This morning, I have an early flight to California, and I haven’t finished packing. It’s raining here, and it will be raining there.

I always struggle in the hours before leaving. My dog sees the suitcase and gets sad. My kids cram conversations about all their worries for the time that I am gone into the bedtime conversations before I leave, and this week there are a lot of big things I will miss, even on this three day trip – a dance recital, a big school presentation, some changes that are happening around them. The hum of worry that is so often in the back of my mind turns to all the details of travel, all the angst of being a working mother, all the ways in which I could be more prepared for the work of this trip.

This is the moment for gratitude: for my dog’s unconditional love, for family love, for the knowing that my children have got this, for my husband who wrote down the steps of how to make a ballet bun when I showed him how to do it this weekend. For good airports and reliable airlines and expert pilots. For good work to do. For the fact that I was able to find three clean pairs of black pants that fit well. For children who want to tell me their worries, and for full lives, even when the fullness means that sometimes I miss a dance recital. And it’s ok. For good work, and the chance to serve by doing it. For Minnesota. For California. For all the beautiful earth in between, and the awe I feel when I have the opportunity to fly over it all.

This is the point of the practice: that even in this moment when my brain is tempted to flood out with overthinking and overworrying, gratitude breaks through. There’s a book by Angela Thirkell titled Cheerfulness Breaks In – and I think of that title often. All my worries stem from love. Love doesn’t break in – it’s just there. It’s always there. But gratitude breaks in, if I remember to let it.