Gratitude Practice, One Year Later

I am still grateful for Liberty wooden jigsaw puzzles. And for the leisure to work one slowly, a bit a day, in between other work.

I’m grateful to know a little bit about birds of the world which not only helps with this puzzle, but reminds me of the wealth and diversity of life in the remaining wilds of this fragile planet. I have held macaws, cockatoos, and eagles on my arm; watched osprey and crested caracaras on the wing in the wild; I’ve befriended hummingbirds, magpies, jays, phoebes, finches; I am grateful for all the birds who have touched my life, and for the thousands more kinds of birds I can only dream of. I’m grateful for a cat who has learned not to catch them anymore.

I’m grateful today that I did it: I kept my commitment to myself to post at least one thing I’m grateful for each day (except two or three) since last winter solstice. How the year has flown by! I’m grateful today for most of the same things I was a year ago, and for many of the same things I’ve been grateful for on most of the fleeting days in between.

I’m still grateful for coffee from Rubicon, and for biscotti and knowing how to bake it, and for having all the ingredients readily available; grateful for the luxury to work from home, where I can enjoy my little rituals in one room and return to my desk in another. I’m grateful for geraniums, an indoor garden, and the end of the darkening days.

I’m grateful for multi-colored LED lights, and a little fake Christmas tree, and being able to hang it with ornaments this year since Topaz has (I hope) outgrown her rambunctious adolescence. I’m grateful for spiritual traditions which celebrate love and life, for Christ and for Buddha, for the generosity and good will of friends and neighbors. I’m grateful for homegrown grapefruits that arrived in the mail today and the zing they’ll bring to many days this winter. I’m grateful for cookies, cakes, condiments, and a wreath that were all delivered to my door, and for the strength of community that brings joy and comfort in these dark days. I’m grateful for a life of connection despite isolation.

I’m grateful for gratitude practice, one year later, and for the innumerable benefits I’ve reaped from focusing my attention on gratitude every day for a whole year. I am happier, stronger, calmer, and more resilient; my heart is lighter, brighter, and more open; my grasp of the interdependence of all of us is stronger and more clear; the world I inhabit seems a kinder place than the one I dwelt in a year ago.

I won’t be stopping my daily gratitude practice, but I’ll no longer be posting those musings every single day. I’ll be grateful to go to bed some nights the moment I realize I’m sleepy! More than anything doing this practice over the past year, I am grateful for you, the friends I’ve known for years and those I’ve never met, who have followed me through this adventure and sent words of thanks, encouragement, support, and love. To hear that my simple practice inspires you to look at your own life through a lens of gratitude inspires joy that knows no bounds. May you be healthy and well. May you be safe, and free from harm. May you be genuinely happy. May you be filled with loving kindness, this winter holiday season, and always.

11 thoughts on “Gratitude Practice, One Year Later

  1. The year has gone by fast! I have enjoyed reading your daily observations of gratefulness. Because they were daily they gave my mom great delight to read every day. She saved each one so she could re-read but also to look through your beautiful pictures. I thought I was pretty good with be feeling grateful for things every day. Sometimes just stopping, inhaling, and saying to myself “at this moment all is right.” But after reading your blog I realize that there is so much more to be grateful for. I have begun to try lessen the negativity that is around us and spend my energy on what I am thankful for. Thank you for giving me that.
    Much love, Kathy

    • thank you, Kathy. It was gratifying to know that your mom was such a devoted reader. And gratifying to know that my blog also inspired you to widen your gratitude lens. And that mantra is like one I use often, inhaling “in this moment,” and exhaling “all is well.” It only applies to the moment with each breath, but it’s a skillful way to get through stressful moments. Love you so much.

  2. Thank you dearest Rita for this year of sharing your beauty and kindness and caring and life. It has been a daily dose of love and I hope you have felt all of our love coming right back to you. Love you so very much!

  3. I have been following your blog this year and wanted to let you know I have enjoyed reading about your gratitude practice. You have inspired me to try a few new recipes, read some books, look up words unfamiliar to me, smile, laugh and shed some tears.
    I am grateful to you for reminding me to breathe and be present.
    Although I guess I won’t be reading your blog at 2:00 AM ish some mornings, I look forward to when you do write and send them out.
    Thank you, Lise

  4. I found your blog too late to enjoy an entire year of your wonderful gratitude musings, but I am happy for the time I have been your reader, and I look forward to your less frequent, but I’m sure equally enjoyable and inspirational future posts. I am grateful for you!
    P.S. I have not made the biscotti yet, but one day…. 😋

    • Thank you, Sandra. After last night’s post, I woke up thinking what I’d post about tonight. They’ll probably be more frequent than less 🙂 Also, there is a whole years worth going back to December 21, 2020, which you could enjoy at our leisure in the archives. I’m so glad you found my blog.

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  5. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your daily labor of love. It has inspired me to remember gratitude frequently throughout my day and to feel awe over the ordinary aspects of life. I’m so happy to know that I can easily go to Morning Rounds archives and reread your posts to feel inspired all over again. Thank you. ❤️

    • Thanks, Melinda. I’m glad it has inspired you. Expanding my perspective to include all the little things we take for granted, and all the people we’ll never know who are involved in the fact that we have things like coffee, a mug, a kitchen, running water, a car, roads to drive on, light bulbs, on and on, has helped me grow the immeasurable qualities of loving-kindness and compassion. As you know, I haven’t been such a huge fan of our species because of our greed and destruction of the planet, but this practice has really helped soften my heart. And anyway, I think I’ll keep posting pretty regularly, I really don’t want to get out of the habit!

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