Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Massive Explosions of Gratitude Week

Okay, I’m back, I’m back! I know you were all just holding your breath and crossing your fingers for the return of A Room Full of Books. Well, wait no more. I’m going to post again in a little while about different kinds of frustration when reading, so you can look forward to that as well. But for now, there’s this. I read my Free Will Astrology horoscope on a fairly regular basis, as you probably know. Back during the week of January 29, Rob gave Aries an assignment, which I decided to follow. Here’s the original horoscope:

Don’t tell me you have nothing to be thankful for, Aries. Your parents could have named you “Hooligan” or “Lightsaber” or “Flu,” and they didn’t. There are no photos floating around the Internet that show you riding a pig in the nude. No one has ever broken up with you via text message. Now please keep going in the direction I’ve pointed you. Count your blessings up to at least 101. Create an ongoing list of all the things in your life that work pretty well and make you feel at home in the world. Why do this now? Because it’s Massive Explosions of Gratitude Week for you – a time when you can attract even more good fortune into your life by aggressively identifying the good fortune you already enjoy.

I thought this would get repetitive and the meaning would start draining out of it, but that didn’t happen. This exercise, which I did over four days, actually did raise my gratitude level and ease my irritation with small daily things. I won’t post all 101 here (a lot of them are along some of the same themes), but how about a sample?

7. I don’t have to eat dining hall food anymore.

12. I grew up not being conscious of how much money my family had in relation to my friends’ families.

21. I can easily communicate with everyone I care about.

22. There isn’t a place from my life that I associate with bad memories so much that I can’t go back.

24. I’ve never had a broken bone or major surgery.

28. I’ve gotten away with a lot.

30. No one forces me to watch sports.

37. I possess the ability, if not the facility, for expressing myself in language.

51. I don’t have to navigate Cambridge sidewalks or the MBTA in a wheelchair.

61. I live in a liberal hotbed.

62. Kate Winslet is still making movies.

63. Dar Williams is still making albums.

67. I got an amazing education at a steep discount.

77. People seem to forgive my little stupidities.

88. I hardly ever get sick.

90. I was hardly caught on tape dancing at my sister’s wedding at all.

91. I was raised to value the intellectual over the physical.

93. I come from ethnic backgrounds with good food.

94. I’ve never tried to pull off leggings.

98. I’ve never been to New Jersey.

99. The things I haven’t done that I want to do are within my reach.

101. I’m still alive.