“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.” — G. K. Chesterton

Over the last few years, I’ve talked and written about my struggle to let go. Letting go involves constant reflection. The struggle is this: a constant tug and pull of realizing what is really important vs. complaining about everything that you “perceive” to be an irritation. There are many times when I feel the beat of gratitude, but still succumb to the pressure of focusing on what isn’t enough.

These last few weeks my mind has gravitated toward the loss of my friend Katy.  My intersection with her and witnessing her grace has allowed me to reevaluate my approach to gratitude. I talk and write about gratitude, but I am not certain I’ve completely embraced it in the textures of my thoughts, actions, and words. A part of me is convinced that in order to let go involves developing a very close relationship to gratitude.

There are days when I can’t let go or feel that I am focused too much on the “wrong” things. My goal is to eliminate this thinking to a minimum. There are many days when I or you may feel nothing is right. But if we look, there are opportunities to give gratitude to small pleasures that inhabit our lives. For me I realize it is the thousand “I love you’s” from my daughter, the ability to watch the sunset behind the mountains, driving my car, and smelling the cup of coffee brewing in the morning. To the casual observer, these many seem trivial and part of a huge cliché, but they are important. I’ve witnessed, through my father and now through Katy, that these “trivial” opportunities can be taken away at any second.

Look around today. Celebrate the small pleasures in your life. Inhale them. Write it down. I am convinced letting go is actively practicing gratitude for every ordinary, trivial and mundane moment that encompasses your life.