Sunday, January 21, 2018

Freshly baked bread

A few weeks before Christmas, my husband said he had a surprise for me, but he didn't know if I would like it. Slightly ominous, but oddly exciting. It turned out to be . . . a breadmaker! 

I must admit, I was skeptical. Though I do make a good sweet bread, I was always intimidated by baking yeast breads, convinced that I would screw it up. Plus all that rising, punching, and kneading, I am far too lazy and impatient for that. 😏 

Today I finally had the chance to try it out, and I am so glad I did! As you can see the resulting bread was very tasty looking, and the flavor lived up to its appearance. 



I am grateful that I can now make delicious bread at home, and that I had the opportunity to try it out today. I am also glad it came out well!
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This post is part of the daily gratitude practice I am working to develop during 2018. You can read all about it at my blog, BCB.  
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May all beings be happy!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A family outing

Today we took advantage of a warm(er) winter day for a family outing. We did a (minor) Target run, had lunch at the mall food court, and stopped by JoAnn Fabrics for some small Valentines and springtime decorations (time to put the Christmas stuff away!).

One of my purchases was a small heart-shaped wreath with faux lavender flowers, which caught my eye the moment I saw it. 


Though it might not seem like much, I came home feeling very satisfied. I realized it had been a long time since we had gone out as a family and I had felt at ease. Really, our daughter is (knock on wood) very good in restaurants and stores, but going out with her in tow has often been stressful for me, spurred mostly by motherly worries of a sudden, mysterious infant meltdown. But today was different, and I was much more relaxed, even back to my wisecracking self (much to my husband's surprise). Could it be the gratitude talking? 😉  

I am grateful for such a nice family outing, and for starting to feel 'like myself' again.
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This is an entry for the Gratitude practice I am working towards during 2018. Please feel free to read all about it here.
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May all beings be happy! 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Growing gratitude

Today I am grateful for a Bible reading my sister-in-law shared with me a few days ago called 'Growing Gratitude'. Since I wanted to savor the reading rather than just skim through it, I waited until today to read it. I am glad I did because it really lifted my spirits. I would not say today was a bad day, or that anything went very wrong, but as any parent can tell you, some days are just . . . hard. For no real reason I felt a weight on me, along with a tiredness that made it difficult to get my gratitude in gear!

Well, reading that post changed all that. It reminded me that there are so many people out there also tuning in to gratefulness for all the good things in their lives, and that this is the right thing to do.

"Thou hast given so much to me, give one thing more: a grateful heart."
~ George Herbert, "Gratitude"  

I am grateful for the timeliness of that article, and for an extremely intuitive sister-in-law! 😊
*****
This is an entry for the Gratitude practice I am working towards during 2018. Please feel free to read all about it here.
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May all beings be happy!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Time to myself

Today I finally did what I had wanted to do for some time- go and work out at the gym, or at least take a walk outside. Since it was 16 degrees F at 7am, I opted for the former. Nothing serious, I just walked on the treadmill, but it felt good to get moving again. I am so close to losing all the baby weight, but reaching that goal does require some effort on my part. So does getting up early in the morning when my daughter and husband are all snuggled in and fast asleep. 

Normally making this extra effort would annoy me, but clearly it is what is required since I will be cooped up every day until the weather gets warmer. Instead I feel grateful for having that time to myself, for myself, because the effort will be worth it- and I don't know if tomorrow will give me the same opportunity.
*****
This post is part of the daily gratitude practice I am hoping to develop during 2018. You can read all about it here. 
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May all beings be happy!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Fearing gratitude

Since beginning this gratitude journey I have experienced a lot of positive and uplifting emotions. However, since in my view showing gratitude also means being honest with myself, I do want to note that there is a flip side. Along with what we might call negative emotions, my mind has been occupied with many questions . . . 

Doubt: Will I be able to keep going with this practice? What if these initial feelings are just a fluke? Will being grateful actually improve the quality of life for me and those around me, or am I just deluding myself?

Self-consciousness: When I express gratefulness, do people think I am bragging or trying to flaunt some 'perfect life'? Will anyone be angry if I do not show them gratitude soon enough, or in a way they expect? What if I forget someone?

Fear: Could expressing gratefulness in this manner 'tempt fate' and result in losing everything important to me? Will my fledgling gratitude be tested in a way I will not be able to handle? Will I alienate people I care about?

Clearly, most of these questions are quite unfounded. Viewed logically, I know that if someone is unhappy because of timing or the way I express gratitude, then perhaps my thankfulness is misplaced. If anyone is annoyed or alienated by my posts, they don't need to read them. I know that most people's busy lives don't permit much time to dwell on what others think of them. Finally, I can only hope there is no 'evil eye' out to get me, seeking revenge for my acknowledgment of the good things in my life.  

Though I would not necessarily describe this adventure as 'brave', I did not expect that discussing what I am grateful for would leave me feeling a little exposed; that it would take courage. 

Well, as we all know almost nothing worth doing in life is easy, and if my own change in attitude so far is any indication, I think I am on the right track. 
*****
This post is part of the daily gratitude practice I am working to develop during 2018. You can read all about it here. 
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May all beings be happy!