“What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?”
Here is my answer:
Kids are naturally like miniature lawyers. They are always on the lookout for a good loophole. So (for example) if you were to ask a child what they would ask for if they were granted three wishes they would say something like, “My first wish would be for an X-Box Kinect . . . and my second wish would be for trip to Disney . . . and my third wish. . . ummm . . . (and then their faces will light up as if they have found the keys to heaven) . . . and my third with would be to have all the wishes I could ever want!”
And with that small stroke of genius, they’ve granted themselves a lifetime of fulfillment. They are set for life. Theoretically, anyway.
So, if you ask me what’s the ONE THING I’ve come to appreciate most in the past year, I’m going to jump right through that same childhood loophole.
What I appreciate most is . . . ummmm . . . my capacity to be appreciative.
Sure, it may be a childlike trick, but I’m being honest. Without the capacity for appreciation, there would be no joy in my life. Without the capacity express appreciation, life would feel like painstaking drudgery.
And if I waited around for something “BIG” to feel appreciative about, something that is so huge and out-of-the-blue, well then, I might be waiting for an awfully long time. I would be like the child on Christmas morning that is looking for the XBox Kinect, and opens one thoughtful present after another – warm socks, sweet chocolate, a dazzling necklace, a thrilling book, a danceable CD – but can’t appreciate the warmth, the sweetness, the dazzle, the thrill, or the dance – because she is waiting for that ONE BIG THING that she thinks will make her happy.
Well I am not going to pass on the warmth, the sweetness, the dazzle, the thrill, or the dance of life. Because those things dwell in the small, daily gifts: The warmth of a morning snuggle and that first sip of coffee in the morning, the sweetness of the air when I step outside, the dazzle of the colors of the sky, the thrill of a fast-paced morning as we all prepare ourselves for work and school, and the inspiring dance of it all coming together.
The gift of appreciation IS my big gift. And it is a gift I choose to give myself every day.
And with that small stroke of genius, I am granted a lifetime of fulfillment. I am set for life. Truly.