Generating Gratitude Introduction
I don't know how you feel, but I am tired. More than tired. Most days, it's I'm hanging-on-a-cliff-by-the-edge-of-my-fingernails tired; if-one-more-person-asks-me-for-one-more-thing-I'll-rip-their-head-off-and-then-cry tired; no-amount-of-sleep-can-cure-this-aching tired.
It comes from the early morning corporate job to the late evening baseball games, from being a manager, a mother, a wife, and a friend. It comes from trying to be all things to all people - to everyone but myself - and feeling mediocre at best. It comes from a constant longing for "things" to be better and the constant fight to get "them." It comes from feeling spiritually and emotionally depleted. And it feels permanent.
One of my favorite songwriters, Sarah Mclachlan, sums it up in her song Angel:
Quite frankly, I'm tired of feeling tired. So, I have been considering ways in which I can fill my energy tank, ways I can get my motor running, ways I can turn the lights on again.
It was a few years ago when I first learned the benefits of practicing daily gratitude. I had the intention of putting it into practice on a regular basis and began writing in my journal. I considered items as small as snowflakes, enjoyable as coffee, and important as my son:
However, as my energy waned, so did my gratitude. And, although I acknowledge that being grateful while all is going well has significant power, it is finding gratitude in the ugly that's proven most difficult for me. It's remembering the sixth bullet point on my list: The strength to know I will make it that eludes me.
When there's always some reason to feel not good enough, when all I want to do is close my eyes, it's hard to see the good.
It is for this reason I'm happy to use this space to share something new with you. I will shortly begin a five-part series entitled Generating Gratitude focused on ways I am trying to find the good in the ugly and ways I am trying to reach through the depths of darkness to find that sliver of light, the place within each of us where we remember we have the strength to make it through.
Generating Gratitude has a twofold meaning: Generating (v.) in the sense that each post will help us all contemplate ways we can increase (or grow) our gratitude; and Generating (adj.) in the sense that this practice will have a way of creating that much-needed energy and powering our spirit through turmoil, much like a generator turns on the lights. In essence, what we put into this practice, we will get back in return.
The first in the series, entitled Gratitude and Grieving, is close to my heart and I hope each of you will connect with it in your own way.
Since these topics can seem heavy, I feel it's important to take my time with each of them, to allow myself and every one of you time to digest each as it comes; so I will pace them as it feels appropriate.
In addition to these posts, I welcome any comments or suggestions you may have along the way and hope that by the end, we all have some new tools to help us feel a bit more I'm-exhausted-and-could-really-use-a-good-nap tired.