The challenge- write at least one blog post each day in November.
It's not that I don't have anything to write about. It's usually too much. Too personal. Perhaps a bit too raw.
So today, I start with simple gratitude. Which is not always so simple.
I believe strongly in practicing mindfulness and daily exercises in gratitude, and science (especially in the form of positive psychology) has been steadily "proving" the benefits of such. When I am most fully myself, I love to go outside and just breathe in the smallest details of the world, to take huge delight in the smallest of details. The rhythm of the wind. The hilarious chattering of the squirrels. The symmetry of a leaf. The vivid saturation of the hues in the sky. Every small little thing is a miracle.
There is so much that I am thankful for each night as I lay down my weary head.
The trouble is that sometimes my gratitude slips through my fingers while I struggle. I don't lose it, but sometimes it floats around my hand while I splash about in the mud.
You see, I am wrestling an invisible alligator. I've known it for some time now and some days the thrashing about, the gasping for air, gets too much.
I've been thinking about and writing about the alligator for awhile now, but I'm not fully ready to share that story.
But the alligator has been stalking me, and has had me in his jaws for the last few days. When he has me, it's hard to feel the gratitude as deeply.
Today, I took back the gratitude and wound it around my fingers. And even though the alligator is present, I cling to the golden coil of my thankfulness.
Today it was a simple Facebook post that reminded me. It was a work-from-home page that I follow, and the admin posted a link to a friend who had a baby born too early. I clicked on the page and their story pierced through the mud, the armor, the noise. The sweet baby boy and his struggle to survive was documented in pictures. I broke down and cried for the family, for their pain, their hope and their need. I prayed for them. And I posted a message of support. I don't even know their name, but they have been in my mind all night. I watched my spirited Little Lady (watched, because she does not want to be cuddled right now, she wants to EXPLORE!) I tended to my LittleMan, who is running a low-grade fever from the latest crude to go around. And I held tight to my glowing gratitude and thanked the universe and all of the angels for the gift of my children.
And the alligator. He is there. Crouches to the side. Waiting for another piece of me. Anxious to try to take me down again.
So I flipped him the bird.