This Life

The Gift of Cultivating a Grateful Heart

I’m thankful for this life; sometimes I can’t believe it’s mine. I wake up each day with a grateful heart. I think about all I’ve been through, all I’m going through at present. It hasn’t always been easy. It’s not easy now; no one’s life is. But gratitude is a practice — even the roughest times become bearable when we cultivate gratefulness.

The hard times of the past were worth it, though I didn’t think so at the time. I know the rough patches of today will be okay tomorrow.

There were times when I didn’t have enough money to do the things I wanted, things that I thought mattered. They didn’t. I went hiking a lot in those days. My daugther and I spent time in nature when she was young. We grew to appreciate the outdoors. I see nature as medicine now, and no one can take those years and memories from me.

The travel from one school district to the next to get her a better education were challenging. The mornings were hard. Lost wages and time were a result , but she’s in a better place now. I’m grateful for that.

Living in a garage for a year and a half was perhaps the hardest time of all. We didn’t have running water. I showered at friends’ houses. So many nights I spent alone. I allowed my daugther to stay with friends so she didn’t have to live that way. My husband was out of town for work, making money to build the house we’re now in. Sometimes I was afraid. Cold. It got us to a better place. I don’t regret a minute of those times.

I taught yoga for a decade because it was best for my heart even though it was hard on the pocketbook. I became more of myself. I would never be who I am today without that time. Those years of quiet and solitude became a staple to my soul.

As I write this, my mom is dying, my daughter has moved out of the house and my husband is in another state. There are times I feel quite alone. Sad even. Yet I’m grateful for this life all the same.

Today I’m happiest at home with our dogs. I’m happiest sipping tea, or wine! I’m happiest when I’m writing or hiking in our woods.

I love my life. I can’t believe it’s mine.

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