The Art of Gratitude..Books
Monday, February 1, 2016 at 11:46AM
Cheryl Crotty

“Take full account of the excellencies which you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.” — Marcus Aurelius

We are in week four of our "slow down with stills" class.  The prompts each week are unique and exciting, with a conversation from Christina.  She makes us think deeply about things that might happen on any ordinary day.  Then the ordinary becomes extraordinary.  So it was this week for me.  

The Art of Gratitude...showcase something in your everyday life that you are grateful for and wish to give it more attention.  I have so much in my life to be grateful for.  Good people, warm house, travel, laughter and tears.  All come together to make for gratefulness.  I think I give these examples plenty of attention.  So much sometimes that I forget about the many bookcases, just jammed with wonderful books that I am grateful for.  Just to look at them brings me so much joy...and sometimes as I'm passing, I'll pull a book out of the bookcase and read the back cover once again, telling myself that soon I will come and gather up that book and take it to the couch, make tea, and grab my snuggly and dive it.  I don't seem to do it as often as I would like.  

I am so grateful to have such an abundance of words to roam through.  Pages to turn.  I can transport myself to most any country I choose, just by flipping the text from one page to another.  I can relieve stress, find joy, meet new friends between the covers of that book.  Sometimes if it has a beautiful cover, I can just stare at it and it takes me away...books have always been my release from real life.  I can go to a beach full of people, set up my chair, put on my dark glasses and my floppy hat and crack the cover and once I start reading, I'm the only one on that beach...Sadly though, even though I read something everyday, I don't give this "love" enough of my time.

My son is also a reader, avid I might say.  We had a talk recently and he told me he allows himself an hour in the morning and an hour at night for pleasure reading.  He also said "Mom you love to read, why is it you don't allow yourself more time."  I've been thinking about that.  So I started in January to do what he does on those days when I don't have to be somewhere early.  I read for as long as possible, it might not be an hour but it's better than nothing and I always read at night.  I have two books going at one time.  One is a novel or a biography, the other is either technical or spiritual.  I'm finding that works for me right now.

Gratitude requires us to pay attention. I find I am grateful for so many things and since adding my love of books to my list of things to enjoy each day, I'm feeling much better.  So many books, so little time...I cannot imagine a house without books...It is good to acknowledge how grateful I am for each one of them.  I know I'll never be able to read them all but I'm thankful that just walking by them makes me happy. 

What are you grateful for in your everyday life that you want to pay more attention to.  Write it down somewhere and then make it happen...

Happy February...

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