Something has changed. Most of the alterations I experience as I age fall into the unwelcome category. Not this!
I seem to be paying more attention to giving and receiving appreciation.
This new awareness is not simply a function of schedule. My calendar could easily become as full as when I was earning more money; rather this new sense of gratitude seems to have seeped into my life like water appearing on the floor from a leaking pipe. I just became aware that thanksgiving was soaking into my socks.
Oh, I still value and pursue accomplishment and excellence; they remain vital but no longer sufficient.
The time listening to the music of the laughter of small children lifts the corners of my mouth. The warmth of the summer sun after a long, cold winter.
I seem to be susceptible to some respiratory disorder and during those times when a deep, clear breath seems lost amidst a cough, I chastise myself for not being more grateful, at least once a day, for all those breaths that went in and out without any acknowledgement at all!
My wife is the gatekeeper and conduit of family news but I am increasingly interested to hear how the children are doing in school, in sports or each in their own areas of challenge. While the demands of their lives and the parenting challenges our children face are important I find myself simply admiring their creativity, compassion, delight, willingness to risk, sense of independence, ability to receive and give affection, imagination, ability to loose themselves in play.
And I am profoundly grateful to receive stories of transformation, of those loved and some unknown, who somehow claim the power to walk a new path.