The Gratitude Journal

After the storm by InkSpot's Blot
After the storm, a photo by InkSpot’s Blot on Flickr.

Five things.

1. I’m grateful for cookbooks. I have a certain degree of creativity in the kitchen, but I have never been the type of person to experiment heavily. Experimentation can bring success, but it can also bring failure. And in this case that means crappy tasting food. My fixation on predictable outcomes and efficiency makes this unacceptable for me. Enter the cookbook. It gives a starting point and suggests a precise route to the finish, should one chose to follow it. Otherwise it’s an awesome frame on which to build. Cookbooks = demystifying the kitchen and dietary independence.

2. My couch is pretty high on my list today. It’s been my trusty companion in recovering from a party last night. It doesn’t judge me when I lounge on it and watch a movie when I should be writing. Aside from being an inanimate object on which I can project, it represents something more. It was the first piece of furniture I bought after being on my own again. I picked it out, chose the fabric, negotiated the deal. Maybe a perfectly mundane act for most, but for me it was a moment of decisiveness propelled by my own will.

3. That simple acts can bring someone happiness. Yesterday I made my grandmother’s recipe for fruitcake. I just had to buy the stuff and put the time in. It wasn’t like twelve cupcakes and two mini-loaves was a monumental effort.

Meme lives in a board and care now, and hasn’t been able to cook for herself in years. She has this blue notebook in which she wrote some of her favorite recipes (this being one of them). They came from a time when she was a wife and a mother, and then a woman living on her own. She takes a lot of pride in them. When I visited this morning, a sheepish smile crossed her face and her eyes lit up. I usually talk about the problems I had with the recipe so she can help me troubleshoot it. Again, small act, but she’s happy to have something to help with.

4. I am grateful for the opportunity to reflect. Each year I look back, review my goals and my behavior. How close did I come to living my ideals. How, how often, and why did I veer off course from being the person I know I can be, that kind of stuff. There is always a choice, a way to improve life, to be a better person. I am constantly tinkering, tweaking, reshaping myself and hopefully evolving.

5. I am grateful for light. For the magic it can bring. And the beauty.

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