Coming off the Thanksgiving Challenge, wherein each day I wrote about something I was grateful for, I came across a couple alternative approaches to counting one’s blessings.
Instead of being thankful for something, Yoga for Cynics made a list of things they were thankful not to have. The list included the major things like illness, injury and the recent deaths of close loved ones, but also included little gems like
…no fear of the dark…no desire to go on American Idol, star in my own reality show, be elected President of the United States, win the Tour de France, or be sixteen again…no desire to murder, rape, molest, or seriously maim…not nearly as much anger or hatred as I used to carry around with me…fewer enemies, fewer people I’m unwilling to forgive….no belief that I’m inherently better than anyone…and I’m working on getting rid of the belief that I’m worse…
Pretty brilliant little list. YfC closes with “…might sum it all up with thanks for nothin’, but suspect I’d be misunderstood…because nothin’ has always been underrated…”
Which leads us to the next related post on mnmlist on learning to love less where the idea that “nothing is underrated” is given deeper exploration. This brilliant post from mnmlist focuses on enjoying a lesser AMOUNT of things (food, clothes, Twitter, TV, etc…) which increases the quality of the enjoyment. It’s the basic concept of quantity versus quality.
Look at the clothing example. It makes more sense financially, emotionally and spacially to have a few quality pieces of clothes that you really love than it is to have a closet full of cheap trendy pieces that fall apart after one wash and go out of style a month later.
Trying to keep your closet stocked with the latest and greatest is a drain on your budget and sticks you firmly in the rat race of trying to always stay on top.
And in the end, you’re just a broke rat.
When the focus shifts towards enjoying quality and not quantity, your whole life opens up. Relationships become deeper and more meaningful. The beauty and abundance inherent in every little thing is made clear. Learning to enjoy less increases our ability to be content and happy with the few, meaningful things we have. As mnmlist says, “the only limit to your happiness, then, is how much you can learn to enjoy less.”