I read an article on gratitude recently by a fellow blogger, Mary Jaksch. It asked the question “What are you grateful for?” and followed it up with 12 questions to “exercise your gratitude muscle.” I would like to take this opportunity to answer a few of those questions.
- What Made You Happy?: my wife’s cocked eyebrow when I’ve crossed the line with my teasing, my daughter’s smile with all her spaced out teeth and the gaps that still need teeth to grow into them, beautiful music – both the sad kind which allows you to draw upon darker days and the uplifting kind which gives you hope for a brighter day, television – loads and loads of television, thinking of the fun (albeit stupid) times I shared with my friends as a kid.
- What Energized You?: the smell of a hot cup of coffee fresh from the cashier’s hands at Starbucks, songs about the future (i.e. most of the Newsies soundtrack), watching and/or reading the twist as it is finally revealed at the end of Fight Club, the scent of freshly made cinnamon rolls, knowing that I don’t actually have to get up and that if I do it is for my own reasons, writing a powerful scene in my stories and knowing what I’ve written is magical – even if I find out that it sucks later and I was just in the mood to believe in its potential.
- What Barrier Did You Overcome?: finishing a novel in one month…or even at all, forgiving my parents and myself for the traumatic childhood I had at home, finally moving away from the dead end town of Orem (sorry to all my Orem friends but that place is dead to me now), finally coming clean with the truth about the rumors of my criminal past.
- What Changed You?: the knowledge that God was not actually against me but eagerly watching me to see how I handle life, a wonderful wife who loves me unquestionably and without a judgmental bone in her body, a daughter who screams at the top of her lungs in a fit of joy whenever I get home after leaving (even if it’s only for 5 minutes to run to the mailbox), for friends who inspire me to be a better person (you all know who you are).
- What Triggered Your Creativity?: the belief that there must be something bigger than us out there in the world, the hope that whatever lies ahead will be for my benefit and that I will be able to handle it, the realization that there is no line between the real world and a created one – only the lines that we put there ourselves.
- What Deepened Your Spirituality?: the moment when my daughter first came into this world and I experienced the unconditional love God has for us all, the twinkle in that same daughter’s eyes whenever I smile at her, a wife who believes in me even when I don’t.
I’ll share the answers to questions 7 – 12 with you tomorrow night. Be sure not to miss it.! I’d love to hear what your answers are to these questions so feel free to share them with me.
– Paul Scott