Let me start by saying… HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY to all the lovers out there. Life is a funny thing. I had my first proper “valentine” when I was 17 and then not again until I was 24. Talk about a dry spell right? Before Mike, love was a cruel game of disappointment and heartbreak. I prided myself on never wearing black on Valentine’s day or spending the day hating love and couples. I, somehow, remained relatively optimistic. But then I met Mike and he changed my world. He gave me my first valentine’s day in seven years and this year he gave me my first engaged Valentine’s day 🙂 So I wanted to share a song that is really ringing true for me this year (It’s from the Nashville soundtrack which I have been shamelessly listening to on repeat all week):
So I once again missed the deadline to link up with the PB Fingers book club. But for the fourth month in a row, I actually did read the book in time! Whatever, I got engaged… I was busy! But I did want to still do a book review because this book REALLY made me think.
So January’s book club selection was “The Secret Keeper” by Sarah Morton. I actually listened to this book on audio through Audible.com. I totally loved it! I listening on my commute and when I was running. I wasn’t sure how I would like running to an audio book but it totally rocked! I got a new book this month called “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief” which is really interesting (I have such a thing for non-fiction books). But I digress. The Secret Keeper is basically the story of a girl named who at 16 years old witnesses her mother, Dorothy, stab a man to death in the garden of their idyllic farmhouse in England. The family dismisses the incident as a matter of self-defense, but Laurel clearly knows there is more to the story. The rest of the book switches between present day where Laurel is desperately searching for answers about her mother’s mysterious past, and WWII London where Dorothy’s story is playing out. Let me just say that, despite a pretty slow start, this book keeps you on the edge of your seat. I was desperately trying to work out the mystery in my head. And the twists just kept on coming, right up to the final chapter. I literally gasped out loud when I realized the final twist (I was running on the Mt. Vernon Trail at the time so I’m sure I looked pretty ridiculous).
But for our purposes, this book made me think a lot about my own life. I found myself wondering, what secrets have I buried in my past? I really do believe in leaving the past in the past. I don’t regret any part of it, because that is a worthless emotion. It has made me who I am now, so for that I am grateful. I am equally as grateful to have moved on from it. On most days, I really don’t think about it. But while reading this book, I found my thoughts occasionally wandering back.
More importantly though, this book really demonstrated to me how critical it is to be satisfied with the good things in your life. I’m not different than most 25 year olds out there. I spend way too much energy asking questions like, “Am I where I should be at 25?” “Where is my career going?” “What if I never get all the things I thought I should get?” “Am I a failure?” Sometimes I find myself forgetting to count my blessings, forgetting to be grateful for the health, stability, happy family, loving relationship, and super cool cat I do have. I felt like Dorothy’s downfall was a direct result of her thinking she was “meant for something better.” She had this amazing man who loved her and she sabotaged it with delusions of grandeur.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, and trying to practice gratitude daily. How do you practice gratitude?