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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Anticipating gratitude aka Christmas morning living

GRATITUDE - warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; very thankful. [Gratitude week starts here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

I'm a big holiday gal. I love any excuse for celebration and I particularly like a good surprise.  Christmas morning, before a single present is opened is probably my favorite moment all year. I also like the ride to the airport before a trip or even a few stolen minutes before my family wakes up.  There is something about the potentiality of of those moments that makes my soul sing. Once the paper is off the packages, sun lotion is squeezed or the morning routine is underway I forget the bliss of expectations, mostly unrealized.

You see that is the thing. BEFORE anything happens there is this moment of possibility so pure that even though you have had years and years of mediocre, less then stellar happenings, there is always the hope that perhaps THIS TIME it will be one of the perfect ones. A surprise pulled off that totally blows your mom's mind in the best of ways, a vacation enjoyed so thoroughly that when it is time to go you feel satisfied and wanting no more, or a day of playful seamless joy when you would wish for nothing to change your life even one little bit.

The interesting thing about those MOMENTS BEFORE is that they happen ALL THE TIME. Moments before your husband tracks mud all through the house, moments before a favorite Teddy loses an ear, moments before the sunburn, moments before Jessie opens the exact same present for the second time... moments before are all still pure potential. 

"Pure Potential" Image from Hypnosis Institute 

Certainly it may seem as if the tide was already turning in a specific direction when your toddler took the top off the bottle of glue but what if, crazily possibly if, it might be ok anyway. Maybe she won't pour it all over your new sweater. Maybe she will carefully place it on the table. Maybe she'lll spend 20 happy minutes making a masterpiece of feathers and cotton balls so you can finish dinner. Maybe the sweater will come clean in the washer when you thought it was dry clean only and you will be freed up to wear it all the time. Maybe the sweater will harden into an irreparable lump suitable for cotton ball and feather sculptures that take 30 minutes and allow mommy to take a whole shower all by herself! Maybe...

As life happens, it is the rare occasion when we allow ourselves to have that Christmas morning kind of thinking. We have limited the amount of grateful anticipation and substitute worry, disappointment or, possibly the worst of all, knowing exactly what will happen. We live lives that are predictable and if we tell the truth are rarely remarkable in our eyes. We've been brought up to think that looking through "rose colored glasses" isn't necessarily a good thing but I'm beginning to think that may be all wrong. What if we could add the slightest shade of pink and add a sense of wonder to our everyday moments. What if we allowed ourselves to be delighted and surprised by all of it? 

Maybe, crazily possibly maybe, we can!

Next Post: Gratitude week comes to a close.

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise


  1. I enjoyed reading this - I love the "Christmas feeling" and I'd be quite happy if Christmas came and went with no presents at all!

    Thanks for visiting my blog :)

  2. I am always amazed and somewhat envious of people who are always smiling and seem to really live for the moment. These people are almost always deeply into some sort of religion or spirituality of some kind. I suppose it helps to "give your troubles to the Lord" as it were. Somehow, although I can clearly see it, I just can't quite get there and, like you, must enjoy my moments when they happen. The important thing is to recognize them when they do. Great post.

  3. Kathy this is a superb and brilliant insight into being grateful about all the very precious things that makes a day worth living and a life worth loving! I love your thinking and agree with you 100%
    In my mind there is never spilt (soya) milk - it is there for the cat or the ants to enjoy. What are boundaries of a 'disaster' or a 'learning opportunity'.
    To read this and smile is to understand and to read this and practice this is Precious!!!
    thank you! so glad we met in the OWOH thingy :)

  4. Hi Kathy,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog last night.
    Your post is lovely. I have enjoyed reading it today. I needed this yesterday just moments before the "cake disaster" happened. Oh Well, it was still eaten. :)
    Have a great day!

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog! What a thoughtful and true post to remember to be thankful before the good happens. Or the bad for that matter! :)

  6. Kathy,
    Thanks for visiting! I've been reading your last few posts and enjoying them so much. What a beautiful and interesting blog.

    I hope you have a great week coming up.

  7. I totally agree! I like the anticipation of opening gifts more than actually opening them!

  8. I LOVE this. It helps me to realize why, in my former working life, my absolute FAVORITE moment of the week was Friday afternoon at 2pm. I could imagine the rest of the weekend unfolding before me, plan for fun things to do and projects to tackle. The weekend hadn't yet happened --- I was still at work, but just the anticipation of what **might be** was fantastic.

    Thank you for this - and thank you for visiting The Creamery, you're welcome back any time at all!

  9. Great post, I love that Christmas moment as well.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, hope you enjoyed your visit and will come back often.

  10. I enjoyed your post. I happen to agree with you. Why is it bad to wear rose colored glasses? Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment the other day.


Thank you "very so much" (the construct I stole from my 3 year old!) for your comments! I reply to every comment. I will ALWAYS reply over here on the blog so if you haven't heard from directly please do check back here. If you become a Disqus member you will be automatically updated via email as well!

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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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