Being Grateful in the Moment

I suck at that sometimes: being grateful in the moment.

Call it a symptom of my personal flaws that is also a common thing in society: we can’t wait for the next thing.

We’re always looking for something better. Whatever is to come next. The next professional experience. The next meal. The next vacation. The next time we get to hang out with our friends. The next sporting event. The next time we have sex.

How often are we were really just grateful in the present, with what is right in front of us? I’m not very good at that.

I took this picture in Everett, WA last Saturday. I kinda hate Everett. My lovely bride is from there. We lived there there first several years we were married and our kids were young. Everett is full of bad memories…and not a place that draws me to it.

I took the picture because I was enjoying a moment. Yes, I was in Everett. But, I was walking in the sunshine with my wife and daughter after seeing my son off to his senior prom. We were standing in a park across the street of where former U.S. Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson lived. Scoop was a pillar of Washington state and national politics for decades. My inner history and politics-nerd rejoiced a bit.

I’ve seen the house before. My grandfather-in-law was a good friend of Scoop’s, so I’ve heard many a tale about Scoop, in addition to what I know of him from history. There wasn’t anything particularly special about the moment this picture was taken. I was just enjoying it for what it was.

I’m getting better about that. I used to be truly terrible at it. I was more likely to be worried about something or focusing on what I didn’t like or wished something would be, rather than being able to enjoy the good in something that might have been less than ideal. That’s a horrible place to be, because being happy is not really possible if you’re stuck thinking about what isn’t making you happy. I spent years doing that and don’t recommend it. At all.

I went through a huge personal change in July of 2013. It’s been a journey since then. And being grateful in the moment is something I still find myself having to do consciously sometimes. I hope you can too.

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