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If you’ve been with me for a while you know that each year I try to choose some area of my life to improve and this year I chose to focus on gratitude. So far this year, I’ve made a gratitude jar, I’ve read a book that helped me shift my focus from grumbling to gratitude, and now here we are in the 3rd quarter of the year, and I want to do something a little different. I want to make a gratitude list, because we all have reasons to be grateful.
You ever have one of those days where it seems like everything is going wrong? Maybe it feels like you just can’t catch a break? On those days, it’s so easy to look at everything through the lens of negativity, and it’s really hard to remember anything good in your life, no matter how apparent. I think it’s important to prepare for those days.
Hence this list.
My goal is to always have this list readily on hand. That way when I’m having one of those days, I can just remember all of the good in my life and I know that will really put things into perspective for me.
If you want to make your own list, go for it! The idea is, you can put this on your fridge, or on the bathroom mirror while you’re brushing your teeth. Even if you stuff it in your purse, whenever you need a positivity shift, you can look at the things in your life that you’re thankful for. Ok, here’s my list, in no particular order.
1. Family and Friends
I grouped family and friends together because over time, your friends become like your family. Having someone you can call, no matter when, and no matter the topic is a priceless gift that I can’t even put into words.
2. Freedom to disagree
Understanding without having to agree. I wrote a whole series about it. And it’s so important.
Can you imagine getting through this pandemic without Amazon? Especially Amazon Prime. That would mean no 2 day delivery, no endless Kindle library to keep you occupied and no free grocery delivery to your door. These are all things that I really didn’t appreciate until this time.
Dark chocolate. Milk chocolate. Cake. Truffles. I’m thankful for it allll. (Speaking of chocolate if you like mint and chocolate, and you haven’t tried the newish mint and dark chocolate kit kat bars…..man you’re missing out. I discovered them a month or so ago and they’re definitely my new favorite candy bar.)
I’ve read a ridiculous amount of good books this year. Some helped me learn, some kept me on the edge of my seat, and others had me solving murders. They were all different, but for a moment they took me to this amazing place where anything is possible and you get to see life through the eyes of someone else. I’m grateful for that opportunity.
6. The telephone
Soooo, could you really imagine getting through 2020 without a phone? It’s something that I often overlook, but through it, you’re never that far away from the people you love. Or even from the services that you need. That’s a blessing.
7. The smell of rain
A new beginning. The smell of freshness. All of the bad parts have been washed away, and you get the chance to start again.
Health is so important. I often don’t realize that until I’m sick, and then I think about how nice it was to be able to breathe through my nose and be able to pronounce my ‘m’s properly. Even if your health isn’t as good as it used to be, it’s still better than it could be. That’s something to be thankful for.
So many are thankful for so much less. But I have air conditioning, and brick walls, and a roof that protects me when it rains. I’m thankful.
10. Water and mix-ins
I was watching the Jungle Book 2 with my son (which was a great movie by the way) and it got me thinking about how people used to have to go fetch their water from a well, or a river, or some other source. And how many people still have to do that. All I have to do is turn on a faucet and wait for the water to come to me. What a convenience. And then the mix-ins just provide a little extra umph. This one is my favorite.
11. Doctors and nurses
This year more than ever, I’m really grateful for the people who dedicate their lives trying to help others. The convenience of being able to go see a health professional is just amazing.
12. The smile of a child
The joy. The innocence. The hope. The love.
13. Older people with no filter
Have you ever met that older person who has reached the point in life where they have no filter? I love that person. They’re so fun, spunky, and transparent. But besides that, it gives me something to look forward to when I get older.
These make me happy for two reasons. One, I’ve seen people loose their memories with age or disease. And two, if you still have your memories, no matter how long ago something happened, just remembering that special time can elicit some type of response. You remember people, places, times, crazy hairstyles and a million other things, just in the confines of your mind.
I don’t think I ever really appreciated silence until after parenthood. But now, when the night is done and everyone is in bed, I really appreciate those moments of silence that allow my mind to rest.
17. That song that touches you
I have so many that I don’t even think I can name them without leaving some out. But certain songs transport you. They make you feel things, remember people, and sometimes, they just make you dance!
Just the fact that He’s given us the opportunity to be here on earth and get it right. And the fact that he loves us even when we get it wrong.
In nature. In people. Just in life. All of the amazing things that surround us.
We teach kids to show it, but when we get older it’s a surprise to see it. A very welcome surprise though. The kindness of a friend or stranger can change the course of your entire day.
Well, that’s my list! I really tried to think of out-of the box things that I usually completely overlook or take for granted. What would be on yours?
I hope you’ll make your own list, and really take time to sit down and think about all of the things that you’re thankful for. Take time now, to prepare for those not-so-great days that we all have from time to time. And then when they come, realize that we all have so many reasons to be grateful.
Make life sweet and learn all you can.