Friday, November 1, 2013

30 Days of Gratitude

It's a sad fact of humanity that we tend to focus on the negatives. We allow them to bloom and grow in our mind's eye until they seem like great concrete barriers that would take a wrecking ball to bring down. In the meantime, the positives in our life tend to be taken completely for granted, and even worse, ignored.

The simple fact is that dwelling on negatives brings on negativity, while celebrating our positives can bring beams of light and laughter into the darkest corners of our psyche. And yet most refuse to acknowledge the blessings in life.

Today I discovered the 30 Days of Gratitude Project. It's to run through the month of November, and each day you focus on one of your blessings. I love the idea of this project and thought I would do a brief post each day for everything I'm grateful for.

Today, on the first day of November, with the rain and cold pressing in outside our windows and the air carrying a taste of winter, I find I am grateful for our home. I know I've complained about it before, and it does have flaws. But all in all, I've lived in far worse places, and not many nicer ones.

We live in a small cottage-style house (at least that's how I like to think of it - architecturally, it would probably fall under the definition of ranch style, loosely). The 960 square feet include the living room, kitchen, bathroom, and three bedrooms. I've bemoaned the tininess of it before, but honestly, when I think about it, I like the size of it. It doesn't cost too much to heat or cool, due to the size of it, and it's got a coziness and comforting feeling that would be lacking in a larger, more open home.

It's also got it's touches of beauty. The hardwood floor was installed right before we moved in. The two large windows in the living room are flanked by two built-in bookcases that make my book-loving heart sing. Every room has windows (I've lived in places that didn't), and the windows are all double-paned (again, I've lived places that had single pane windows).

Can I see room for improvement? Oh yes! But I'm not going to focus on those aspects today. Today is the day to be thankful for what this home represents and provides for our family.

(I discovered, to my surprise, that I don't really have many pictures of our house from the outside. The only one I found was taken after the winter blizzard in early 2011, our second winter in this home. I took it more to show how high the snow had gotten, but now, looking at it, I realize it also shows a sense of comfort. "It's cold outside, yes, but you can come in any time and warm up.")

P.S. If you want to join the 30 Days of Gratitude project, they do have a facebook page here.

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