I am a Twitter user and follower. I recently read on Twitter of a November project, where you’ll see you’re asked to acknowledge your gratitude, in photos, for something or someone, for 24 consecutive days.
I gave it some thought, and then realistically decided I was unlikely to complete the project, and so passed on it. No point setting myself up for failure, I rationalized. However, it was a good reminder to me to keep up my reflection of the things I truly am grateful for. I do it now, but know I could do better.
One thing I am grateful for is experiences in life that serve to remind me of how fortunate I truly am. My volunteering with the Niagara Falls Public Library is one thing that comes to mind.
One of my ongoing volunteer involvements is delivering library books to those who cannot get to a local library branch. It takes very little of my time, but the sense of reward, hearing the gratitude from these readers each month, is very satisfying.
One of my deliveries is to a woman in her early 40s who is a voracious reader and has multiple sclerosis. Let me make something very clear; I see her as a reader first, and her disease second. I carry five full shopping bags to her each month, and she devours them and thanks me profusely. As an aside, I perhaps read one book a month, so am in awe of her. Knowing her personality, it was not surprising to me that she enthusiastically agreed to me sharing this story in my blog, when I asked her permission. She has a positive energy in life that I find both humbling and energizing.
Some months we make time to sit and chat. This past month she explained that her illness has progressed and, in my simple terms, she will no longer have periods of remission but rather must now come to terms with the fact that it will progressively be more severe. She’s now in the midst of conversations with support workers about such things as wheelchair access and other adjustments needed to focus on maintaining her dignity as her independence diminishes. As always, she seems to see the bright side of almost anything.
Our conversations are open and direct, without prettying up the facts or hiding feelings. I praised her ability to stay positive as she faced this new stage of her disease. She encouraged me to read The Spoon Theory (click on the title to be taken to the reading).
It took some staying power for me to read the whole article as I’m a slow reader, but it was worth the effort. I’ve re-read it a few times now. Over the past few months, my daily allotment of spoons seems to have fluctuated drastically, as I’ve wrestled with both emotional and physical challenges. Reading this story, however, puts my challenges into perspective, and I am oh so grateful for so many things in my life. I am both humbled and energized by the core concept of the article.
I may not have committed to the Twitter #GratitudeSnaps project, but I will continue on with its core value, in my own way, throughout my life. I just need to work on heightening my awareness of the people and experiences surrounding me that can trigger my gratitude. Today I am grateful for those of you who read this blog and encourage me to continue on, as you enjoy reading it. Thanks for taking the time to show your gratitude.