Thanksgiving has come and gone; Christmas has come and gone; and we are stuck in the perpetual gray days of Winter. Small glimpses of sunshine peek out every once in a while - but the moments are short and the cold temperatures keep me stuck in bleakness. I've always had a struggle with this time of year. The days are too short and it feels like there is too little to look forward to. The novelty of the darkness of winter has long worn out and I crave the colors of spring in the flowers, the trees, the blue sky and the sunshine.
In the latter part of January, a friend of mine approached me with the idea of a Gratitude Group. An idea she had seen in a magazine around the Holidays, she found she couldn't shake the idea and wanted to try an experiment. Through an email invitation, she invited a diverse group of women. And those women were invited to invite one other friend. We met on a Friday night at her home, each bringing a component of a simple soup and salad dinner. We dished up, introduced ourselves and told each other a little bit about our lives. And then the fun began. We were each given a journal and told to regularly write down a few of the things that we were grateful for.
I made a committment to myself to do this. I have always been a journal writer - but I go through phases. I love journals. . .I have dozens of them - but very few that I have completely filled. I set my journal next to my bed with a pen so that it was ready to go. Many nights I crawl into bed, pick up the journal and think - there is nothing special about this day that is worth recording. But - that was not what this "assignment" was about - so I begin to think about what I am grateful for. And then the words begin to flow.
Many days the themes are the same - family, husband, home, talents, my art, color . . . nothing earth shattering. But for those brief moments before bed, I forget about the struggles of life. Our stuggles with money, or the needed house repairs, or the frustrations of the little things go away and I am reminded of all that I have. I am very, very grateful!
The Gratitude Group will meet again in March and we will share our revelations as to how this experiment has affected our lives. And I am sure, if the other women have felt as I have, that we will continue for months to come. To share with others in such a positive way is a blessing in and of itself. For those few hours we will not discuss the economy or our jobs or anything negative. We will left each other up with gratitude.