"In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy." Brother David Steindl-Rast

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Unlikely Packages

Today I am grateful or the HPAAC writing group I was able to attend last evening and for the growing and thriving art community we have here.  I am also grateful for the ongoing lessons taught to me as I practice habitual gratitude.

It all starts with an open mind. An open mind requires a pause, then allows a multitude of possibilities in that a closed mind misses. Possibilities that can come in the most unlikely packages.

Packages like an ingrown toenail. Painful nuisances or cause for gratitude? How about both? A recent ingrown toenail on the big toe of my right foot got my attention with redness and throbbing discomfort. Not pleasant. Initially, I was crabby about the flare up and that it might interfere with my running.

I headed to urgent care hoping for a quick fix-like the last time it had flared up. No such luck-the doctor wanted to start me on antibiotics and get me in to my podiatrist in the next few days. Time for a more permanent fix.

Three days later I was sitting in the podiatrist's office. We consulted and he quickly and adeptly removed a portion of the problematic toenail. Sure, it's been a bit of a hassle remembering to take antibiotics, soaking my toe a couple times a day for a few days, changing bandages, and more.

But interwoven with all of that is the gratitude that the pain was minimal after the first couple days of the flare-up, that I only missed a couple days of exercise, that it wasn't worse.

Yes, the old "could have been worse"  argument is an effective gratitude barometer. This ingrown toenail was a blip, not a hurdle.

This morning I had another unlikely package. I typically will have my coffee in one of three mugs that I like to use. Two were gifts from good friends, and I got the third one on a trip with my sisters.

This morning I just happened to grab a different one. It is part of a matching pair of mugs that we got when we first moved here 17 years ago. We got them with a gift certificate we got in a welcome package we received. The place we bought them at was torn down a couple years ago and replaced by new construction. We are still here enjoying our mugs and thankful for our community.

I guess there was a reason why I grabbed that mug this morning. Have a good day! 

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