Do you want to save your sanity? Be grateful.

Do you want to save your sanity? Be grateful.

There is so much negative and wrong information in the news today. It is vital to stop and take note of all the good. 

Yesterday I had an early class and so woke before sunrise. How often do we appreciate the beauty of the dawn? Even before the sun comes into view, the sky begins its chameleon dance. The shades of grey become silver and suddenly start to glisten. Embedded in the silver are streaks of golden lights; molten, evolving as it catches the eye. Suddenly the sun crests. It brings with it light so bright I am squinting and averting my eyes. How fortunate it is to enjoy the dawn with an unobstructed view.

Driving out of my driveway, the flocks of birds seem to lead the way. Flying low in front of my car, they guide me down my gravel road. I imagine invisible ribbons tied to their tiny feet and attached to my car as it cruises the driveway. The road runs along a ridge so that I can look at the lovely view as it drops off on both sides. That view goes on and on for miles, of green fields and wooded hills. I wonder just how far my gaze reaches as I look at the vista of distant mountains?

The car is nothing fancy. I drive a Subaru. It took years of growing up to realize that having a car that does what I want for less money is a plus. It is miraculous what that car can do. It drives EVERYWHERE all-terrain, and better than that, it goes through deep water safely. The nicest part is that it does all this on regular gas, and the miles per gallon ratio is excellent. It is comfortable, with super air conditioning and heating, including heated seats. The sound system is fabulous, and it has all the capabilities for attaching to my phone and giving me Internet access through the car. It is comfortable, safe, nice looking and adaptable for many uses. I remember driving in Washington, DC in summer years before we had air-conditioned cars. Remembering makes my gratitude spill over my old memory. Same for the excellent heating and insulation of the vehicle. Have any of you ever driven some distance in a car with no heat on a cold winter evening? The steering wheel becomes so cold you can not hold it without gloves. It was almost impossible years ago to drive in an unheated car. We take our modern automobiles for granted with their fancy sound systems and modern electronics, heating and cooling systems, and easy handling. But each one is a miracle to me. Gratitude washes over me each time I drive my car.

My pilates class was terrific but not worth a description here except to say it made me feel marvelous. As I drove home, I anticipated a happy and loving greeting from my three dogs. They were standing at the glass storm door. They were clearly visible as they bounced up and down, standing on their hind legs. They wriggled and wagged their tails with delight.

Living in this house makes me happy and grateful. For several years I gave my life over to living with my mother. It was luxurious, living in her beautiful home, but not where I wanted to be. 

Now it seems as if my life is a reward. Sometimes I want to pinch myself because it is hard to believe my life is real. My house is perfect for me. I still have friends in Charlottesville who remember me and keep in touch. Even those who don’t yet go out much call me to chat. I am one of those who goes out all the time without even thinking about it or paying attention to the virus. I do wash my hands more often than before.

Photo credit: Lilla Ohrstrom

Our family has developed a new habit of family dinners on my terrace every Sunday night. Last Sunday, there were 21 of us. It was a birthday for one of my granddaughters. We had a party with a buffet of Italian food. There were older, younger, and middleaged people, dogs, presents, candlelight, and much laughter!

My new home in Earlysville, VA, is giving me beautiful life experiences. As I hope and expect it will be for some time.

My dogs make me grateful every single day. Their unconditional love is inspiring and makes me happy all the time. They keep me safe. They alert me to other animals or approaching humans in cars or on foot. They are warm and snuggly. Aside from my children and grandchildren, I love my dogs more than anything in the world. Gratitude in the form of hugging a warm, affectionate dachshund is my daily practice.

The Power of positive thinking is an idea as old as the Bible, and even older. We need to remember it today.

Copyright©. 2020 Bonnie B. Matheson

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