July 16, 2019 10:00 am Published by

Gratitude Changes Things #107

It’s the last day of vacation. A day I often have mixed emotions about. Today, I’m fulfilled, not mixed. Though I don’t feel 100% (meaning, I may have had too much sun, fun and activity and I’m actually worn out from goodness), I am in a wonderful state of being.

I just took a shower. Many of my best insights and ideas occur during a shower. Something wakes up in me as I let the water cascade over my body. My mind frees and opens, there is profound appreciation.

Today, I’m grateful for my health and my body. Occasionally, I find this graceful place about my body and today is one of those days. We’ve been active daily and that nourishes me. We’ve been outdoors a lot; I’m tanned and fatigued in a good way. We lead an active life and keep pace easily with our kids.

At 42, I was in the worst shape of my life mentally, physically, spiritually, financially and emotionally. I declared at that time I would be in the best shape of my life in all those ways by the time I was 50; intentionally. I gave myself a runway and began the work with a long-term commitment. I also knew 50 would be the starting line. You can’t set out to do that kind of work and then quit, it’s a lifestyle change over time with incremental improvements to get you there.

I am proud to say, I did it. And I continue to do it. Today, at 54, I put on my oxygen mask first and work hard to improve consistently over time. Many days, I don’t appreciate it. I critique those areas of my life that are still great works in progress. Today, that’s not the case.

The age lines, wrinkles, imperfections and battle scars seem like love marks of wisdom, service and movement. The body I have is never going to be the version I’d like to see in some sort of unreal perfection, but it’s the one that affords me the opportunity to be active, play sports, work long hours and pursue dreams. It’s a work in progress that’s working well right now.

Gratitude changes things. It changes how you view yourself and in turn others. You can’t critique and be grateful at that same time. It’s an easy choice I need to make more consistently.