30 Days of Gratitude: Bonus Prompt 12: Wonder

Dealing with anxiety, the sense of wonder is a constant. This works in both positive and negative ways.

My mind is always working. I am constantly thinking. This works in both positive and negative ways.

I consider myself an information hound. When I am unsure about something that interests me, I usually wonder enough about it to look it up. Growing up I use to read the encyclopedia.

I now use Google or Wikipedia to look something up that I wonder about. By doing this I learn about something that I didn’t know before. This can often increase a sense of wonderment about something related to what I looked up in the first place.

It’s important for all of us to have a sense of wonder about the world. The internet has made the world a much more accessible place. When we wonder about something, we now have supercomputers at our fingertips to look something up or connect with someone thousands of miles away.

The negative aspects of wonder are something I constantly battle with. The unknown is something that is an internal struggle that often goes on in my brain.

The list of second guessing and wondering what is going to happen is seemingly endless for me. It can involve applying for a job, trying to get new clients, making an important phone call or attempting to kiss a woman after a first date.

In anxiety, wonder is a constant. The Wikipedia page for Wonder says:

“French philosopher, mathematician, scientist, and writer René Descartes (1596–1650) described wonder as one of the primary emotions because he claimed that emotions in general are reactions to unexpected phenomena. He noted that when people first encounter a surprising or new object, “… this makes us wonder and be astonished at it”. Descartes therefore propounded that “Wonder is the first of all the passions.”

There are many beautiful senses of wonder in life. We always have a sense of wonder early in a relationship. We learn more about our partners as a relationship evolves. Their likes, dislikes and discovering them intellectually and physically.

When we enter the world we all have an almost daily sense of wonderment. Being able to see the world through a child’s eyes is an ever evolving sense of wonder. Children see the world in a different way and are almost always wondering about something.

Wonder gives us all a sense of learning and exploring the world. Without it, we would stay in our own communities, own comfort zones and life would be far more boring.

30 Days of Gratitude: Bonus Prompt 11: Fire

There are many reasons for man to be grateful for fire. The two biggest are that is provides us with a source for cooking and heat.

Via the source of gas, fire still continues to provide us with heat and a source of cooking. The fire is under much greater control than it was when Neanderthals discovered fire tens of thousands of years ago.

Fire is something us to be grateful for in many ways, but it can also be a scary thing that causes tremendous damage each year. We can still have a sense of gratefulness towards those that work to fight fires.

As technology advances the fight against putting unwanted fires out seems to continue to get better. Accidental fires can happen for many reasons. Some happen through nature from lightning and other sources, while others occur from man-made sources or arson.

Most of us take much of what we have in our daily lives for granted. Having fire is something that we don’t usually think about consciously think about. It’s always prevalent in our lives.  We use fire to heat our homes and with a gas stove cook our food.

When we roll our garbage cans out to the curb once or twice per week do we think about how the garbage is disposed of? It’s picked up by a garbage truck and eventually brought to a landfill where the waste is slowly burned off.

Fire can also be used in many other ways. Other sources can be to provide light, energy, blacksmithing and glass making all require fire. Without fire, most of the things we take for granted would come to a halt.

Although most of us don’t use it directly, on a daily basis Fire provides us with most of the things we now consider necessities to live, thrive and survive.

30 Days of Gratitude: Bonus Prompt 10: Friendship

There are not too many things in life I am more grateful for than my friends.

Several friends have been there for my through my adversity more than anyone else in my life. One friend, in particular, has called to check in over the last six years more than just about anyone else.

My friend John has called me once or twice per week to check in and see how I am doing. He doesn’t judge me, despite knowing the mistakes I’ve made and everything I have been through.

He always listens to what’s going on in my life without judging or withdrawing from me. I have had friends over the years who have become distant because they don’t want to listen to the difficulties I’ve faced in life.

I have learned that friends can be defined differently for different people. Our closest friends listen to us, are compassionate and have an interest in everything in our lives, not just the triumphs.

Other friends are there as social friends. These are friends we meet in social situations. This can encompass many different aspects of our lives and often depends on our interests.

I have one friend I almost always seem to see only when we are going out to high school classmates of ours that are in a band. The only exception to that is when we have spent two of the last three New Year’s Eve’s together.

We both like to be outside and be active. I have asked him to go with me when I spend time in hiking groups. He always says no when I ask him to do anything other than seeing the bands our classmates are in.

In the past, I would have become frustrated and not gone out with him at all. I have learned to be grateful he likes getting together to at least see the bands play. I love seeing live music and it’s nice having a friend to go out with.

For people with a variety of interests having friendships that fit those interests is important. It’s better to be grateful for the friendships we have then to expect more from them.