Monday, April 24, 2017

Simple Gratitude | 74

Today I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog #gratitude #feelingthankful



"She was a genius of sadness, immersing herself in it, separating its numerous strands, appreciating its subtle nuances. She was a prism through which sadness could be divided into its infinite spectrum." - Jonathan Safran Foer

We're rolling into the hardest week of the year for my family with the anniversary of my brother's passing coming up and while I do plan to delve a little deeper into the topic in my monthly letter later this week, I want to focus on a different angle today.

This past week while I was doing some research, it occurred to me that there are more recorded quotes about grief (nearly 2,300 on Goodreads) than there are about gratitude (just over 1,300) and I found that really interesting. Grief is an emotional reaction we all experience differently as the result of some loss, whether by death or separation, short or long term. Gratitude, on the other hand, is an emotion that is likely experienced more than grief but is often overlooked because it does not affect us like grief does. Grief cuts deeply and leaves a wound that never truly heals. It also requires us to undergo a long process to mend the broken pieces, and this often takes the form of some creative outlet, like writing. This explains why there are more documented thoughts about grief than there are about gratitude.

I believe both of these emotions go hand-in-hand, though. I think it's important when going through a period of grief, to also make a habit of practicing gratitude. Not only does it allow you to appreciate the silver linings in the tedious everydays, but it aids in the healing process as well. 

This week, I'm grateful for:
  • Butterflies emerging early this year. In previous years, we start seeing caterpillars around mid-to-late spring and the butterflies emerging from their cocoons in late June. This week, I've already started seeing the Monarchs fluttering about the property. I don't know if it's because of the mild winter we had or what, but I can only hope that means we will have a longer Rhopalocera season this year. (You can see some of the beautiful specimens from previous years here, here, here and here)
  • Old magazines. I will confess to you that I am a reformed magazine hoarder. I used to have twenty-plus subscriptions a month and still have a huge stack of unread periodicals that I'm slowly working my way though. I am currently doing a little collage project and these mags have come in handy when I've been looking for images and typographical samples to snip out and save. 
  • My tribe. When this week comes around every year, my already-tight family clings to each other a little harder for moral support when dealing with painful memories. It's soothing to know we all have each others' backs when it comes to the important stuff.
  • Comcast OnDemand. I'm allowing myself some time to catch up on shows I haven't seen in years and it's been fun. I'm not normally a tv person, but I've enjoyed splurging this week.
  • Leftover Easter candy. I don't feel like I need to explain this one, but this emotional girl is grateful for mini Twix bars. Needless to say, the diet got scrapped this month.

What are you grateful for today? 

The post Simple Gratitude | 74 first appeared on A Simpler Grace. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends!

24 comments:

  1. Loved reading this today! I'd rather start a Monday with gratitude instead of complaints. I'm definitely grateful for another day to enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never thought of it before but I think grief and gratitude can definitely go hand in hand. And I'm glad you are able to find things to be grateful for in the midst of a tough week. Thinking of you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for coming by to read, Adriana. Hope you have a great Monday!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Beth. Have a wonderful Monday!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have seen so many butterflies! They are gorgeous and so fun. Love your grateful list, girl :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. They really are so pretty. Thanks for reading, Jessica!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Brooke @ wreckingroutineApril 24, 2017 at 11:51 AM

    Magazines are a struggle. I used to hoard them too, so I just cancelled my subscriptions. I couldn't take it that they were laying around and I never got the time to read them.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I cancelled all of mine too, especially since you can read most articles online now. I did hang on to the ones I received because I couldn't convince myself to toss them until after I'd been able to read them, so that's the current project. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's funny how what you can't see as a blessing one day can come to you a bit later when grief or struggle is further down the line.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That's interesting about Goodreads! I wonder if a lot of it also has to do with the fact that people don't always openly communicate about their grief. So, when they come across it in a book or a blog post, they feel all the more connected to it because it's almost like someone else gets them for the very first time.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am grateful for having a wonderful vacation last week and for a job that I can come back to after the vacation. Some people don't have that luxury and I feel fortunate.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Lori Hawkins JacksonApril 24, 2017 at 6:20 PM

    I love how you pointed out that gratitude is probably felt more often than grief but more often overlooked. I have been keeping a photo gratitude journal for about six months now and I am amazed at how my perspective and attitude have changed by looking for the good rather than dwelling on the bad. Even in the bad there is something to be grateful for!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm so sorry to hear about your brother's passing, Lecy. That is interesting re grief and gratitude, I never thought of that before but I can see how they maybe complement each other sometimes. Please reach out if there's ever anything I can help with, and best of luck getting through this wek.

    Also eat all the leftover candy. Next week is a new week to start over :)

    Xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's hard to find gratitude among grief. I'm so sorry for your loss of your brother. Your family sounds wonderfully tight knit. Interesting fact about the grief quotes on GR. I would've thought gratitude would win that one out but it goes to show, we look for comfort in other's words. Great post, Lecy. It's my first visit here ---great to meet you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I couldn't agree more, Divya. I think this is the case for a lot of people.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Vacations are always so nice, but I can appreciate coming back to my routines again. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. You can always find a little room for gratitude. Thanks for coming by to read, Lori!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you Charlotte! And re: the candy... girl, you are SO wise. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. The stats on the quotes amazed me. I, also, thought it would be the other way around. Thank you so much for coming by today, Lisa. It's a pleasure connecting with you! <3

    ReplyDelete
  20. That's interesting about the quotes, but you're right, it does make sense. Grief usually doesn't happen as often as grateful moments so they are often more memorable. I'm glad your family always bands together during this difficult time.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks so much for stopping by to read, Lauren! <3

    ReplyDelete
  22. I didn't realize the difference between the grief and grateful quotes. Although it doesn't surprise me really. I am still feeling grief over things that happened a few years ago. I am sorry to hear about your brother. That is never easy to speak about I'm sure. Having support from your family and friends is always a great thing. We are all here for you as well. Virtual hugs coming your way! xoxox

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks so much for your sweet comment, Trish. <3

    ReplyDelete