This week the word is APPRECIATION.
One of my favorite writers, Kristin Armstrong, recently wrote a chapter in “Tales from Another Mother Runner” about the subtle difference between joy and happiness. The book itself was amazing, but her essay was one that stuck with me.
“If happiness is external, joy is internal.
If happiness is based on circumstance, joy is a baseline.
If happiness is acquired, joy is bestowed.
If happiness is a result of exertion, joy is a consequence of peace.
If happiness is in what you do, joy is inherent in who you are….”
When I think about the word appreciation, I think about it’s relationship to gratitude in much the same way Kristin describes happiness and joy. It is the daily practice of simple gratitude. Where gratitude is big and powerful, appreciation can be small and thoughtful.
Right now I am spending a lot of time in my own head working through some decisions and lots of adult STUFF. I know, from experience, that this is a danger zone for me. I should not be in my head right now withouth an actual adult. I have found slowing down to find appreciation can help me get out of my own way. I do not need to find overwhelming gratitude in everything, but to find simple appreciation in the things that make me happy.
A clensing shower after a long run.
My quiet cup of coffee in the morning.
Watching my son laugh his huge laugh.
Feeling comfortable sweats on my skin after a long day in a suit.
The moment my favorite song comes on my running play list.
Hanging up my medal after a race.
Picking up a new book and looking forward to the adventure.
Appreciation is small. It is simple. And it is essential to a life well lived.