up on Google if he typed "mommy blogs boise." This is what he found:


I have been at times haphazard in posting. I have been laxadazical (is that a word?) and all over the map with what I choose to post. I have had little interaction with the unknown people that might possibly be reading the blog at all. It has been a strange experience to have a conversation with myself, all the while hoping someone somewhere would read it and fell some sort of connection. 
I'm more than a little excited to see a few comments from my last post. Actually, you have no idea how excited I am about that! :-) Thank you for reading it. Thank you for commenting. And, mostly, thank you for getting it.

Monday, December 19

What if heaven is now?

Lately, I've been thinking. What with all the Christmas cheer, and holiday stories of generosity... what about the rest of the year?

I mean, poor people are still poor when it's not Christmastime.

Homeless people still need shelter and a nice meal, even when it's not Christmastime.

Children still need something special now and then, even when it's not Christmastime.

Not only did that get me thinking about what my family will be doing throughout the year for those less fortunate, it got me thinking about things more existential.

What if the "heaven" that so many people are looking forward to experiencing in the afterlife is actually here? And what would happen if we all treated this life as if it were heaven? How much suffering and pain could we eliminate? How many lives could we change?

As we all prepare to celebrate Christmas (or Hanukkah, or Festivus ("the feats of strength"), etc) please take a moment to notice what's happening around you. Ask yourself how you can keep the holiday spirit going throughout the year.

  • Can you pay for the coffee the person in line behind you is going to order? 
  • Can you serve a meal to the homeless at the shelter sometime in July?
  • Can you bring needed items to the food bank in February, to replenish the food already given out for the holidays?

Big or small, what can you do to make the world a better place, and how often can you do it?

I know I now have a new goal: to do something for someone else at least once a month for 2012. My kids will get in on it, too, since I'm giving them no choice. ;-)

Heaven on Earth. It is attainable. And it starts with you!