Wednesday, December 10, 2008
There are things I know about myself. I know what style of clothing I like to wear and I rarely deviate from that basic style. I know how to wear my make-up and the process of putting it on is quick and easy. I know that I like to have my life and home organized and I like that being organized lets me lead a pretty busy life with relatively few stresses. I know that I want my bed to be made each morning and I revel in the beauty of a picture-perfect room. I know my likes and dislikes, my quirks and fears; you’d think I’d know that there are some things that I’m just not going to do. On December 1st I wrote about gratitude and pledged to write daily about what I’m grateful for in my day. Even though I love the idea of writing in a diary, I’ve never been faithful about keeping one. Even though I’ve tried in the past to keep a gratitude journal, I’ve never managed to do so for more than a few days. Why did I think that now, during the busiest month of the year, I would suddenly change and be a dedicated journal-keeper? The idea of keeping a gratitude journal for the benefit of creating quiet time for myself seemed so appealing. In reality, the idea of writing daily about gratitude very quickly felt like a chore and was not so appealing. There are activities that I do daily that I don’t think of as a chore: making the bed, as I said before; early morning exercise; a shower, make-up and primping. Each of these activities are part of my daily routine, they please me and help me feel good about myself. Declaring that I would write about gratitude everyday did not increase my level of gratitude because I know that inside I am a truly grateful person. Internally, I take care of my feelings of gratefulness, so putting those thoughts down on paper, did not add to my satisfaction – it was just a chore. I know that there are limits to what I will do; now I know that telling myself that I will do something that isn’t natural for me pushes those limits uncomfortably. Sometimes it’s good to push those limits when it helps us to grow, but sometimes it’s better to just respect our limits.