Tech which makes Sense

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more.”

– Melody Beattie

Gratitude is a state of mind, not the result of external circumstances.

I returned to my hometown recently and had wonderful visits with dozens of people… friends, family, colleagues, and loads of kids. As much fun as it was catching up with everyone, it was also exhausting, especially for someone who is now used to significant amounts of loneliness.

My 10-day visit ended on the 14th anniversary of the death of my husband, John. He was a police officer who died in the line of duty for him. So I attended a memorial service for John at police headquarters and then went to lunch with his family. Then I drove to the airport, got on a plane and flew back to my own life, where I live alone by the sea.

It was only when I was back home, inside my little bungalow, that I cried for the first time that day, but they weren’t tears of sadness. They were tears of gratitude for the amazing life I’ve somehow managed to contend for, especially the freedom to live where I want to live and do the work I want to do and still return to my hometown from time to time.

The fact that it is the financial ramifications of John’s death that have allowed me to have this life is not lost on or appreciated.

“Pause for a moment and give thanks. Let your heart awaken to the transforming power of gratitude.”

-Sarah Ban Breathnach

Unique abundance; A diary of comfort and joy

However, in my experience and observation, gratitude for what IS, rather than dwelling on what we lack but want, is not necessarily our default attitude. Rather, it seems to be the human condition to want more rather than be grateful for what we already have.

I vividly remember the day after John died, I was standing in our dining room window in my hometown, looking out at our Mountain Ash tree, and I really noticed how the yellow leaves and red berries contrasted so beautifully against the bright blue sky. Then one of my brothers came over and stood next to me.

“I’m glad today is a good day,” I heard myself say.

He handed me a cup of coffee and smiled. “You’re going to be fine, right?”

I nodded and said, “Yes…someday.”

I was right. My ultimate destination was happiness…thankfully, I had no idea how emotionally and psychologically difficult the journey to get there would be, how much work it would entail, or how long it would take.

But this is a good thing…because hobbits would never leave home if they had any idea what dragons they might have to face.

I share the story of standing by the dining room window the day after John died, and somehow being able to see the beauty of nature and recognize the small but significant gift of a sunny day when another gloomy one would probably have left me. finish. because I suspect there is an important lesson there about the transformative power of gratitude.

Unfortunately, it took me a long time to learn it… and I still need reminders more often than I’d like to admit.

Because the truth is, after walking away from the dining room window, I began to wonder how I could notice beauty in the midst of such horrible sadness. My husband just died… what kind of scale is fixed on the beauty of a tree?

A scale that instinctively knew it was best to figure out, quickly, how to find something good in an incredibly bad situation, that’s who. But that’s in hindsight, of course.

What I didn’t realize then was that being able to appreciate beauty in the midst of immense loss was not only a gift, but also the key to getting through the grieving process sooner rather than later. Why?

Because what we choose to focus on expands.

“As you focus on abundance instead of lack in your life, you will be laying out a wonderful new plan for the future.”

-Sarah Ban Breathnach

Unique abundance; A diary of comfort and joy

On my recent trip home, John’s 7-year-old nephew, Nicholas, asked me out of the blue, “Aunt Pope, are you lonely living alone?”

Wow…out of the mouths of babies!

I thought about it for a moment. “No,” I told her, “I don’t. In fact, I love living alone.”

His honest question was a good one. I’m sure he got me thinking. Am I scales for being so happy, even though, if one were to look at my situation objectively, I really AM alone? From a child’s perspective, what I don’t have (a partner, a child, a mom, or any pet) is perhaps more prominent than what I do have… which is a lot.

Maybe my life is a bit like a bad country song… my husband died then my dog ​​died then my mom died then my other dog died and I still can’t get a date to save my life…

But maybe it’s because, deep down, I know that a date, someone special, couldn’t save my life… that was my job. And I dare say I did.

Learning to be happy again on my own has been a very difficult life lesson, but it was obviously one I needed to learn. Trust me, I wouldn’t have chosen to be a widow at 32 and then single for 14 years, than to fly to the moon. But that’s the nature of a hobbit…they don’t tend to willingly leave their hobbit hole to take on unfun adventures with unknown results.

I know I won’t always live alone. But I am grateful for the experience of doing so because one of the most important things I have learned in the last 14 years is to understand the conditions I need to work effectively from home: my own space and a lot of time on my own.

And since there’s nothing this hobbit loves more than telling stories about how to slay dragons, like the myth that being alone means being alone, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to do just that.

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