Buttress the Soul (A Gratitude List)

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Do you ever notice that life would be perfect if you could cut out all of the noise?

Pesky neighbors, grumpy bosses, toxic relationships, health issues, work-life imbalances, addictions of every variety, shitty weather, failed goals, inequalities, chronic depression, bills bills bills. 

You can’t.

You can simplify and detoxify. You can meditate and change your thoughts. But you cannot live without coming across obstacles of every shape, breadth and frequency. No matter how tightly you close your eyes and pray, they still pop out from somewhere unseen, like mole holes and noxious weeds.

There are some people, however, people whom I like to call “chill,” people who (seem to) never get their heart broken or succumb to stress, anxiety, worries. People who recount their troubles with humor and sensibility rather than seriousness and agony. I think it comes down to attachment, or lack thereof. Do these troubles define who we are? Or can we detach our beautiful, perfect souls from the messy, ugly problems inherent in the human condition?

Can a blended family be a happy family in spite of co-parenting challenges and custody battles? I think so.

Can a single woman be a happy woman though most of her friends are marrying and having children? I think so.

Can a mother have a thriving career and still be present for her children when they need her most? I think so.

Can someone with a debilitating illness heal enough to enjoy life? I think so.

Can someone with a fatal illness find peace, love and happiness in what time he has left? I think so.

Can a dreamer know for sure her dreams will be realized in some shape or form? I think so.

When you let problems fall away like dying leaves, just for a moment as you center your thoughts in what matters, you will see that, like a tree’s trunk, you are rooted in something greater. Anchored by roots that create a web, an invisible safety net. By your foundation, your genetics, the experiences of your ancestors coded into your DNA. By your childhood, your family, your heroes and mentors and close friends. You have the satisfaction of past triumphs and the lessons from losses. Only you know what you’ve endured, only you know what you’re capable of.

And because of our roots, knarly and knotted and interminable, the storms can blow through our branches without necessarily knocking us over like unstable homes made of hay.

I don’t know for sure, but I think that gratitude buttresses the soul by fortifying our roots. It has to, right?

Today calls for a gratitude list.

1. My sister’s round and growing belly. I am so looking forward to her becoming a mommy to a little boy.

2. My new vitamix, something I’ve wanted for years. I’ve used it every day since I brought it home last Saturday. I’ve made green smoothies, orange smoothies, chocolate smoothies, popsicles, carrot soup, and even superfood muffins. I’m smitten.

3. Thrift store gems. Like that little blue dress Gigi is modeling in the photo above. $7 at Value Village.

4. Spring blooms and sunsets.

5. Hand-written notes from my husband.

6. Playdates for baby AND mommy.

7. A note of encouragement and a gift from Barre3 Portland.

8. This version of Cinderella.

9. Kate Atkinson.

10. Snuggles.

“Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.”

~ Victor Hugo


    1. Thank you for letting me know, and reminding me why I blog. If I can help just one person, especially one person like YOU, I know it’s not in vain 🙂 Sometimes I feel like *most* mornings are hard, yet when I reflect on the whole of my life, I can see how beautiful every day truly is.


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