Yes but there are also happy things
Updated: May 18, 2020
Left to my own devices, I'm a bit of a gloomer.
Definition: One who glooms.
The antidote? I think it's gratitude.
Left to my own devices, I forget the good things. I forget there were days before this one that were better, more optimistic. I forget that I too was more optimistic.
I forget that my bangs will always grow out. That people can be kind and do kind things. I forget simple pleasures like how delicious fresh bread tastes, or summer strawberries.
I forget that seasons roll forward.
That trees will again overflow, branches heavy and noisy with blossoms and birds.
I forget all the times heartbreak softened into acceptance. All the times the thing I was afraid of didn't happen, or did happen, and I survived.
I forget. And then it's a proper gloom party for one, complete with doom streamers and mope balloons.
So I don't leave myself to my own devices very often, instead surrounding myself with people who also want a little less gloom and more laughter and hope.
And I make a lot of lists (some sketched, some just scrawled on scrap paper) to help me remember all the things I tend to forget... lists of gratitude for all those vibrant, wonderful, simple, sun-streaked, bursting, creative, heart-healing, tumbling, delicious, humbling, thriving, hilarious, happy, very real things. Some days I have to think a little harder than others and only come up with one or two things, like being grateful I don't know anyone who's telepathic or that I don't have serpents for hands.
But even one tiny spark of gratitude is enough to lighten the gloom.
What are you grateful for these days?
If you want to send your list for today, I'd love to see it!
To read more about the ways practicing gratitude can improve your health and change the way your brain works, check out this article from the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley: How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain by Joel Wong & Joshua Brown