Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Midwinter Gratitude

I have to admit, I’ve been loving winter so far. There’s nothing quite like driving or walking through a flurry of snowflakes, and then peeking out the window hours later to find that the world has been transformed into a soft, sparkling version of its dead fall self. That’s not to say I never miss 70° winters in Santa Barbara, or going to the beach in January. But here I am, in Connecticut, so I may as well enjoy it, and in fact I have been enjoying it more than I expected.

But even a winter enthusiast like myself (I’m big fan of all those winter sports, like blanket snuggling and soup devouring) gets down sometimes, and one such time was this evening. I won’t go into details; suffice it to say it has more or less to do with being in one’s twenties and finding one’s place in life.

So I journaled to sort through the feelings in my heart, and felt mostly better, but still had about a page to fill before the entry ended. (I like to finish off each page; it looks cleaner and allows each entry a fresh start.) I decided to fill this page with what I was grateful for, and this experiment had the instant effect of totally turning around my mood. I’ll have to remember this trick for the future, but for now, here is what I am grateful for.

The first thing I am grateful for is my new kitty, Hobbes, who finally settled down on my lap after a very active late afternoon and evening.

She sleeps under the couch when we’re gone, but when we arrive home, she’s totally stoked and goes crazy for the next few hours. Today was especially exciting for her because it was snowing, and she’d never seen snow here before. We intend to keep her as an indoor cat (we see the tracks of various critters in our backyard when it snows, and live next to a major road), but we let her step out onto the snow-caked doormat. Well, that cured her of any lingering desires to be an outdoor cat, and call us bad parents, but we laughed when she zoomed right back inside. 70° heating is way better than 19° snow in her book! Also, we’re pretty sure we have another mouse lurking somewhere, so Hobbes and I hunted for it, to no avail yet. I keep checking my moccasins; I found one there the last time we had an invasion.

I also wrote that I was grateful for winter! Six months ago in California, I would not have believed I would write that. Yet here I am, and I genuinely do mean it. Snow is a great excuse to drink lots of tea and read lots of books.

I’m also grateful for Aaron. As his new semester starts, I’m reminded again of how proud I am of him and his commitment to pursuing his goals. Plus, he got me a kitten, and therefore has earned infinity best husband points, as well as multiple Get Out of Jail Free cards.

Gratitude sounds like such a simple thing, yet I am discovering that when put into action, it has the power to change my life.

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