Rehearsing the Gratitudes

I love this cartoon by Bjenny Montero. I highly recommend following more here. Image Description: A cartoon person is lying in bed, and out the window, a cartoon sun is shining and smiling. The person says, “Again?” and the sun answers, “Again.”

In an era of so much collective upheaval, we are each impacted in particularly difficult ways. In the midst of that, in an effort to bring a cliche (albeit a true one) to life, I really try to focus on one day at a time.

What would make this day a meaningful day?

It helps me to ask that in the morning and then to rehearse in my mind the aspects of the day that are before me. What am I looking forward to doing or experiencing? Or how can I/we make this meaningful?

Sometimes, I sincerely look forward to simple joys: I’m going to have coffee today. (P.S. Coffee is really dang good). But this also helps me bring more intentionality into work, or rest, or conversations, or whatever the day may bring.

But this is my favorite part: Before bed, I rehearse in my mind the day I ended up having. I tell it to myself like a story. I got to do this… This happened… It was so funny when… I loved when… And I feel grateful for a lot. By the end of the day, even if it’s just simple joys, I have more to say about the day and more unexpected gratitude than I named at the beginning.

It feels good.

Now, all of that being said, do not let this post be about toxic positivity (I say this to you all, but also to myself). If there are days where tears need to be shed at the end of the day — or for that matter, at the beginning or the middle — this is valid, and may it be. If anxiety needs to be processed, this is valid, and may it be. If anger rises, this is valid, and may it be. Everything should get space.

But I do name this practice in writing today because it helps me a lot, and I wonder if it might help someone else too. I hope so.

And… Guess what?

Right after pushing ‘publish,’ I’m gonna go into the kitchen for some coffee.

Renee Roederer

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