Gratitude


Yesterday wrapped up my thirty days of gratitude project. A “grateful journal”, if you will.

This has been an interesting and reflective exercise. And although my exercise of gratitude is over, I hope to keep things to be grateful for in my focus every day.

I drove past a church yesterday that challenged me with the question:

What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you had given thanks for today?

This list of things to be thankful for only skims the surface. But I would be a pretty happy person if I woke up with only these things left. At a glance here they are — the thirty things I am grateful for this past month.

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1. Reconnecting with old friends
2. My cozy home
3. The sun on my face
4. My sister
5. Our Corgi, Dylan
6. Adventures of travel
7. A husband who cooks
8. Facebook
9. The Spa
10. Clean Water
11. Really smart people
12. My yoga practice
13. Technology
14. Loving parents
15. Sleep
16. Photos
17. Books
18. People who do self-less things
19. Electricity
20. Music
21. The journey
22. Neighbors
23. Good health
24. The capacity to learn
25. Love
26. My career
27. Living in interesting times
28. Friends
29. Food
30. The internet

If you haven’t yet really contemplated the things to be grateful for in your own life, I encourage you to give it a try. And, in doing so, I am hoping we can all concentrate more on the good things going on all around us!

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Does it age me to say that I’m grateful for the internet? What an amazing change from slow dial up connections, to the ever-on broadband connections, to widely available wi-fi, and take-it-with-you 3G. It has dramatically changed our lives along the way. Information is enormously more accessible to all of us, and our connections with others, stronger. And without it, I would not be giving thanks via my blog!

The Internet: A Decade Later

Browse more data visualization.

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I’m thankful for food on so many levels…

Most importantly, I’m thankful that we have access to so much healthy food and that we never go to bed hungry.

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I’m thankful for farmers who work every day to provide us food. A job that I would fail miserably at, and often goes unappreciated.

I’m also grateful for the wonderful taste sensations that I experience on a regular basis. Our exposure to a wide variety food, and a broad range of cooking techniques make for very interesting meals. Thank you, Julia Child, Food Network, Bon Appetit Magazine, and a slew of terrific food bloggers* for teaching and inspiring us!

Bon appetit!

*Just a few of my favorite foodie bloggers: Love and Olive Oil, Table for Two, My French Kitchen, La Buena Vida, and La Tartine Gourmande

Related Post:

Day seven: my husband-chef

Recently moving out of state has made me more thankful than ever for friends. Both my “old” friends, and the “new” ones that I am making now. Both precious.

I doubt anyone would contest the importance of friendship. It is crucial for our wellbeing. It’s effects have been documented for health benefits — from depression and obesity, to happiness in general and being engaged with your work.

If you want to read some of the findings about the importance of friendship, look at the study of friendship that author Tom Rath conducted and talks about in his book, Vital Friends: The People You Can’t Afford To Live Without. Or visit the Mayo Clinic for their perspective.

But, in the meantime, be grateful for friends…

I love that I live when I do. I crave the innovation that surrounds us. And the technology that changes how we live and function on a constant basis. I can’t imagine a more exciting time to be living.

Here’s a glimpse into the future, as envisioned by Corning Glass.  This is an updated video that they put out this year.  If you’re not one of the 21 millions people that saw the earlier version on YouTube, then check it out too…  if you’re like me, you are exhilarated each time you see it!

A Day Made of Glass 2

A Day Made of Glass 2

My career didn’t take the path that I had envisioned while I was in school. But I am so grateful that it took the turn it did, and that it has provided a challenge and a creative outlet for me. I have never been satisfied with a mere forty hours a week, but in exchange for my hard work, I developed my talents and took home a good salary. I’ve had the chance to try a lot of different things, travel to many places and live in several different cities. And I have been able to work with some very creative and intelligent people… who are both colleagues and friends. I am appreciative of the opportunities, and the mentors that helped to guide me along.

On this twenty-fifth day of my gratitude journal, I choose love.

Most of us are still stunned by the tragic Connecticut school massacre. Over the next few days and weeks, there will be many discussions, many opinions expressed, and much speculation on how such a thing can occur. And many attempts to place blame. And we all hope for real, actionable solutions.

But for today, I choose to focus my gratitude on love. The unfailing love of God; the unconditional love of a parent. The enduring love of my husband – even when I’m in a less than lovable mood. The encouraging love of friends. The love of my dog, that makes me want to be a better person. And the kindness of strangers.

Love is all around us, and if we talked as much about love as we do about anger, hate and violence, maybe the world would be a better place. Acts of kindness, generosity and love happen every day. We see them at work, at the store and on the street. Even security cameras capture them. But they seldom get our attention.

In this world where violence makes headlines, I choose to vote with my wallet. I refuse to support filmmakers for their attempts to engage me in violent entertainment. I don’t buy gifts – toys or for real – that promote destruction.  I won’t encourage app designers by downloading games of brutality.

I’m not alone in recognizing the strength of love.  The World Needs More Love Letters is dedicated to spreading encouragement through anonymous love letters.  Good Is describes themselves as a “global community of people who give a damn”.  And Random Acts of Kindness, a sister site of Values.com, is a great place to get inspired to create acts of kindness.

What are your sources of inspiration to choose love?

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