I can’t remember when my sister, my Mum, and I started this (other than ‘since email’), or where the idea originated. It’s super simple, and, for me, surprisingly effective. One of us sends an email or text, and lists three things we are grateful for in the immediate moment. They can be seemingly small (there is a gorgeous blue jay at the bird feeder) or enormous (I can afford to pay my mortgage and my heating bills and buy groceries, so I am living in a warm house with food in the fridge). Often, but not always, the other two of us will respond with our own lists.
On days when it’s easy to count far more than three blessings, this is a reminder of our great good fortune. On days when we’re struggling . . . this is a reminder of our great good fortune. I do have a few cheaty ones. In the post-hurricane days I learned that I really like having clean knickers to wear each morning (something I had taken for granted my entire life), as well as reading lights at the flick of a switch, and fresh drinking water at the turn of a tap. (Please bear in mind that I live in a so-called ‘first world country’ yet too many people do NOT have access to fresh water at the turn of a tap.) I will never not be grateful for all the health care I'm able to access for Doug, and for all the help I've had dealing with his Dementia.
One day this week I noted that it’s been a year since Doug moved in to long term care, and that we have both survived the transition. For the first several months, he thrived, because he was given greater stimulation and had far more company than I had been able to provide at home. With the progression of the disease, and the arrival of Covid, he may have wobbled a bit. But now, again, he is thriving. In a province where so many seniors are truly suffering, he is safe. He’s very well cared for, he’s loved, he’s as content as possible. One day when I was visiting this week a Blue Rodeo dance party broke out in the dining room; we held hands, and we danced.
It won’t work for everyone, but it works for me; in my darkest moments when I pause, and take a deep breath, I can remind myself of all that is good.