Monday, November 18, 2013

How a Gratitude Journal Works

Today is Monday, November 18, 2013.

A lot of people from different spiritual paths have been posting what they are grateful for on Facebook lately.  Maybe it's because they are gearing up for Thanksgiving, but I truly hope that they will continue the practice after the holidays are over. 

What's the secret of a gratitude journal?  It's simple.  It's all about focus.  In this physical world, you get what you focus on.  If you are focused on your fears and worries, you will get what you are afraid of or worried about.  If you are focused on love, you will get love in return.  And if you focus on gratitude, you will start looking for more things to be grateful for – and you will find them.

Yesterday I decided to download an application for my relatively new iPhone that would allow me to find my phone if it were stolen.  I could sync the iPhone to my Mac, and look for my phone using the Mac – or I could look for a stolen computer with my phone.  But I realized once I had downloaded this application that my computer's operating system was out of date, and incompatible with the iPhone app.  

Fortunately, Apple had released its newest operating system (OS), called Mavericks, as a free download.  I decided to take advantage of this.  It took the application a long time to download (very rare, these days).  I thought for a while that it was crashing, because the text box where I normally type in my Apple ID and password, were curiously blank.  There was a blue "OK" button in the box, but the box had no text, and the blue button had no "OK" on it.  I realized that if I waited for a few moments, that I could type in my password, anyway, and the download finally started.  Then I had to install the application, and that took a long time, too.  

Finally, I restarted the computer and logged in – only to find that all my files were gone!  This is a very rare event for a Mac user when upgrading the OS.  I've heard more than one PC owner crying that his or her files were lost or overwritten, but Mac owners don't generally have this problem.  I found the the files for my novel were still intact in Google Drive, but I had not backed up anything else there.   That was very stupid of me. 

The thing that upset me the most was that I had just completed a slide show on PowerPoint about how to read the hiragana syllabary of Japanese.  I had painstakingly typed in the hiragana characters for the presentation, and had used my favorite graphics application for the image files.  One of the first things I realized was that the graphics application I had depended on for years would no longer work on the new OS.  So I went to the Apple Store and bought a graphics application that might prove useful.  Then I spent hours figuring out how to use it so that I could remake the presentation.

I finally decided to close what I had done and check in on Facebook.  Before I could do that, however, a dialog box announced that there were some important applications that needed to be upgraded, so I started those upgrades.  When they were finished, my computer had to be turned off and restarted, and I had to log back onto the computer.  This is when I discovered that I'd inadvertently created two new IDs.  I had thought I couldn't use the old ID, but now I saw that I could, too, use it.  So I logged into the older ID and guess what: there were my files!   

The next thing I did was try to delete the two newer IDs that I made.  Well, that took quite a while to accomplish.  

I'm grateful that I found my files, and I'm grateful that I have learned a lot of new things since yesterday, but I sure did spend the day differently from the way I had envisioned it.  I'm also glad that so many of my friends have been posting what they're grateful for, because they have reminded me to be grateful, a well.  After all, I would never have learned some new ways to do old tasks if I hadn't upgraded my OS.  

Just as we have to learn new things when we upgrade to a new operating system on a computer, we also have to learn new ways to solve our problems in life when we wish to move forward.   I'm grateful for an experience that reminded me of this.  :-)

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