This last year and a half has easily been the longest and hardest of my life. I swear most of the time I feel like I’m taking one step forward and then two backward. Many of my relationships have fallen apart, and only some have cautiously come back together. People from my past have returned and then left again, leaving me shaken. I have cried and laughed and been afraid and happy and depressed. As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that nothing more (or less) has happened in this last year and a half than pure, unadulterated life.
This summer is going to bring me a new beginning. I’m not very old, I’m only 22, and life confuses me a lot. It’s not at all what I thought it was going to be. But if anything I can say it’s a whole lot of endings and beginnings. One lesson or relationship ends, and then another begins.
For the most part, my 22nd year has been a lot of suffering, and while I can try and blame that on other people, as my Sponsor so aptly reminded me yesterday, it’s never about other people, it’s always about me and my relationship with myself. If I’m not happy, it’s because I’m not right with myself and my Higher Power. My happiness has very little and in (most) situations nothing to do with the people around me or where I’m living or working.
But this July I will be 23! A brand new age. Today I was thinking about what theme I want for the last 4 months of my 22nd year. I thought it would be good to pick a main goal that I want to accomplish before July 10th. I couldn’t really think of anything until I talked to my Sponsor and we ended up discussing a daily gratitude list.
I have been making a daily gratitude list for a while now, but I found that it wasn’t making me feel that much better and I couldn’t figure out why. Finally my Sponsor pointed out that was because I was mostly putting things on that list that I thought I should be grateful for, rather than things that actually gave me joy. She shared with me a similar story of her own from when she was in college. She was completely hating everything about her life. Her job, her classes, and her relationships. But there was one thing that brought her joy - riding her bike through puddles. And that is exactly what she did. She rode her bike for long periods during the day and concentrated on the satisfaction and “gladness” she got from that simple act.
So for the past two days I have been making a Glad List. I started small and promised myself that I would come up with three things every day that made me feel glad. They didn’t have to be major or deep, like “clean water” or “a good job.” Things that I thought I should be grateful for but that didn’t make me actually joyful.
I have been looking for the little things, the little moments, that slip by unnoticed too easily. Things like listening to music with the windows down, cuddling with my kitty after work, having a laugh with my coworkers, and the focus needed to paint my shells to turn them into jewelry. It has really helped transform my last few weeks living in Clermont into something that I am actually enjoying. I wish I would have started sooner, but in all honesty I have no regrets, and I am truly looking forward to my future.
But now I want to hear from you! What is on your Glad List today? What little miracles might be passing you by?
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