Do you know that feeling you had as a child, as you stood, clutching a quarter in your sweaty little palm, staring through the glass at the penny candy counter as the clerk behind the counter asks you; “what you would like?” Your eyes were wide, mouth already watering as you anticipated the taste of each little treat while you scanned the selections: the wonderful, colorful and tasty candies, just waiting there to be dropped into your own little paper bag. It was all so exciting – but in some strange way it was stressful too, because ultimately, you had to choose. You knew each candy was yummy in its own particular way, and you wanted them all, you may have even wanted multiples of some of your favorites, but you had to make a choice, had to decide not only which ones to select, but which one to eat first, and second and so on and finally, which to save for last. It’s “Childhood Heaven and Hell” (though not so much of the latter) all rolled in to one.
Well, at present, I am the experiencing the adult version of exactly that – over something as equally pleasant for me these days – which is, writing this blog. You see there has been a lot of “grist for the mill” lately – and I “ain’t complaining – really I’m not”, but my mind is currently a whirl with the possibilities. Over the course of the last week or so, I have had the pleasure of reading about, listening to, or discussing so many “juicy” and thought-provoking topics that as I sit here trying to pick one to expound upon, I am thoroughly overwhelmed. “Problems of Plenty, as an old friend would often say, honestly it is hard to think of them as problems at all. So, though many people might choose to work through this last part quietly and to themselves before starting to write anything, I will start with acknowledging, that sometimes I like to work them out, right here as a part of the blog itself. “Plip”, the first choice is in the bag.
Next, I am going to pause for a minute and hand-write a quick list of some of the other possible future topics, so that I can return to them at another time, if I would like. “Plip”
And then miraculously, without a need to think or fret any longer – I realize that throughout all of this – what is happening inside me is that I am filled with a sense of deep and profound Gratitude – and I know that this is the direction I want to go… “Plip” Because honestly, in some ways gratitude is the thread, the stream which flows through not only most of the topics themselves, but the experience left behind. “Plip” And though I could over-intellectualize the concept, what I want is to acknowledge are just some of the bits. “Plip”
- I had a wonderful, picnic lunch yesterday with my beautiful son who will be leaving for college in September. I am grateful, for the time to spend with my boy and both of our intention and mindfulness to be in and enjoy the moment. “Plip”
- I read a touching post today, by the daughter of my old friend who had passed away a couple of week’s ago. I am grateful to her for sharing her heart and memory and to the universe for creating this man who touched the lives of so many in his simple, too short and profoundly meaningful life. “Plip”
- I attended an inspiring talk yesterday about “Violence and Identity”. I am grateful for the thought-provoking stimulation it created, for the opportunity to re-connect with a community of people with whom I have lost touch, and for the reminder that the world is filled with so many good souls. “Plip”
- I had a wonderful meeting today with another old friend and former colleague with whom I am collaborating on teaching a class in Positive Psychology. I am grateful to have the chance to re-kindle an old friendship, for the excitement of learning new things, for the opportunity to share this information with others and to be engaged with my work on this dimension. “Plip”
And there is more, much more, that I could say. But this feels like enough – except for one last thing. I am grateful for my gratitude, itself. Through these eyes, life feels richer. I am fortified on all planes – buoyed up, strengthened and inspired. And though I am not suggesting that you put blinders on and always look for the bright side in life – I do think it is important to find those things that “feed” you and do more of them. Life is most certainly not easy, and that is true these days in ways that it has never been before, for so many of us, but I do find, that the more I acknowledge “the good stuff” not only do I have more energy to deal with everything else – but the more I see that I AM grateful for… “Plip”
And this is the one, that I am saving for last and savoring as long as I possibly can.
(Drawing by: Stevan Dohanos, “Penny Candy”, 1944)