“There is a limit to how much you can embrace a moment. But there is no limit to how much you can appreciate it.”
― Armin Houman

Finding Gratitude In Life's Ordinary Moments

Gratitude On A Sunday Morning

Right now, my little Shih Tzu, Chloe, is curled up next to me. I’m warmed by her body, and the steady rhythm of her breath comforts me. Ava bolts into the room. Her lanky legs fly at me as she leaps up and settles on the other side of me squeaking her dingy, worn out toy. Ava is just over one year old and a rescue from the Humane Society. She is infused with the energy and exuberance of a two year old child with about five pounds of mischief mixed in. I didn’t want Ava. My son unexpectedly gifted me with her. But as her wet nose nuzzles me, I gently stroke her head, and I am filled with affection for her. She’s as sweet as she is naughty. I pause and marvel at these unique creatures who love mankind without judgment.

Enjoying the Michigan Sunshine

It’s time to play. Ava’s squirming and restless. I’d rather stay in bed. It’s Sunday morning in January–a time of year to burrow in the covers. I notice sunlight peering in at me through the slats of my blinds. Sunlight is rare during Michigan winters, and we’ve seen more sunshine than usual with the mild winter. The sun’s rays beckon me to start the day. I toss a toy to Ava a few times; she happily retrieves it. However, I can’t resist the bright sunlight. I slip the harnesses on the dogs and tether them to their leashes. Their tails whip back and forth as we step outside. I breathe in the brisk air, and my face is drawn to the sun’s radiance. Even though it’s more frigid than it appears, I acknowledge the day with appreciation.

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Finding Gratitude In Life's Ordinary Moments Socializing with Good Friends

Socializing with Good Friends

In their excitement, the dogs tug at their leashes as we start our familiar route around the neighborhood. The sun has deceived many people today. Smiling, I nod to neighbors and amicably wish them, “Good morning.” I’m grateful when they smile back and wish me the same. I decide to take a detour and visit my friend Cheryl. It’s a good opportunity for a quick visit while the puppy explores her large, fenced in backyard. I ring the doorbell and am greeted by a familiar grin. Cheryl’s husband, Steve, invites me in. It strikes me that this humble man greets everyone with warmth and kindness. While the dogs chase each other outside, Cheryl and I catch up, and I am conscious of the value of friends and community.

Thinking of my Mom

We stroll home. The dogs’ gait has slowed, and I’m thankful that they are sufficiently tired. I have time to think about the day ahead. I’ve been invited to brunch and look forward to conversation and a hearty cup of coffee. Gazing down at my new, grey Nikes with their bright orange swoosh, I think of my mom. They were a Christmas gift from her, and I remember that today is her birthday. A feeling of sadness saturates my senses. The brevity of life does not escape me; my mother is getting older. The tide of sadness washes away as I remind myself that I’m fortunate to have my mom in my life.

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Sharing my Stories

We reach home, and I release the dogs from their leashes. They scatter off to rest. I pick up my computer and take a few minutes to write before brunch. As I ponder my next words, I am humbled by a thought–It’s a blessing to be able to share my words with others.

Finding Gratitude In Life's Ordinary Moments

Finding Gratitude In Life’s Ordinary Moments

Life is strung together moment by moment. So often, we race through our days to get to the next big event, holiday, or celebration. Living a fulfilled life requires appreciating all of the moments in between, for that is where happiness truly lies.