It’s Friday again! It’s the day I’ve set aside for my little gratitude blogging experiment — the Oh Happy Day! project. It’s my version of “TGIF” with the literal “thanking” thrown in. I try to pull at least one thing from the week for which I am thankful as a way of re-focusing my attention on the blessings of life and love and time. Honestly, it usually works. Gratitude is funny that way. (And, yes, I’m a bit sporadic about the project like I am with everything else. But, I know you’ve grown to accept my Junkie ways.)
This week, it was easy to decide my most gratitude-inducing experience. It was obvious the moment it occurred. Not every week is like that. Sometimes that choice is a bigger stretch. Sometimes there are so many things to be thankful for that it’s hard to choose one to act as Junkie subject matter. Sometimes, my vision is clouded, and I can hardly recognize even one of those blessings to inspire my writing (and thankful heart). This week started out in a move toward the latter. I began Monday tired and frustrated from some events of the prior weekend. A busy schedule and a full immersion in my own overthinking tendencies compounded my anticipation of a “difficult” week. Annoyingly, the mopes just tend to multiply, pushing gratitude further and further from my mind.
Then yesterday rolled around. It was the peak of my frustration, the final lap of my racing thoughts, the tipping point of my emotional balance. Lunch hour to the rescue! I opted for the local deli not far from my office and an outdoor table. Nothing adjusts the attitude like lunch outdoors. I ordered the usual… a cup of chili with crackes and a large sweet tea. This time I also got one of those giant sugar cookies simply because I was at the aforementioned peak. I sat down and was able to look around me. Outside. Outside of me. I felt the temperature of an unusually cool Spring day in April. I stopped taking my own temperature for a moment. I made notes in my journal about new blog posts and work promotions. I took note of something besides my own frustrations. I enjoyed a phone call from a friend, and I listened to a voice outside the one in my own head. Sitting there in my blazer and heels, trying to keep the napkins from littering the parking lot, I actually felt the wind on my face. I actually noticed for the first time that day that there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was a breath of fresh air, literally and for my spirit. It was beanless chili with just the right amount of spice for my body, but it was food for my soul.
It always amazes me how a little thing can shift perspective. How a simple and mundane action can alter so many things when we choose to pay attention to it. I guess that’s why I write about it so much. Sometimes the daily things we do a thousand times are just the needed reminder that life is big and small all at the same time. Having lunch outdoors at the deli on Thursday–something I do quite often–turned me around with its sheer simplicity. Simple words. Simple tastes. Simple light. Simple sweetness. Simple deep breaths. Simple pleasures. It shifted me outside myself. And, that’s a good thing.
Thursday’s midday experience made me think of the other spectacular “power” lunches I’ve had this week–the ones that were lost in my internal involvement… Monday’s unexpected sandwiches with my Mom and Dad, Tuesday’s quesadilla with the Queen featuring project planning and sage advice, Wednesday’s enjoyment of leftover taco fixings at my desk catching up with cyberspace.
This morning, I got the call. It was one of the girls from downstairs in our office inquiring about lunch. We call it “Friday Lunch,” and it’s become a tradition around here for whoever wants to join in. (I’m posting about it today in Quack! the other blog I write for the day job.) We decided on our chosen local carryout by the typical process of elimination and deferring of judgement. We sit to eat together. It has power. And, I enjoyed it.
This week, I’m thankful for lunch. Oh Happy Day!