My Treasure Chest

The holiday season for me, among so many things, reminds me of all the things for which I am thankful. It reminds me of my treasure chest, both figuratively and literally, which reminds me of a blog post a friend of a friend recently wrote about “gratitude jars”. I’ve done versions of different kinds of “happiness” exercises for 30+ years.

  1. I have kept a “treasure chest” that entire time, collecting keepsakes of notes, cards, postcards, letters, and photographs from family members and friends, as well as ticket stubs, sundry miscellaneous items to remind me of all the great things that have happened in my life and the moments when someone was thinking of me as something great was happening in theirs.
  2. I pick two or three people each morning to send love before the day ends, in some way, shape or form. Sending love or saying thank you fills my internal gratitude jar.
  3. When I wake up each morning, I thank God for being alive, and at least one or two other things that I’m thankful, a reminder for those things that I have and have been given to help battle against thoughts of what I don’t have or have not been given, both a rabbit hole into negative thoughts and victimhood.
  4. Write myself postcards from various places around the world, telling me of my experiences there, thankful for it; or I give it to a friend and ask them to mail it to me at some point in the next year when it strikes their fancy.
  5. I’ve written in a journal since I was seventeen years old, and of course written in this blog the last three plus years.

This morning, I will be taking my sister and her family to the airport, decidedly very sad to see them go. The older we get, the less frequent I am able to see those that I love. Perhaps that’s one of the main reasons why I write, why I paint, why I take photographs — to keep alive the memories of life with them, all of them, and why I keep coming back to spend time with the ones I love, as well as reflect upon those memories as if I am reliving them, over and over again. I close my eyes and smile. I’ve got a treasure chest waiting for me in the Bay Area, not to mention a dog that was once well over a hundred pounds ready to bowl over me the moment I step foot inside my apartment.

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