Wednesday, April 8, 2015

G is for Gratitude

I've written a great deal about gratitude because it's a concept that's important to me.

After a rough break up in 2009, I was hit with the realization that things happen for me, not to me. That's when I started a regular gratitude practice and began to notice a huge shift in my quality of life.

Being grateful is not about being happy every single second of every day. It's not about glossing over undesirable situations. It's about seeing beyond what's right in front of you, to see the big picture.

Terrible things happen in life. Sometimes I make poor choices. Having a gratitude practice doesn't change any of that. I still have days where I am down in the dumps. Since 2009, I have dealt with grief, heartbreak, regret, anger, frustration and illness. But in each of those situations, when I'm finished crying and feeling sorry for myself, I can wipe my snotty nose and say "Okay, well I'm grateful I'm alive." For me, it's about being able to deal with the death of my sweet dog by being grateful he didn't suffer through a long illness or dealing with my brain injury by being grateful it wasn't worse, being grateful I had loved ones to care for me.

Each day, I write down at least three things I am grateful for that day. Sometimes they're deep thoughts and sometimes not so much. Some days I'm grateful for the love and support that is in my life, for kindness and acceptance. Other days it's chapstick, white wine and a good book. All of those things are important in their own way!

Making my gratitude lists has helped me evaluate my priorities in my life. It points out what's important in day to day life and that can come in handy when I need to make decisions about work.

Here's my advice: Just start saying it every day, "I am grateful." Back in 2009, I put a sticky note on my bathroom mirror with those those exact words written on it. Stand in front of your mirror, look at yourself and say "I am grateful," even if you don't believe it. Because the funny thing is, after a while you will start to believe it. To believe it and to know it and to see it all around you.


  1. <3 I am grateful for you!

  2. noticing what's good around you makes you believe the world cannot be all as bad as they say in the news, right? :)
    I'm trying to do that every day.
    great post!!! thank you!

  3. Well said! And I'm with you on the chap stick, white wine and a good book. Enjoy the Challenge!

    Faye at Destination: Fiction

  4. That is a great idea to write your three things daily of that you are grateful for! It does help keep things in perspective when we do realize how truly blessed we are.

  5. I've always believed the way to be happy in life is not to hope and pray and wait for the big things, but to notice and appreciate the small things around you every day, like watching a favorite movie, or seeing the first robin of spring.

  6. Yes! You are so right. Thanks for commenting.

  7. You should try it! I suggest it to everyone I know because it truly created a huge shift in my life.

  8. Thank you friend, that's so sweet. I am grateful for you as well. I love our evening book chats!

  9. Stop watching the news! I decided to do that because I couldn't handle all the fear mongering. It has definitely made my life a bit quieter! I still like to be informed so I choose to get my news from online sources since I can control how I take it in. Try it!

  10. I never thought to be grateful for "things" if you will. People, pets, even places, yes. Stuff, not really. I think I might have to be more cognizant of that sentiment, starting with coffee. I am wicked crazy grateful for coffee. And you. But coffee first. Duh.