Over the past couple of months we've been financially stretched due to a whole bunch of extraordinary expenses - some planned, some unexpected... some good, some bad... some fabulous, some terrible. From a large-ish (for us) household investment in a new barbecue and outdoor patio set, to vet bills for poor Grisabella, to the purchase of a cross-country plane ticket for me to attend BlogHer '14, to preparations for and visiting with our houseguests, to a poorly-timed annual credit card fee, to the final straw of a breakdown of our tankless hot water heater, lately we've been riding a rather challenging rollercoaster of emotions and cash flow.
But I have learned - and continue to be challenged to understand - that feeling and expressing gratitude shouldn't only happen when everything is running smoothly. Gratitude doesn't always feel warm and fuzzy, and isn't necessarily manifested as feelgood sentiments about all the stuff that's right in your world. Sometimes gratitude is grasping at straws and gritting your teeth with determination to recognize and acknowledge the other side of the coin - the good, the positive, the blessings - even in the midst of being frustrated or stymied by an undesirable situation (or two, or three).
Expressing gratitude even needs to happen - and perhaps is most important - when you just don't feel like it.
Hope you'll join me in this week's Gratitude Linkup!
(If you'd like a bit of background on why I started the Gratitude Linkup, check out this post.)
How to get involved in the Gratitude Linkup
- Write and post an entry in your own blog containing your gratitude list for a moment in time.
- Share the URL to your gratitude blog post by clicking the "add your link" button at the end of this post and filling out the information.
- Share the Gratitude Linkup with your blog readers by clicking the "get the InLinkz code" link at the end of this post and copy/pasting the appropriate code into your gratitude blog post.
- Visit some of the blogs listed in the Gratitude Linkup and comment on their posts.
My Gratitude List
In no particular order, here is my own gratitude list for this moment in time. I hope that after reading it you'll go on to write and share your own!
- Being able to relax in our back yard and enjoy several outdoor meals grilled on the barbecue.
- Having a house, garage, and yard which, while not perfect, are perfect for us.
- Our extra paved parking space beside the garage for guests.
- The time - however short - we were able to spend with Grisabella, the two beautiful boys she left us to care for and love, and having been in a position to have rescued all three from a sad situation.
- The friend who knew we were ready to adopt cats - preferably littermates - and alerted us to the perfect opportunity when it arose.
- The anticipation and excitement of looking forward to attending BlogHer '14 (less than three weeks until I leave!), seeing a new city, and reconnecting with dear friends.
- The treat of a wonderful, relaxing, fun, full visit with my sister and friend.
- Having the space and capability to host overnight guests.
- The out-of-country travel insurance that's included in my credit card's annual fee.
- That - if it had to happen - our tankless hot water heater broke down on a weekday and we were able to get someone in right away to fix it without paying higher weekend rates.
- Having a more consistent temperature and flow of hot water now that the heater is fixed.
- Being able to listen to the music from outdoor concerts as it travels over the river to our house.
- The brand new sidewalks that now line our street (yes, even right outside our house!).
- Gorgeous, non-humid, windows-open-instead-of-air-conditioning weather.
- The constant birdsong that provides a cheerful soundtrack to my days.
- An extra-long weekend that gave me time to rest and also get caught up on some outstanding tasks.
- Interesting discussions with book club friends.
- Living in a vibrant, happening, ever-improving neighbourhood.
- A repeat from last week that bears repeating: That I have everything I need, plenty that I want, and several of my wishes.
(Original post in Alphabet Salad.)
Laurel Regan blogs about life as she lives it at Alphabet Salad - "an eclectic assortment of rants & ramblings."
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