There are various ‘thankfulness tips’ I’ve discovered along the way.
During times when I’ve practiced being thankful for ten things in the day, I’ve found it causes me to take note of what is happening around me. I wouldn’t naturally do this. Some people do.
I have friends that take in much of the physical world around them at any given moment. They’re the friends who stop mid-sentence in a cafe conversation as they see someone unusual come in the door. Or the friends who suddenly seem very quiet because, as it turns out, they’re taking in the details of a conversation beside them – not in a nosey way – just because they can’t help hearing it.
I’m the kind who must deliberately lift myself out of my thoughts to notice things. Or ‘awake’ from a conversation when I finally notice my companion is distracted and, only then, will I notice that the cafe has filled with an enthusiastic party of ten complete with balloons and presents for one of their party.
So thankfulness helps me take notice of what’s going on around me. Things happening to me (that I might not have noticed in the depths of my thoughts); things happening to others; things happening continuously around me and in the world.
So, on Day #2…
I’m stopping to take note and be thankful for:
1. The taste of the honey on my bircher muesli – honey from the beehives that my Mum takes care of.
2. The claw of a prawn that was artfully and tantalisingly peeking out of a small, hollowed out cob-loaf containing seafood chowder at the restaurant last night. It made me want to rip that lid off the loaf and eat that prawn! And I did.
3. The name of the restaurant we ate in: ‘O Crab’. The play on words afforded a whole day (earlier with my brother, niece and nephew) and a whole evening (with my friend) of linguistic humour. We didn’t have time that night, before the theatre show, to order a crab and wait for it to be cooked (hence the order of chowder), but we did stop to take note of the little wooden hammers ready for customers to take hold of and let loose upon the crab before them.
4. The unique pleasure of watching a play on the stage: the way the audience’s knowing chuckles, gasps, sighs and laughter join with the actors’ efforts on stage. That lovely “we’re watching your lives played out, but you’re acting like we’re not” thing that happens in live theatre.
5. Jo, the friend who took the trouble to book the tickets, pay for them, and get them to me. I took a moment to notice the price on the two tickets she’d sent me and gave thanks for friends and their thoughtful, playful generosity.
6. A free car park appearing just at the moment we were going to give up and pay for parking.
7. Lunch out with the brother, the nephew and the niece. A lunch in a place that has a great deal of chocolate on offer. As always, I took many moments to take notice of how much my niece and nephew have grown over the years that I’m away from them. I love them to bits.
8. Public Transport.
9. Public Libraries.
10. Public Displays of Affection (some of them, anyway)