24 November 2009

Giving Thanks

A number of years ago when I was having a particularly hard time and feeling really awful about my life I read a suggestion to keep a gratitude log listing 5 specific things every day that I was grateful for. I thought it was hokey but I was desperate so I got a spiral notebook and started writing. I felt awkward at first but I kept writing 5 things I was grateful for each day thereafter. Some days it was a pitiful list of things like being grateful I could write at all or grateful that the day dawned after the night. But it taught me gradually to see the blessings all around me rather than just the problems. Actually, before too long, I did start to feel strengthened and grateful for my life rather than overwhelmed by it.

I kept this practice going for a year and liked the discipline of having to be very specific about what I felt grateful for that day. The discipline to train my eye to see all that was there that day rather than just where my fear led me.

Now I find myself more easily recognizing all there is to be grateful for. Today, for instance: 1. I'm grateful for the sun shining into the apartment and warming the living room and kitchen so deliciously. 2. Which brings its corollary- I'm grateful for a temperature of 60 degrees on Nov 24. 3. I'm grateful for the begonia that keeps right on blooming its beautiful red flowers although its siblings have stopped. 4. I'm grateful for the 2 elderly women who delighted in waving and greeting me as I ran by them this morning. 5. I'm grateful for John saying he thought I looked sexy in my outfit today.

Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Italy but I think it's one of the better things the USA has come up with. So, I'm reviewing my gratitude list and realizing it's long. I hope yours is too or that you try keeping a gratitude list until it is.

p.s. On an ongoing basis, I'm grateful for this role of grandmother and for these new little lives in our family. They help me to see the wonder in each moment.


  1. There are going to be a whole bunch of people that are going to be grateful for you - and the magnificent way in which you write.

  2. Thanks so much, Lceel! And I'm grateful for the new ways to get better at writing and connect with other writers. Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. What a great idea! I'm going to pass it on to my daughter, who has been having a hard time lately.

    Lou is right; I'm grateful for you. Your writing is inspiring.

  4. Thanks, Patti, and Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Same to you. Will you miss it there in Italy?

  6. It's not a holiday here but we're going to friends for dinner and will be grateful anyway!


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