Life can be full of stressors. There are times when only the negative prevails. It doesn’t matter where one is in life, there is always stress. Sometimes it seems out of our control and then inevitably casts a pall on the rest of the day, maybe causing a restless sleep, only to awake with the same anxiety.
This all happens without a pandemic.
Sometime in 2019 a friend posted a challenge of sorts on Facebook to write something you are grateful for, tuck it away, read it later. The point being that no matter the crap going on some good could be found in every day.
I randomly started writing “grateful notes” and put them in a container. I found myself doing so on days that were a challenge. Where I had to really look to be grateful. The simple act of writing the phrases helped get me out of my funk, or at least lessened it. It made me aware that plenty of good exists in my life.
I stopped writing them when I went back to the United States last year and have not resumed doing so since returning to Baja. Each day sitting at my desk I would see the container not getting any fuller. It was time to read what I had written.
This is what I wrote; the order is how I pulled them out of the container:
- I am grateful for people helping me with book projects.
- I am grateful for the people who believe in me.
- I am grateful for the love AJ gives me.
- I am grateful for friends near and far.
- I am grateful for people who push me to write.
- I am grateful for honest friends.
- I am grateful AJ and I were not hurt worse.
- I am grateful for my sister, Jann, giving me this opportunity.
- I am grateful for the richness books bring to my life.
- I am grateful for new friends in Todos Santos.
- I am grateful for the unconditional love AJ gives me.
- I am grateful for everyone who helped get my book published.
- I am grateful I get to travel.
- I am grateful for caring neighbors.
- I am grateful my mom signed me up for tennis when I was a kid.
- I am grateful for friends who look out for me.
- I am grateful for the comfort AJ brings me.
- I am grateful for nice Airbnb guests.
- I am grateful for AJ.
- I am grateful for my time in Baja.
- I am grateful for neighbors who look out for me.
- I am grateful for everyone who helped me after the dog attack.
- I am grateful for authors who write interesting books.
- I am grateful for friends who tell me what I don’t want to hear.
- I am grateful for my health.
- I am grateful for an abundance of fresh produce.
- I am grateful for people in Baja welcoming me.
- I am grateful to spend time with my mom.
This does not exhaust the list of things I am grateful for. I am certainly grateful for the friend who put the challenge out there to everyone to try this. I’m not sure if I will resume writing what I am grateful for, though it makes it more real. What I hope to do is pause long enough each day to consciously acknowledge what I am grateful for. I also need to start sharing with people how I am grateful for them being in my life. Let this writing be the beginning.
Well my good friend Kae, I am so very grateful to know you!🥰
I am grateful for this computer which gives me access to friends and relatives all over the world AND access to information about the world we live in. The computer is an amazing invention!
What a beautiful way to express gratitude! I often do something like this too. A list in my head before I fall asleep, and first thing when I wake up. (Amazing how often my bed gets thanked! 😉 I am so grateful to you, my friend, for the joy you bring to our every encounter.
What a great essay! I’m going to keep it. A couple things you may enjoy. First my niece’s comment on her Facebook page — “Favorite thing of today: hearing all neighborhood kids play in their backyards and the frogs in the park singing along.”
Second, a book you may enjoy if you have not already read it — “365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Gratitude Changed My Life” by John Kralik, 2010.
From my booklog:
Summary: One recent December, at age 53, John Kralik found his life at a terrible, frightening low: his small law firm was failing; he was struggling through a painful second divorce; he had grown distant from his two older children and was afraid he might lose contact with his young daughter; he was living in a tiny apartment where he froze in the winter and baked in the summer; he was 40 pounds overweight; his girlfriend had just broken up with him; and overall, his dearest life dreams—including hopes of upholding idealistic legal principles and of becoming a judge—seemed to have slipped beyond his reach.
Then, during a desperate walk in the hills on New Year’s Day, John was struck by the belief that his life might become at least tolerable if, instead of focusing on what he didn’t have, he could find some way to be grateful for what he had and he adopted the project of writing 365 thank you notes that year. The book follows his journey as he writes the notes and his attitude greatly improves.
Comments: I loved this book which ended up being a journey of self-discovery. Many of the Amazon reader-reviewers commented that the book had inspired them to write thank you notes themselves.