I’m on the last page of my first gratitude journal.
The thing’s destroyed. The back cover? Gone with the wind. If it wasn’t Star Wars themed, it might look like something a general in the Korean War might have kept. Or a messenger in the Spanish-American War.
Or just a dad with a messy bag and penchant for kettle chips.
It’s served me well. Not just physically. A completed journal means something to me. It means I had what it took to stick with something. I spent my childhood hearing I couldn’t stick with anything. It wasn’t false. But I’d have picked a different narrative.
When I get through shit like this, it helps create a new narrative.
It’s like that first 5K or making it 3 minutes without a tortilla. But are accomplishments and portend something greater. What? Wow, I’ll find out someday. If I can do this, and I can do this +13. It’s just the kind of momentum a snackin’ dad needs.
What are you grateful for this week?
1-A desire to improve all processes. It takes much of my day to gather the momentum I need to start it with, but I’m committed to finding a way. I want to write better, father better, live better, love better, snack better, keep my car clear better. All the betters.
2-A parental double-team that has done pretty damned awesome. It started with baby talk and gentle parenting, natural childbirth, and nursing on demand. It led to popcorn words and fun times and attention and compassion from us both.
3-Days to celebrate these girls. We had a couple last week. But I’m learning that the real celebration isn’t in scholarships or championships or graduations. It’s in character. Nothing else matters if the girls aren’t good people. I’m more proud of this part of them.
4-That spot on the couch where I write. It’s on the left-hand side, where the fan blows, where I can see daylight out the window. It’s on Abu the Cat’s track of mischief, too, so sometimes there’s a squabble. But it’s comfortable and mostly mine.
5-Convictions, and conviction to follow them. A man I interviewed recently told me the obstacles aren’t on your path; they ARE your path. He’d taken that from somewhere else. Without conviction to see your vision through, you’ll go nowhere. Bring it on.
6-Places to help and connect. I’ve had such fulfilling experiences volunteering with the girls. Giving blood and scoring packs of Oreos and tiny cans of Coke. Mostly, it’s the people you work with or are stuck with needles by that make the effort worthwhile.
7-Forgotten comments and their follow-ups. I ran across a smattering of unanswered comments from a year ago recently. I answered them as if they were a fresh batch. Know what happened? Those lovely people commented again as if they were.
8-Moments of peace, however fleeting. It used to be much harder to clear my head of noise. Sometimes the world gets downright clamorous, but there’s always a moment or two I can stave it off.
9-Chance meetings and genuine connections. I never know how long they’ll last. Or if they’ll return after years and years. A one-time meeting could change in an instant. I’ve learned to be grateful in that moment – and the next, if and when it comes.
10-Pictures and texts from Camdyn. The kid has a way of bringing me to moments she has. Volunteering at Special Olympics. Misbehaving at the Christmas Show. I love that at that moment she thought of ol’ dad.