So on the way to my day job this morning I listened to a Dharma talk about choosing gratitude. Basically how to cultivate more joy, happiness and kindness in your life by intentionally cultivating gratitude.
So there I was floating into the office on the knowledge that I was choosing gratitude, I did not have to succumb to feelings of stress that tumble quickly into ill will as I have been prone to do in the last few weeks at work. I am working on largest grant submission of the year and it is huge and it is due tomorrow. I am stressed.
But this morning I am choosing gratitude, I can do this grant with a smile and maintain my joy. I will not have ill will towards the funder for asking dumb questions. All was good, my shoulders were not up around my ears until I could not figure out why I had $20 extra bucks in my budget. I added and re-added, check and double checked. I went to my senior accountant asking for help, I went to my data geek, we could not figure it out.
I spun around that budget for hours and hours trying to get it to work. And as I did this, I spun out of control, I felt my joy slip away and puddle on the floor with my tears. Gratitude was no longer residing in me but rather my other constant companion of stress sat on my chest and made it hard to take a breath. The whole time I was aware that I was choosing to make this harder, yet it didn’t seem to matter.
We finally did figure it out and got all the numbers to equal. I wanted to scream “what a waste of a day”. I wanted pancakes to make me feel better. Instead I came home worked out on the elliptical while watching Grey’s Anatomy, ate a yummy dinner my boyfriend made and wrote this post. I am back to feeling filled with gratitude for all I have in my life. I need to remind myself, that this whole life is a practice and it is ok to lose my gratitude over $20 bucks. It is ok to not be perfect. I can try again tomorrow when I submit the grant.
In the mean time, I can choose to cultivate gratitude for what is present right here and that includes the following: my Mac Book, my silly cat, great boyfriend, my new blog, my warm home on this cold night, and yes that I have a job that helps support my other work and it helps other people too. That really is cool.