Counting Blessings

Reader Contribution by Staff

In the rush of teaching, traveling, attending conferences, giving talks, and writing, it’s easy for me to focus on the bumps in the road, rather than the outcome of the journey.  But this week, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m counting and celebrating my blessings.

For example, in last week’s post, I expressed my hope for a better garden next year.  But if I reframe my approach, I can focus on what I have now:  the one bumper crop from my yardshare with my farming friend Mason. The garden has been bursting with butternut squash that I harvested, picking food for the first time in decades.

Also in this blog, I’ve written about the up-and-down processes of floor-refinishing, staying organized, and remodeling my bathroom and kitchen. (This last project was just wrapped up a few weeks ago.) Now I have an eco-friendly bathroom that’s a sanctuary, and a renovated kitchen, a hybrid of old and new, that inspires me to take care of myself one home-cooked meal at a time. Not only do these rooms make me feel calm and at home; they also affirm and reflect my values.

A running theme in my blog (seen in my recent conversation with Amy Thomas) is the cyclical nature of daily life. All of our lives can be hectic and stressful, and it takes work to continually realign our good intentions with our actions and choices. I’m grateful for the wisdom and support of everyone in my life who reminds me of this.

While thinking about the past year and all that I’ve accomplished (with the help of my community of friends),  I  revisited this post from six months ago, where I wrote about my gratitude  for the joys — and the challenges — in my life.

“I am trying to stay open to the mystery of every new experience by being grateful and compassionate. Part of this is about being kind to myself. Each morning I recommit to this (some days I am more successful at this than others). It starts with tea for one and a few quiet minutes to give thanks. I wake up in a warm bed and have a lot of love in my life, so I think there is always something to be grateful for (not that there always isn’t something to also kvetch about, but I am reframing here). These actions are intentional and help set the tone for the day.”

This is a lesson I try to keep in mind: Take time to reframe. Give thanks. Take care of yourself. Harvest what you have, and reap what you sow.

With great affection and gratitude,


P.S. For more views through my eco-friendly lens, you can follow me on Twitter @simransethi.

Photo by Simran Sethi.