Gathering Around a Campfire of Blessings: My Gratitude Goals for 2023

"Start to count your blessings.  Start today. Make a spiritual inventory of all your blessings.  See if you can't get to one hundred.  So much good happens to us but in the rush of daily life we fail even to notice or acknowledge it.  Writing it down focuses our attention on the abundance already within our grasp and makes it real."  Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy

When I missed the last couple of steps at work and broke my ankle at the end of September, I was a spoiled brat. I wanted help, but I wanted to do it all by myself. I wanted to go to work, but I wanted to stay home. I was fine when I planned my day but cried out of sheer frustration when I couldn’t get things done with my normal efficiency and speed. In those moments, I learned that I had to focus on the blessings to get through the challenging times. I had to remind myself to dwell on the good things:

I have people in my life who truly want to help me.

My injuries could have been much worse.

This phase is temporary; my ankle will heal in time.

I have mobility with a knee scooter loaned to me by a friend.

The minute I allowed self-pity to seep in, it clouded my whole world. I had to make a deliberate effort to keep all of my thinking positive, or I got sucked into a dreary hole of darkness with branching tunnels and no apparent end.

My gratitude goals for 2023 include keeping gratefulness at the forefront. I tend to be best at counting my blessings when I’m outdoors – just like we do when we’re sitting around the campfire, thinking about the beauty of life and the power of moments. I plan to spend more time around the campfire, fire pit, and the fireplace this year, and to write about my blessings through Gratiku, Three on Thursdays, Five on Fridays, and other ways of expressing thankfulness. When Simple Abundance inspired us all to keep gratitude journals when it was first published (I’m rereading it this year as my guidebook in the area of gratitude), I noticed a more appreciative outlook in my own life; while I won’t have a designated gratitude journal, I will devote days to blogging about blessings!

Campfire at a campground in 2022

Oh – and one more thing: I’m going to keep my awareness of those with injuries and disabilities heightened. When I see a person with mobility challenges, I’m going to be sure I hold the door and ask if I can help. As I hobbled around with my broken ankle, I was dumbfounded at the complete lack of manners and sensitivity of so many people, and amazed at the graciousness and awareness of others.

I know who I want to be in those situations where I can make a difference. I not only want to count my own blessings this year, but I also want to be a blessing to others for whom such simple gestures can make a powerful difference.

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