Sometimes I think aging has made me a bit more simple.
I thought about this most recently as I continued to reflect on gratitude for the purpose of staying committed to my month of gratitude in this space.
As I sat under an overcast sky, watching my son mow the lawn while my daughter worked on homework, I thought of many simple things. Things like laughter, a smile, even a side glance that means little to many yet says something to me – those are the things that fill my heart with joy.
Oh sure, I’m grateful for the car I was able to treat myself to earlier this year. Graduating from the mommy “swagger wagon,” to a bit of a more grown-up car was indeed a big moment. One that had my children and I so giddy, we spent the better part of the first month using the word “fancy” more times than a Beverly Hills designer.
Gone seem to be my days of being grateful for an abundance of things. Actually as I type this, my head spins a bit, as I recognize my children and I have some downsizing to do as a number of things in our home have sat stagnant for a bit too long and now must bring joy to another family or home.
I also love to travel and in the midpoint of my life recognize my good fortune in seeing a number of places many will only see via television or magazine spread. Raised by a mother, unafraid to hit the open road and venture in her VW beetle, that free spirit continues to live in me and now fuels my children. Road trips are still alive and well in our travels and adventures. I’m grateful for that as well.
Then there is the tribe of people which surround us and the richness each of them offer to our lives. I touched on a handful in the first issue of the month, recognizing the “mommies” and the richness they bring to my life, as well as my children’s. My friend circle tends to be a bit eclectic. I’d also attribute this to the aging process. Aside from the “mommies” I can’t actually identify a “group” of collective friends. Oh sure, I have some runner girls I share glamping trips and run travels with and then there’s my family – friends whom are family, as well as family who are undoubtedly friends.
In short, I’d say my friend group is a bit like Hermie the elf, a group of key misfits who catch me when needed and I do as well in return. As I’ve grown older I’ve truly come to appreciate the quality over quantity concept. Trusting in those who know me and I mean really know me. You know the ones. The ones who can sit in a public venue and hear something repeated that you “supposedly” said and without pause can speak up to offer correction, knowing you well enough to not only know what you likely actually said, but how you actually said it. Yeah, those are the misfits I’m grateful to do life with. The ones whom understand a play by play of my life as it unfolds is unlikely, yet somehow we always know when to connect with one another. I’m grateful for this as well.
So what does all this mean really? I mean, come on Teresa ... is there truly a point or are you simply stringing along a bunch of thoughts to fill the space. The answer simple … both.
The subject of gratitude is a funny thing. It can mean a lot to many, or be summed up in a few words for others. At the end of the day the point is really quite simple; do you truly live from a place of gratitude? Do you wake and feel grateful for feet which touch the ground or eyes which see the clouds? Do you share your feelings freely and without hesitation? Do you risk not having it reciprocated because you’re just that joy filled? Only you know what’s real for you and only you can opt to build on that tower of grace and gratitude.
As for me and what I know for sure – if I love you ... you know it. If I’m grateful for you, for love or for friendship – you know it. So here’s to living gratitude out loud, one simple proclamation at a time.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.