On Facebook lots of people are participating in a gratitude exercise, writing about something they are grateful for each day. I assume it goes until Thanksgiving and I'm along for the ride.
It's funny because even though I have been expressing my gratitude every day when I meditate, this little exercise is definitely expanding my sense of gratitude. That's never a bad thing. When you stand in gratitude, it's hard to not be standing in joy.
Today I am grateful for my mistakes. It was a big week, and I ended up dropping a lot of balls due to the very extra-ordinariness of the week. On Monday I met iconic author Anne Lamott, a dream come true. She inspires me every day to be a better writer. On Tuesday I re-met Gloria Steinem at a glorious Ms. Foundation fundraiser which also celebrated Steinem's 80th birthday, another dreamy evening. Steinem has been a beacon of light on my own path since I was 11 and my stepmom gave me a subscription to Ms. Magazine.
After these two big long days, I had an important business trip where I would be required to kick some major ass on little sleep. Then, yesterday, the day after my late night return from that trip I had a college reunion event, a hike. It was a chock full week of kick-ass work and fun.
So back to balls dropping....I hadn't caught the destination of the hike. There are a lot of great hikes off the Angeles Crest Highway, where we were set to meet. I didn't pay attention to the destination since we were going as a group, and that wasthe point: fun and frolic in nature with old friends.
One of the balls I dropped was the nagging thought that haunted me all week: Must make sure to get a couple cellphone numbers for peeps on the Saturday hike....just in case. So when I missed the meeting place, I realized I only had home phone numbers and emails. I shot an email and assumed it didn't even go through. They actually did get it, after a delay, and tried emailing and calling but coverage was spotty so we missed each other.
So I ended up on a hiking wild goose choice, searching for the "3 mile loop" hike my friends were enjoying. Tulle, Lucy and I traipsed around the mountain on two different wrong path for a few hours.
I was really mad at myself at the beginning of the first hike of the day. Bad Bridget. Balls dropped. Bad. Then I realized it was probably the absolutely perfect thing to be alone in the absolute quiet, just me and Tallulah and Lucy in nature, contemplating life, reviewing my connection to God, nature, myself. It was, indeed, perfect. I actually needed it, and didn't know how very much. It's like drinking water and realizing you've been dying of thirst for hours.
We were on our way back to the car at the end of the second hike when we met two of the people from the group hike (who needed to leave early) at the all important junction of two paths. So close. I had seen that path and thought it was the wrong one, but in fact it was perfectly wrong and right. So, we started back up that mountain on the "right" path and found the group. Hallelujah!
Lucy and Tulle were particularly grateful for the reunion because there were two other dogs so they were let off their leashes to roam free. This pic is of them scaring the crap out of me as they ran up and down the ledge. The other side: sheer rocky cliff. This was the end of the hike so I knew I could manage the adrenaline rush this incited!
So, today I'm grateful for the reminder that as maddening, crazy or mean it seems that fate and destiny and life may be that everything really is absolutely perfect just the way it is.