Gratitude: daring, courageous and beautiful — Grat Challenge week 4!

I did this:

I walked into Bank of America and closed my accounts yesterday. The move from giant bank to local bank is done. (At least I hope it’s done. I hope everything has cleared. I really really do hope I was thorough!)

There was a slight feeling of anticlimax. I was expecting at least to be asked Why. So I volunteered the Why, told the bank officer who was pounding at the keyboard closing my accounts that I want to bank local. He shrugged. Sigh. It may not be important to him; it’s important to me.

Drove down the road to Bank of Alameda and handed Georgeanne my check. I love that she and her bank manager know me by name.

It is done. It is done. It is done!

I am so grateful for three new pairs of SmartWool socks. Including a pair of knee socks. Knee socks make me laugh, make me feel like a kid.

SmartWool and local banking: these things fill me with joyful gratitude.

I am so grateful for my daily walks. It’s three weeks now that I’ve been doing this: long enough to groove a neural pathway (make a new habit). Here’s what I do: I walk carrying nothing, so my arms are free and can gently swing. I walk for 30 minutes. I listen to something. Either some funny or inspirational talk, or to music. I’ve even made a playlist of music I love that’s between 111 and 119 BPM—a tempo range that inspires me to walk in rhythm and with a little bounce. I love my walks.

Sometimes I walk by the bay. Many days I walk by the bay. And many days I urban-walk. Yesterday, just as it was getting dark, I walked from my gym to and around Oakland’s Chinatown. People watching, storefront watching. Listening to great music.

I am grateful for the things that bring me joy. Writing this post and listening to music I love. I have another playlist called Now. I just added these songs to it. Music to wake up to. Music that makes me move my body and sing.

Now playing

Ophelia, The Band
Down South In New Orleans, The Band
Badlands, Bruce Springsteen
Helplessly Hoping, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Teach Your Children, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Helpless, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Guinnevere, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
New York, New York, Frank Sinatra
Pisces Apple Lady, Leon Russell Leon Russell
Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard, Paul Simon
Oliver’s Army, Elvis Costello
Pump It Up, Elvis Costello
Delta Lady, Leon Russell
Blue Moon, The Marcels
Mother And Child Reunion, Paul Simon
Kodachrome, Paul Simon
Slip Slidin’ Away, Paul Simon
Cecilia, Simon and Garfunkel

So grateful for the music of my formative years. The neuroscience geeks say that the music we hear and love from our mid-teens to our late 20s is the music that means the most to us for our whole lives. I also think this is true. I have more emotional connection to the music I was lucky enough to hear at that time in my life than any other music I have loved since.

Gratitude challenge. 

I am so grateful for the gratitude challenge group. This week I read gratitudes for rain (yes, more rain!), good rest, family, friends, inspired cooking, favors asked and received, lessons learned with grace, generosity extended, and real Tupperware. I gotta say, the more I do this stuff—play the Gratitude game—the more I am convinced that pointing ourselves towards gratitude is a huge act of daring, courage and beauty. Just like waking up every day intending to be happy. Another level of chutzpah. Try it!

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”
— Epictetus, Greek sage and Stoic philosopher

Love and blessings!


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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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