Sometimes, a prompt arrives at just the right moment. Today, we have a prompt asking what we’re grateful for in this moment, and it happened to be the very day I received news that I’ll be owing some taxes this year. This was actually how I started my day, so I wasn’t very cheerful at the beginning. The day wore on and my mood failed to brighten. Later in the afternoon, however, while I was riding up in the elevator at work, the man next to me smiled broadly and remarked, “It’s finally bearable outside!” I was still cranky, but his overzealous enthusiasm and odd comment amused me and I said, “that’s hardly a high bar.” He simply shrugged as the door opened on his floor and almost winking said, “But it could be worse! Have a great one!” He then danced off the elevator, humming a tune I couldn’t quite recognize, and I was left alone. It was hardly a noteworthy interaction. Just a bit of chit chat really, but it was precisely what I needed to hear to clear my mind a bit. Yes, life doesn’t always work out exactly as we’d hoped, but indeed, more often than not, it’s always quite bearable. To celebrate a cold yet bearable day, I decided to treat myself to an affogato when I got home, which is a delightful scoop of ice cream buried in some espresso. And, I was suddenly feeling very grateful.
For the affogato, to be sure, but mostly for the unwitting friendly reminder the man on the elevator gave me. I just wasn’t sure how to sketch that. As optimistic as I can be, there are definitely days where I struggle with finding that light at the end of the tunnel. The speck of hope that might guide me out of a bummer of a day and turn it into something wonderful. Thankfully, I never rely on myself in times like these, but turn to literally everyone around me. Be they friends or strangers, they all have something wonderful to teach me. A happy outlook on life to share or their own bummer of a day that makes mine seem like nothing much at all. The best part about living in this crazy world is discovering that we’re never really alone. And each day has it’s own way of turning itself around if we let it. As I walked outside today in the still very cold weather, I stopped shivering long enough to stare up into the sky. It was a beautifully deep cerulean blue without a cloud to be found. How had I failed to notice it earlier? It was a gorgeous day where the light made everything sparkle just a bit more. The kind of day that would inspire poets to write words about its beauty.
Though my day started with bumps, I suddenly found myself smiling and enjoying each and every moment again. That child inside me beamed with happiness as I saw the world once more as he always sees it each and every day. A world ripe with possibilities where endless adventures await. Together, the two of us made a drink that only we two could ever make properly. A childish bit of ice cream combined with a decidedly adult caffeinated beverage. It was the perfect combination to end my day and signal the beauty of what’s coming next. Life doesn’t always seem to follow the path I dream it would follow. But, that’s never a sign to stop dreaming. It’s simply a sign to dream more and bigger dreams. The kind so fascinating that they would probably never come true. These are the dreams that I choose to chase in my life. Each day, I know that somewhere out there, in that impossibly blue sky, there’s a tiny hope that one just might come true. As dreams elude me, I must never give up. It’s bearable, after all. And when I sink into my chair and enjoy a little treat today, I’m excited for what’s coming next. Closing my eyes this evening in bed, I’ll give those nightly dreams a head start as I drift off to sleep by simply saying, “today, I’m grateful for…”
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. (My “Shiny” Trio! Click Here To Purchase It!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
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Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!