Here I’ve gone and done it again. Started something I can’t finish.
I’m talking about the 365 grateful project I started January 1st. For a few weeks I did such a good job of finding things I’m grateful for every day. But just like those resolutions we make at the beginning of a fresh year and break, I faltered. I failed.
It has been several weeks now since I posted anything on Instagram. And I’ve started to dig into just why I stopped, where I fell down. And here is what it boils down to – authenticity.
I had a day that was utterly average. Nothing spectacular happened. Not even spectacular, really. I mean nothing interesting. Nothing worth documenting. And then that day turned into several days which turned into a week which has now turned into weeks.
You see where this is going, don’t you? The 365 grateful project isn’t about finding spectacular or extraordinary things, right? It’s about finding something, even the tiniest of things, every single day which is, I have to say, very uncomfortable for me.
I reject the notion that every day is sunshine and roses. And I have never trusted people who only show me their perfect, positive happy lives. What a bunch of crap that is. You may think you’re fooling everyone on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter with your “blessed” hashtags and pictures of smiling kids, gourmet meals, perfect relationships, and vacations.
I know that some days are clouds and tears and depression. And some days are filled with anger and resentment and chaos and regret. Bad hair days. Bad parenting days. No money days. Cold sores and blisters and diarrhea. That is my life. That is real. That is authentic.
As my accountability partner so aptly put it, show me your skinned and scabby knees and perhaps you and I can be friends. Authenticity is very important to me. I started to feel like I was hiding my reality behind a bunch of grateful pictures. And I just wanted to punch myself in the face. I had become one of those people. I felt like a fraud.
In all of that, I forgot one important thing. That finding and taking the time to stop and document something I am grateful for every single day is a huge departure for me. It is a very different way to live. It’s about intention. It’s about mining the good out of the bad. And for a while, this new way of living is going to seem uncomfortable. Like I am wearing my shoes on the wrong feet. Until it’s not uncomfortable anymore.
I am going to start again with the 365 grateful project, but I just want to be clear about one thing…
I have scabs on my knees.