Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The 365 Grateful Project


Speaking of what's meaningful... and enough here to be grateful for my entire life...

...and because I've lamented so in this space about how difficult a transition it's been having my older daughter living out of state these past two years, I will share the good news also: tonight I leave for maybe my last trip ever to Seattle, to help her move back to California (to UC Davis, a short hour and forty-five minute drive away!!) to pursue her lifelong dream, graduate work in creative writing. Not only that, but last weekend, I helped my younger daughter move from SF to Berkeley, closer by only about fifteen miles or so, but when considering traffic, crossing the bridge, traffic (!) it feels like a whole world closer.

I know now how precious this time of close proximity is, and I will never again take it for granted. To be able to hop in the car and drive up for lunch, no checking baggage, no taking off the shoes, jacket, and scarf to get through security screening, to have her able to easily pop in for the occasional weekend, to be able to spend birthdays together again, not to mention watching her dreams unfolding, just feels incredible, and I am so excited and so grateful...

Speaking of which. Here's something I've been wanting to write about for a few weeks now. There is something I want to do but that feels like a huge undertaking, a serious commitment requiring daily awareness and effort and discipline that I'm not sure I will be able to see all the way through, and I just want to begin to articulate it, to put it out here, to maybe get some feedback, encouragement, support.

A few weeks ago I ran across the blog 365grateful. It's possible that I'm the last person in cyberworld to find it, but oh well, once discovered, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. The 365 Grateful Project started simply as one woman seeking to help her depression through finding one thing each day that she was grateful for and photographing it. For a year. She began posting her photos on Flickr, they began to be noticed and before long, folks around the world were doing their own versions, it has taken off, and lives are changing forever.

I am not one to jump onto the latest, trendy bandwagon. But there is something here that feels so meaningful, and it seems a wonderful way to put into daily practice that shift in attention I wrote about a couple of posts ago. It seems simple and huge and risky all at the same time. Can I do it? What if I can't do it? What if it's too much? What if I fail? What if I do it and it doesn't change my life...?! 

And yet I SO want to do this. And it strikes me that as with anything that feels large and intimidating and possibly impossible, it's all about one step at a time; here, one day at a time. Forget the 365 part, just find one thing each day that I'm grateful for and take a picture of it. What could be simpler, really?! One thing. Each day. Snap a pic. Right?

What do you think?

7 comments:

  1. i think it's a grand idea and if you feel like making the commitment, then do it. if there's one moment in each day when you've found something beautiful to focus on, then how can it not be a good thing? I've been wanting send you a link to a blog I visit - Molokai Girl. she's from there. maybe you could connect before your trip? here's the link -

    http://pmondoy.blogspot.com/

    happy day to you Debby. take good care.

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  2. Lovely to have your daughters so nearby and they must be very happy too! Family is so important in this life. I wish you a lot of cosy, enjoyable and unforgettable hours together with them.

    What a coincidence, I have been thinking of doing this photographic project too, but I forgot about it. Thanks for reminding me! :)Years ago I started a notebook where I wrote down the moments and the things I was grateful for that specific day, but I only succeeded to note them down for a couple of days, then I stopped and some weeks or months later I started again ... I think the photographic version could be more interesting than the pure written one. Honestly, I do take some photos every day, so taking the photos isn't really the problem, but for 365grateful, it couldn't be 'just' a photo. Maybe we can support each other and start on the same date with this project? It is quite a challenge, I know, but it's a nice one. And I believe it can change your perspective on life. That's why I would do it. And not only your personal perspective could change, but also the perspective of the people who have the honour to see the result of this project. And you get to know yourself better ... I'd say: let's give it a go!

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  3. Yes, let's give it a go! I have another friend interested as well. Let's chat and see when it seems like a good time to get started. It's so great that this is something you've wanted to do, too. How wonderful to support and encourage each other through it. Big Yay. :))

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  4. I'm thinking on doing a 365 days project starting January 1st 2012. I want to register a whole year and I still need some time with my camera. I don't think I could do a 365 grateful days because my days are very similar. I don't have much of a life and I'm grateful of invisible things. but I believe everything happens on the right time and if you feel that call you should jump. I already know your project could help me :) I'm truly happy you've your daughters closer. xoxo

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  5. Thank you, Ana. I too believe everything happens in its right timing... (I think!! :)

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  6. Lovely, Debby. Seeing the photos of your daughters--and also so many of nature are just breathtaking! Much to be grateful for.

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  7. @Debby and Ana: I do believe everything happens in its right timing! Although sometimes it doesn't seem so at that particular moment, but later, when you look back, you do realize why that certain thing happened then. I do believe that everything in this life has a reason and signifies something. In a certain way, this 'knowledge' relaxes me.
    @Debby: what about starting the 21st of September (first day of Fall)? Then the project goes together with the seasons: as I am a big lover of Nature I'd like to do it like this, or is it too short noticed? Then some of the photos could be illustrative for the impact of the global warming too I guess ... Let me know! If you want to, you could mail me at estudiosdecococita at gmail dot com. Looking forward to hearing from you.

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I love that you've stopped by... thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I'll make every effort to visit your blog as soon as I can. Enjoy your day.