With my previous post (Monday, January 20), number four hundred, Notes From the GratiDude reached some kind of milestone. I get to declare that because one of the great lessons for me has been that nothing comes freighted with meaning, like appliances or toys with “Batteries not included” on the box. In and of itself, the number four hundred, whether blog posts or almonds or sunrises or likes on Facebook, doesn’t “mean” anything. We have to supply that. They are just electronic and virtual dots.
According to the host site, there are 258,383 words flowing in a wake out behind blog post four hundred, spreading out like a jet trail in the ether, an average of 646 per effort since the first one dated March 11, 2016, when I wrote–
“Well, here it is March 2016 and I have been at this discipline for seven years and the journey has brought me to this first entry in a blog I’m calling Notes From the GratiDude. The form has morphed over these years and from time to time, friends and family have suggested that this gratitude work might be useful and inspirational to a wider circle of readers and seekers.”
It’s still just me, a twenty-first century man, writing musings on paper at the dawn of one January day. The real point of numbers, after all, is the meaning behind them. What this means to me is four hundred chances to write something honest and useful about the path of seeking a gratitude-inspired life. The work can cause a shift over time. You work the practice, but it works on you.
Deep diving into gratitude can open doors and remind us of our humanity and not to be smug and to look for the lessons everywhere and give thanks. That’s how four hundred blog posts have been for me. A gift for which I offer my own thanks to those of you along for this Inquiry Into A Gratitude-Inspired Life.
I have had this narrative of myself that I don’t stick to anything, I’m scattered, resist discipline, don’t get the wisdom of one percent better or kaizen. If I had saved a certain amount of money over time and been as disciplined as I am regarding the GratiDude then… If I had applied myself to (fill in the blanks here), I would have (fill in the blank).
There’s some truth right underneath this, maybe behind the monitor or inside this keyboard. All of our stories/myths are based on kernels of truth and that can give them a great deal of power. Maybe I have gotten some juice from beating myself up about “lack of discipline.” What would it be like to tell a different story? What would the story be? Maybe “the journey as it has been is mine alone, I’m climbing my own Denali, and I love my story.” Or “it’s a perfect whatever it is” as my friend the late Dr. John Bayliss used to say.
Four hundred blog posts at least challenges that narrative. If there’s one thing I aspire to, going forward, it would be meeting this challenge issued by Henry Thoreau in Walden– To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.