Sandy Cohen, R.N., B.A./Roger Cormier, M.A., M.Th.

  For many of us this year’s Thanksgiving Day was very busy just like previous years. However and wherever we may have celebrated or laid low, it was an occasion to become more aware of and thankful for the delights that we experience from day to day.

   Several years ago we made a private retreat to gain insight and direction for career and life transitions. Among other things, the person facilitating our retreat recommended that we adopt the practice of recording at the end of each day several experiences of delight that we otherwise might not savor nor retain in our memory.

   We were so struck by the potential of this simple practice that one of us acquired a small-size journal and began jotting down usually three delights that came to mind at the end of the day. Whether you live alone, are married or live with a life partner, you can benefit from the recollection, documentation and integration of many special individual or shared moments and experiences that otherwise quickly would fade from your radar.

  Several ongoing benefits come to mind: What better way to end a day than to relish a practice of gratefulness carried over to our general attitude toward what is given to us, sometimes as fruits of our labor and often completely gratis. From time to time we page through some of our delights and are reminded of positive trends that have been developing but perhaps not yet fully recognized nor celebrated.

  Here are a few varied examples from our many daily delights that may ring a bell or two for you:

Delicious sangria and tapas at a newly discovered restaurant; friendly barista; patron who is deaf and mute wrote us the message “Hope, good soul.”

Capturing via camera some aligned, abundant rhododendrons and roses on our sunlit backyard slope.

Successful, harmonious negotiation re a business contract via telephone.

Delightful repartee with sales person in travel store.

Inspiration from TV coverage of terminally ill former exec’s pursuit of a cancer cure for others; and of a Venezuelan orchestra program for young people who are poor.

Delicious dessert of a sweet plum, fresh cherries and fresh-baked biscotti.

A wise advisor’s choice words: curiosity, beginner’s mind, fresh eyes, surprise, our star, enough.

Reminding ourselves that we are actually retired and can create our non-career lives.

  Daily delights can be extremely varied for an individual and very different from one journal writer to another. We all know how easy it can be to dwell on the down side of our daily experience. Does this simple, immediately-rewarding practice appeal to you as a way to build thanksgiving into your daily life and as a balance for your daily downers? If so, give it a try. It takes only a pen, a pad, a few minutes at day’s end on a daily or intermittent basis, and a desire to treat and renew yourself by recognizing and reliving your daily delights.

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