Thanksgiving is coming, so that means more turkey for me! I eat turkey everyday…but maybe I can eat my mom’s portion since she’s a pescatarian. I have no idea what that means, but she seems to have a thing for poke. Now I do too! By the way, I’m so glad I’m not a turkey! Last Fall, I had a life saving surgery to remove cancer from my little body. While I was in surgery (and had to stay overnight in the hospital), Grandma took my mom to an old lady craft show. Grandma told mom to pick something out and lo and behold she came home with a pumpkin sign that read ‘Give thanks.’ Gosh, I love pumpkin, not sure why I can’t eat that one. Mom got it out recently and looks at “Give thanks” everyday now. She asked me to write a blog on gratitude because she says I enjoy the little things. She told me that I know how to be present in the moment and am grateful for the littlest things like when Grandma and Grandpa come over, my tail wags a mile a minute like I just won the lottery. I am grateful for seals, camping, hiking, three dog bakery, and all my time in nature and adventures. “What if we didn’t take good things for granted?” Ok, I’ll be honest in the past I’d get so much Three Dog Bakery, I did take it for granted I mean now that the human dictator of three dog bakery (aka my mom) says its not good for an anti-cancer diet, I’m limited in my intake and forced to reflect on how much I actually enjoy it.
One of my mom’s favorite authors Brene brown talks about when you choose gratitude that leads you to joy. I feel so much joy running free on the beach and seal hunting in dana point harbor and when I see the tent being set up. I get it… there’s always going to be something to be let down about. I know, I had cancer but honestly I wagged my tail through the whole thing. Mom has shared with me that many people think that humans are the highest species and that animals don’t mean much. She says that I have as much inherent worth as any human out there, but I don’t complain like humans do about things but just am grateful for them….she can’t help wonder if dogs are some of the most grateful beings out there. My mom told me that she struggles with gratitude when she starts to focus on things that have disappointment her or ways people have hurt her or sometimes what others appear to have and she does not…she seems to lose what is right in front of her face. She said I’m the one thing she has never stopped experiencing gratitude for. When family and friends and significant others or work disappoint she can lose the experience of gratitude. . She says i am her hero because I’ve been attacked so many times by everything you name it…a golden retriever, a seal, and oh yeah that pit bull that went for my jugular, but i keep wagging my tail despite these things. I am most grateful for God putting me in a family that has let me travel and see this beautiful world we live in. I am grateful for my van and all the time in the mountains and by the sea. There will never be a way to capture all the beauty I’ve seen and treasure. John Muir was so right when he said, “ I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.” This is what gratitude is to me…not missing the good thing right in front of you. There’s no way I’m going to miss a seal taco right in front of me! So let’s sit and stay and think a minute or two about something or someone that fills your heart with gratitude…and with joy….rest in that like a dog laying in the sun…soak it up and let it sink deeper into your heart.
“There is an Estonian proverb that says: “Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.” Acts of gratitude make one grateful because, step by step, they reveal that all is grace”. -Henri Nouwen
“I’ve had a remarkable life. I seem to be in such good places at the right time. You know, if you were to ask me to sum my life up in one word, gratitude.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.” – Mary Davis
“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” ― G.K. Chesterton
“Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dovetails into behavior. It almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides. It means that you are willing to stop being such a jerk. When you are aware of all that has been given to you, in your lifetime and the past few days, it is hard not to be humbled, and pleased to give back.” -Anne Lamotot