So the tragicomedy that is 2020 is fast coming to a close. As I sit here to write this last newsletter of the year, I find myself in serious need of an attitude adjustment! Throughout the year, I’ve been so focused on what I don’t have and what I can’t do that I’ve let my perspective become distorted. The reality is, what I still have and what I still can do, is far more than I acknowledge on a daily basis. The health of my family and friends, a warm home to live in, and even the often-reviled Zoom, has allowed me to remain connected and sane in these “unprecedented times” (are you as tired of hearing that as I am?) I know that so many others have not been as fortunate, as safe, and as comfortable as I have been, and that realization has forced me into that much-needed attitude adjustment.
Last year at this time, I wrote a blog about gratitude, and it still resonates with me today. Here’s a piece of what I wrote in November, 2019:
Recently, I read a review of organizer Marie Kondo’s (author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) Netflix show – “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” The reviewer, Hank Stuever, remarks on Kondo’s insistence that her clients thank their home for providing shelter, and thank each item for the service it brought to the owner before letting it go. When I read Kondo’s book years ago, I must admit I considered this a bit nutty! But reading Stuever’s comments reminded me of how important it is to acknowledge and express gratitude for our abundance, no matter how out of control it may have gotten. He writes,
“Sometimes [Kondo] asks the homeowners to…offer unspoken thanks to their home for the shelter it has thus far provided.
This is a noble and overdue concept for the home makeover and real estate genre — a chance to express gratitude for any home, rather than the perfect home. Years of HGTV’s programming have placed homeowners and home-seekers on a narcissistic pedestal of entitled complaint (our house is too small, too ugly, too outdated) and criticisms. How many couples, by now, have we seen walk through homes for sale and disparage the countertops, bathroom tiling and size of the backyard?
Where’s the reminder that we should be so lucky as to have lived in a state of acquisition rather than sacrifice?” (read the full article here)
I was struck by the truth of his words, and the reminder that for many of us, the ability to acquire things is a privilege not afforded to everyone and something for which we should be thankful. The screed of “more is good, and bigger is better,” only fosters dissatisfaction and unhappiness with what we do have.
So, while the concept of thanking inanimate objects feels a little bit out there, I think the underlying reminder to be grateful for what we do have, especially at this time of year, can help bring just a little more joy into the season!
I’d like to add, from the perspective of the year we’ve just endured, my concept of what to be grateful for has evolved, been refined, and reached a whole different plane. For good health, a loving family, and good friends, and the privilege that comes with having those things, I am remarkably, freshly grateful. I wish you more of the same: