I’m Grateful Today

I am not one to feel gratitude on a regular basis. If you are an Israeli, you would say it’s because my mother was from Poland.

 In Israel, the “Polish mother” has a distinct reputation for being a complainer… and you know what they say about apples not falling far from the tree…

 However, this morning I feel extremely grateful for no particular reason whatsoever. It feels like all the good parts of my life coalesced at this very moment to remind me how lucky I am.

 Years ago I used to walk at the park with MM and we would see a homeless lady get out of her car and make coffee every morning on a portable burner. Last night I made coffee using the automatic option so we would have coffee when we woke up. I am grateful for that.

 Last Friday I had dinner with my friend R. who mentioned Libya and Gaddafi. His death and the rebellion there juxtaposed with the Middle Eastern restaurant we were sitting in, which was all peaceful and calm. We were eating our Hummus and Fool (warm fava beans) and watched the musicians setting up their sound equipment as they prepared to play their music for the 9 PM crowd – mostly Iranian immigrants. They would be dancing with abandonment; focusing on the sensual and exhilarating belly dancing tunes, forgetting about the killings and the terror in the Middle East. I am grateful for that.

 When my son moved to Italy he described at length the tedious, illogical, bureaucracy-filled phone installation. A multi-step process requiring several different workers and many days. I am grateful that I can call my phone company and most of the time they fix the problem. And even when they don’t … I am not dreading the visit and I don’t have to bribe anyone, which you might need to do in other countries.

 And you know, I am really grateful for my washing machine. I was a young girl when I watched my sister standing in her tiny kitchen by a portable tub, washing sheets, towels, and cloths by hand. She would scrub for hours, then wash, rinse, dry by hand, and then hang the laundry on her balcony to dry. Thank you washing machine, or whoever invented it!

 I am so grateful to the friends I have. So often I experience people who have friends but not closeness, they have groups of people but not intimacy, they have noise but not caring. I am lucky.

 I live in a country who does not have war on its mainland, where most of us are so indulged without knowing it (only if you visit other countries do you become aware of everything you take for granted), where we can speak our mind and disagree with each other without being sent to prison. How many of us are aware of the fact that this is not an option for most of the people in the world?

 It will be corny to say that I am grateful for my family, but I so AM. I hate being corny, but a blog has to be truthful.

 Yesterday I had an uneventful day. I surfed the internet, which I love, and I am addicted to. I had breakfast made for me. We drove and looked at open houses, talked to some pleasant realtors, went to see a great movie, which is one of my favorite things to do in the world. (Going to a movie theatre and to a library still makes my heart go pitter- patter! I have this childlike anticipation about the movie, and the big screen, and about getting a new book to read in the library after spending the time sorting through books, which is enjoyable too. Crazy, I know) Anyway, we had a great meal at a restaurant where I didn’t feel like I wasted my money; and this morning I am able to write this blog wearing my favorite robe.

Can life get better? Not this morning.

Please have a great day. I am having one. Tomorrow I may feel differently…

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About rachel bar

Psychotherapist and supervisor.
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18 Responses to I’m Grateful Today

  1. kirby says:

    Reading this is a wonderful way to break up my day. Thanks for the reminder…

  2. Jordan says:

    This post warms my heart. We don’t often voice our appreciation for what we have or for ‘what is’… Thank you. I love movies too…. I just saw the new Almadovar film last night. Very dark, but intriguing. As I sat in the theater, I felt grateful to be in the presence of his artistic creation, the beautiful colors and cinematography… and a cute date 🙂

  3. Barbara Cooper says:

    “An attitude of gratitude” this is a saying I’ve heard over and over through the years as I sat in metaphysical churches where I was the soloist. Those of us who did not work during the daytime learned of Oprah’s gratitude journal and most of her viewers (myself included) started keeping one of our own. The idea was to write in the journal at the end of each day 5 things you were grateful for that day. Some days it was easy to do. Some days, not so much. But the exercise forced me to think of anything to be thankful for besides the biggies like my health and my family (and their health). To look at the little things – how pretty are the flowers I pass on my walk, how perfect is the face of my little dog, how wonderful it is that I can get in my car and turn a key and take myself anywhere I choose at any given moment. The freedom I have to take the time to notice the little things and be glad they exist in my world. To rejoice in being alive.
    But when life happens in a way I did not and would not choose, and this, too, happens to everyone, if I can force myself to see the good where I can and be grateful for it in that moment, then I know I have truly developed that “attitude of gratitude” that will serve me well. I’m not quite there yet. But I’m working on it.
    I’m grateful for you Rachel. For your wisdom and for your friendship.

    • rachel bar says:

      Barbara, this is one of the sweetest things you could say about me.

      As far as a continuous feeling of gratitude, that’s a tough one for most of us, and I know that I need to remind myself again and again, as I do with other reminders.

  4. It is good that you had a such a wonderful day..I recall that happening to me once..it doesn’t happen often so that is the reason I remember..they say good things do happen to those who desire it..and blessing happen to those who need it..thanks for the blessing because you deserve it…and I hope tomorrow be just as fulfilling as today

  5. Martha says:

    Thats a great post, Rachel. I’m grateful for so much now that sometimes it seems I’ve taken the simple pleasures of life too much for granted. Thats what an attitude of gratitude and mindfulness does to my psyche. I’m paying attention with an expanded eye of appreciation. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    “In this moment, in this place, I remember who I am; letting fear and worry fall away from me, I open my eyes and see…. ” This opening line from a song reminds me to see the bigger picture; of course there are more words but I like this first line.

  6. Maureen says:

    On one of my art pieces I have written, “Feather your nest with Gratitude.” Gratitude keeps my perspective positive.

  7. Martha Carr says:

    Beautiful! I feel very touched to be reminded of how to appreciate life! So easy to just go through the day without taking stock. Thank you!

  8. DAVID says:

    Loved this blog

  9. Margot says:

    Lovely blog, Rachel. An inciteful friend of mine once said to me that when something bad happens we ask “Why me?” but when something good happens to us we don’t ask that question…as though good things are due us. This from a person who lost her infant to SIDS! Being grateful for all the good things … big and small … makes for a happier life.

    • rachel bar says:

      Agree. I was sick a while back and was so surprised by it, as I always believed that I would never be ill. I did not ask “why me?”. I said “it could have been me, or anyone else, there’s no difference”. That does not mean that there was no fear, but no self pity!

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