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Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I used to keep a gratitude journal, a place to record those little blessings that come each day, but which are easy to overlook. Here are a few recent ones that I don't want to forget:

Amtrak, which has been pleasant and prompt the four times I've taken it in the last week, and New York City, which I visited yesterday. I had a lovely lunch in the West Village with my Tarcher editor and my agent. I appreciated good food, good conversation, and a sense that my book is moving forward. Even in the rain, I love walking around Manhattan.

Speaking of rain, it passed over the children's spring concert, which for the first time was held outside. The Pre-K and Kindergarten had collaborated on a song about spring. One group had written the words and the other the music. They were very cute singing on the meetinghouse porch, but the best moment was when they finished the song and the Seventh Grade girls stood up and cheered loudly. Maybe middle schoolers have just gotten a bad name, but I can't help thinking that at most schools Seventh Graders wouldn't give a standing ovation to four and five-year-olds. So the sense of community at my children's school is another thing I want to appreciate.

I also want to appreciate the community spirit at my Quaker meeting. When it rained Friday night, our scheduled barbeque and bonfire became more like a typical potluck, though some hearty souls continued grilling outside, and the kids still got to roast marshmallows. At one point a friend looked at me and said, "This is a great community." It seems especially important to remember and appreciate that after a business meeting that wasn't quite so joyful. Appreciating the joy when we experience it can keep us grounded in the moments when we don't. It's a practice that I need to continue.


Anonymous cath said...

You've reminded me to dig out my gratitude journal--which has morphed into my regular journal**, but really needs to be separate.

**and am I the only person I know who still keeps a written with a pen on paper journal? Seems most of my friends use their computers and laptops now. But there is something I love about curling up in a nice chair with a cup of something-or-other and actually writing.


1:26 PM  
Blogger Lone Star Ma said...

Which book is it? I am still waiting for Imperfect Serenity(:

Your blog does terrible things to my internet connection - even since I got a new, updated one - I just don't know why. I would comment more often if I didn't always get kicked of. Today, I seem allowed, though - yay!

1:32 AM  
Blogger Eileen Flanagan said...

Thanks for hanging in there, Lone Star Ma. I have no idea what the problem is! As for Imperfect Serenity, I included an explanation of that in my latest blog post, "Privacy." The book referenced here is The Wisdom to Know the Difference, on the last line of the Serenity Prayer, and how we can discern what we should accept and what we should change. Thanks for asking!

10:22 AM  

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