Gratitude - December 1, 2013
Charlie had a banner Thanksgiving this year. On Wednesday, I took him hiking with a friend and her four dogs. He was so ecstatic to have a playdate with four-legged friends, he ran and played until his tongue hung on the ground. Exhausted from the excitement of the day, he soundly slept the rest of the afternoon and evening while I finished baking for the next day.
On Thursday, our oldest son, Alex, and his sweetheart came for Thanksgiving Dinner. In Charlie's mind, Alex is his hero, savior, and favorite person in the whole wide world. When Alex walked into the house, Charlie about came out of his skin with joy. "OMG! OMG! OMG! It's ALEX!!!" He stayed by Alex's side during the whole visit then forlornly watched as Alex said goodbye for the night. He waited by the door until Alex drove away then sat by me with his head in my lap.
While Alex will always be a significant individual in Charlie's life, his absence does not prevent Charlie from enjoying daily life. Despite disappointments or missing a favorite person, Charlie is a pro at keeping his heart and mind open to all the good this life has to offer. Like turkey drippings mixed in his kibble!! OMG, eye-rolling good!
Like most people, there have been occasions in my life that nearly cracked my foundation and the ugliness of the moment felt all-consuming. However, with time and the encouragement of loved ones, I once again was able to experience small amounts of beauty and gratefulness until life appeared brighter. Like Charlie, gratitude has helped me to keep my heart and mind open to beauty, grace, happiness, and opportunity.
One of my favorite quotes has come from a Yogi Tea bag, "An attitude of gratitude brings opportunities." So true. It seems the more gratitude I feel and express, the more the doors open to infinite possibilities. David Steindl-Rast is a Benedictine Monk who has a profound message about gratitude and happiness. He suggests a simple process, Stop-Look-Go, that could be readily embraced with a little practice and increased awareness. I included the link to his beautiful and thoughtful message so you can reflect on his teachings for yourself.
I want to end this post by sharing a brief list of what I value most and embrace with sincere gratitude.
My husband and children and everything I have learned from them
My parents, sisters, and brothers
Reconnecting with family
My amazing friends
My fabulous co-workers and incredible supervisor
Doing the work that I love to do
All of the animals that have been a part of my life
The warmth and safety of my home
The Cabin and all of the memories it symbolizes
The good and the painful life experiences (even the ones I felt could crash my world - after all, not only did I survive, but I thrived)
Figuring out how to have an adventure in my life on a limited budget
The Outlander Novels
Music, music, and more music (this world would not be the same without music)
The sun, moon, stars, and everything in between
The earth and all of the beauty it offers us on a daily basis
And finally, my gratitude to all of you magnificent readers. Thank you for your support as I follow my heart into this exciting adventure! I hope your Thanksgiving Holiday was as marvelous as Charlie's.
Kelly & Charlie
© 2013-2019 Kelly Marker, Charlie’s Wisdom All Rights Reserved