“Vaccinated. Final Chapter.”
Oh boy. I would really like to snap my fingers right now and have the COVID-19 pandemic be done. I am weary much like others I meet.
When I started this series on vaccines, I had every intention of finishing with a lecture-style blog about freedom and all the responsibility that goes with that. Blah! Blah! Blah! I think we have all heard that ad nauseum by now.
In fact, making a commitment to have a “Final Chapter” led to a bit of a writer’s block for me. My last post was added in September. It’s already November.
Since it is November, that got me headed in a whole new direction. It’s that time of year we practice gratitude. Why not make this post about Gratitude?
So, here goes …
More than 20 years ago, I was given the book “Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy” by Sarah Ban Breathnach. In the January meditations, she provides instructions for several activities to enrich your daily life including keeping a daily gratitude journal. I started keeping my gratitude journal in January of 1998. I still do it every day.
I enjoy writing so keeping a daily journal is not a struggle for me. I have a daily time to write, and I use simple cheap notebooks so I do not feel obligated to write with great grammar or proper punctuation. I just write.
My gratitude journal is a completely different story. I take time to shop for the journal that “calls” to me at that time. I will spend a little extra money on this if I need to however, I have found some awesome journals at reasonable prices! Some have scripture in them. Others have quotes. I prefer the kind with rings so they can be opened up flat.
What I write in my gratitude journal is only a list of five items I am grateful for just for that day. Every evening I take time to ask myself, what has happened today that I want to tell God I am grateful for? I simply list those items. Some days are rough. All I can think of are things like
- I have two eyes to see with.
- I can still walk with my two legs.
- My Mother is still living at 91.
- My daughter and her family.
Other days are filled with small miracles.
- Laughing with my granddaughter at the bus stop.
- My car got fixed.
- Mother’s recovery after her hip surgery.
- Celebrating my grandson’s birthday.
- Safe travels for a family gathering.
What I discovered when I started keeping a Gratitude Journal was that my focus changed. Before I started keeping a Gratitude Journal, I used to worry about everything that had happened that day, and ruminate over everything I thought had gone wrong. Once I kept a Gratitude Journal for a full month, I discovered that I finished my day by looking for what had gone right that day. What were my true treasures? Where had God been at work in my day? What small or big miracles had happened along the way?
That attitude change was life-changing.
That’s why I still do it.
So, as we enter month 20 of a pandemic, my suggestion is we turn our focus from our weariness to what we are grateful for. I’ll help to get us started. Here are 10 things I am grateful for as 2021 winds down.
- I am grateful for local pharmacies having vaccine shots available. How awesome that their staff were willing to be trained on how to handle the vaccines, that their IT teams could set up the ability to make appointments online, and that I was able to get a booster shot there.
- I am grateful to the Urgent Care clinic close to home and the staff there. They probably know me by sight now as I tend to go get tested anytime I have the sniffles! I am grateful for their willingness to work in that setting.
- I am grateful to family members, friends and co-workers willing to get vaccines so that I do not have to go through the experience of attending their funerals.
- I am grateful for the young generation of folks willing to go into the medical field. Any part of that field.
- I am grateful to medical researchers.
- I am grateful for telehealth.
- I am grateful to the tollbooth workers along the Kansas turnpike. They are there in any kind of weather throughout the year, making it possible for me to visit relatives when I travel that way.
- I am grateful for all the folks that work at rest stops along the highway, especially during a pandemic.
- This time of year, I am always grateful for indoor plumbing. I mean, imagine going through a pandemic without it! Enough said!
- I am grateful my writer’s block is finally gone! Hope to write more soon! Thanks.
Now it’s your turn. Let’s see if we can get to 100 items before Thanksgiving! Share what you’re thankful for in the comments on this Facebook post.
Blessings to all!