"I am immensely grateful for this pen!" I say to myself as a start writing this story.
Let me back up and fill you in.
I threw my back out two nights ago. That's another story but basically -- I was foolish. As a result, my yesterday was spent in sometimes controlled and sometimes out-of-control pain. Working from home is proving to be good for my current situation because I was able to move my "office" to the sofa. Yet, still could only get tolerable, not comfortable. I had to take two clock-out breaks just to lie down and rest during the day.
I spent my day with Mr. Heating Pad and Mrs. Ice Pack and my evening was spent with their son, the TENS unit. They are a loving and kind family who only want my well being. I love them.
This morning I manage to stretch just so I can meditate just so I can walk. I move my "office" again to a more comfortable chair with wide wooden arms for bracing and support when I need to accomplish that monumental and necessary act of standing. Whenever I tried to stand the day before, it was both painful and pitiful. I felt like a crab on its back with only four of its legs and no claws, desperately scratching at anything for leverage in order to be upright.
I settle into this chair and, along with my good friend, Cup of Coffee, I prepare to journal. This activity has become a staple for my overall mental well-being. I start by writing the date at the top of the page and the ink runs out. The ink--runs--out.
So now I have to get up and find another writing instrument. I have recently moved and am not completely unpacked so, besides the arduous task of standing, I now need to hunt for a pen in the box pile. A task much akin to finding a needle in a haystack.
Pain has a purpose. In my case this morning, it is to force me to slow down. Meditation has a purpose. For me today, it is to stay calm and not be frustrated by my circumstances. Both are fortunately doing their jobs.
I begin looking in the desk drawer and I find a generic-brand, ball-point pen immediately. I was so grateful!
What is so phenomenal about my initial gratitude for this generic-brand, ball-point pen is that normally I don't like them. Especially this one with a MEDIUM point! Worthy of a scoff under normal circumstances.
I consider myself a snob when it comes to writing instruments and I am not alone. I have discovered that most people have a strong opinion about their preferred brand/style of pens. For instance, for my pens, I choose Pentel RSVP, a fine-point, ink pen. The fact that this generic pen I found was not a Pentel normally would evoke ungratefulness, but not today. Due to my back pain and meditation, I was simply grateful for having found one so quickly.
Having said all that, the medium-point pen I found is not the one towards which my opening statement of immense gratitude is directed.
As I turn around to leave the room with my treasure, my eye is caught by something sticking out from under a pile of junk in my not-yet completely unpacked room. It was a Pentel RSVP 8K90 FINE-point, ball-point pen. I slowly and carefully reach for it in case it is a mirage as well as to be respectful of my tender back. I was ELATED.
"So what? You found your favorite pen. What's the big deal?"
For me, it was a breakthrough in gratitude. Normally I would have been irritated with the average, medium-point pen and would have grumbled my way through an unpleasant writing experience. That's not what happened.
I believe I was rewarded for my initial, spontaneous, and genuine gratitude BEFORE my favorite pen was provided to me.
I am working on change from within and had read that gratitude is a good place to start. You know those books and challenges that suggest you write down something every day for which you are grateful? Well, I have tried that on numerous occasions, and while it wasn't difficult to do, it was not easy for me either. It always felt forced.
BUT NOT TODAY!
Today, it came from within.
Today was genuine, spontaneous gratitude for BOTH pens despite my pain.
Today was growth.