Micro-Gratitude: It’s Little and It’s Very Big

I have been learning things from Maddy, my mother-in-law, for over 30 years.

Lately she’s been teaching me about what I want to call “micro-gratitude”: being grateful for the very smallest things in life.

Many things are hard for Maddy right now: getting out a chair, walking across the room, keeping track of the round-the-clock caretakers, and worrying about whether we really did close the windows.  But through all this, she continues to be deeply grateful for the feeling of warm water when she washes her hands.

Every time I turn on the water for her, she says “Oh thank you!” as if I had just given her a long-awaited gift.  Without fail, she tells me how wonderful it feels.  She luxuriates in the clear warm water and the ritual of washing.

I try to be grateful every day, but I tend to think of the big things, always starting with the health of my loved ones.  Maddy is teaching me that there is plenty of gratitude to go around for the little things, some of it as close as the nearest faucet.

Home Sweet Home

Now that I have been Far From Home for Way Too Long , I have learned what I miss the most and it is this:

1. Steve

2. Being close at hand when my daughters need me

3. My house /my kitchen/ my bed

4. Wearing a variety of clothing

5. Spending time with my friends in person, including walking with Gale and having dinner with Michelle

6. Steve

7. Seeing my co-workers, work friends, and customers in person

8. My commute (!)

9. My espresso machine

10. Land lines

11. Sleeping in a room that is cold due to winter

12. Composting

13. My home office with its ergonomic setup

14. Steve

 

Resolve… or not

Today I learned, from the blog of my wonderful yoga studio*, these alternatives to resolutions, quoted and paraphrased here

1. Instead of focusing on change, place focus on what is already feeling right and working well in your life.

2. “Instead of having specific goals … try the idea of a theme.  One theme could be healthy living or another could be compassion. “

and described much better and discussed in more detail in the blog here:  Alternatives to The New Year’s Resolution

What are your themes?

* Mandala Yoga  has integrated with Full Spectrum Wellness in Manchester NH

Crowdsource a JanesLessonsLearned Giveaway!

Let’s make something together!  Let’s celebrate posting over 500 lessons together!  I’m interested in giving away something with the link on it, and I’m thinking water bottle.

Let’s design it together!   If you help me, I’ll send you one!  Actually, if you ASK, I’ll send you one, but help me anyway!

What should be on it other than the web address?   Should we use the books image on the web version?  Some other image?

Let’s do this together!  Post here or send me a message!

Jane

The Greener Grass of Other The Lily Pad

I learned the grass is always greener on the other side of the street if you are wearing rose-colored glasses when you look in that direction.

What a bizarre experience.  I was able to observe two people long for the position of each other, imagining it to be the solution to most or all of their problems, in the face of evidence to the contrary and/or a significant lack of evidence.

I was calling this a Frog-and-Toad story (they swept each others’ leaves – who remembers?) but it’s not really the same plot.  But let’s use their names anyway.  I’m pretty sure they won’t mind.

Frog wanted what Toad had.  Imagined it to be so different, and in just the ways that would make Frog happy.  None of the same problems would exist.  Where Frog didn’t know the details, she just made them up!  She’s had a lifetime of experience in doing that, so it was easy.

Toad wanted what Frog had, and an opportunity to have it came up.  They talked (they aren’t really amphibians, remember, those are just their names for this story).  Frog told Toad some facts, some good and some bad.  Toad pretty much focused on the good, and told about why she thought being in Frog’s situation would be awesome.  While she was at it, she talked what she was leaving.

Frog looked around and said “Wow.  That is another way to look at this deal”.  Now Frog is happy.

Toad?  Stay tuned!

Unintended Consequences: Free Movies

I learned about free movie streaming from Amazon and I learned it from Netflix!

Netflix started this all, when it raised its prices dramatically, splitting streaming from DVD.  That did it for me, as we weren’t using it enough to justify the new price and I cancelled Netflix.

I was happy to complete the “exit interview” the why-are-you-leaving survey, because I wanted Netflix to know that the price increase drove me away.  There were questions about how I will watch movies now, and “free movies from Amazon Prime” was one of the options.  What?  I’ve subscribed to Amazon Prime for years – the free shipping pays for the membership many times over at my house.

It turns out that Amazon Prime offers 5000 movies and TV shows, as part of something I already pay for.  Score!

Thanks, Netflix!