As you may know, I am on a mindfulness kick lately. I’m trying to live more in the moment, appreciate the little things, and not get so caught up in stress and worry. And one thing that many people recommend as a great mindfulness tool is a gratitude list.
Gratitude lists can be something you pin up on your fridge to remind you of the things you have to be thankful for. You can run through a list in your head as you’re falling asleep to end the day on a good note, or before you get out of bed to start on a positive note. The point is that you take the time to realize how good you’ve really got it and to truly appreciate that.
I’m pretty good, I think, at being grateful for the obvious things: The Hubby, Big Dog and Little Dog, my house, my health. I could remind myself of these things, but I’m already usually aware of them. What really makes me stop and think about just how lucky I am is actually to look at the simple, tiny little things that you normally don’t even notice, let alone think of being grateful for.
Here are just a few “little” things I’ve come to realize I am surprisingly grateful for:
- Sheets that fit. We’ve been living for weeks with sheets that don’t really fit our overly fluffy pillow top mattress. Every time The Hubby or I turn in the night, the fitted sheet would slip from the mattress until it’s a little ball of fabric at our feet by the time we wake up.
This drove me nuts. But I bought the sheets at deep discount (sometimes quality is worth paying more for), and I refused to admit they weren’t worth the bargain I’d gotten. Until last weekend, when we were at Kohl’s and I found myself wandering the linen aisles with longing. I eventually gave in and bought sheets that actually fit. And last night, as I scooched around under the covers trying to get comfortable, I realized the sheets were staying in place! I could do a dance on that bed and the fitted sheet would stay fitted.
That may not seem like much, but after months of getting tangled up in junky sheets, it felt like a luxury. (And no, Hubby, I will not be doing a dance on the bed. That was just an example.)
- Coffeepot timers. I wake up to the smell of freshly roasted coffee every morning. It’s like having a butler! (Now I just need a griddle I can set to have bacon sizzling as I wake up.)
- Seasons. While I love the sun and dream of moving to somewhere always warm like California, the truth is, I’d miss the beauty of having seasons. I love watching the leaves change. I love white Christmases. And there is nothing like the feeling of spring coming after a long, hard winter. (I do not love brushing off my car or raking up the piles of pretty leaves, but you take the good with the bad.)
- Anything from The Container Store. We live in a wee little “starter” house, but we somehow have enough kitchen gadgets, wrapping paper, clothes, and other possessions for a family of 5. This wonderful site provides us with solutions to make all that stuff fit in our house in cunning, neat little order. I never thought I’d be the kind of person who would delight in spice racks and closet solutions, but am I ever!
- Salads. You can put nearly anything on them and they will always be delicious—they’re like the healthy version of pizza! This summer, my brown bag lunch every day at work was a big, loaded salad, and I never got bored of it. In fact, I still have plenty of new ideas I still want to try. (Perhaps that could be a post in the future for my fellow brown-baggers out there?)
Once you really start rolling on a list of these “unimportant” little things, you start to realize you’re actually incredibly lucky in a million little ways.
What “little” things do you have to be grateful for?
photo credit: airtank