I think the month of November should be declared “Gratitude Month”, a perfect segue to Thanksgiving in just a few weeks. In these particularly tumultuous times, we can all benefit from being grateful and exercising gratitude. It’s very easy to become ungrateful when things don’t go our way, or when we take for granted the riches that we do possess, because the end result when we do go down this path will be dissatisfaction and emptiness. This is particularly true when we acquire material possessions; the initial allure of having something new can be very exciting, but eventually these things loose their luster. We yearn for more “things” to fill us up until the next inevitable void that follows. We think the next new item, relationship, etc. will change the outcome, but it doesn’t happen, regardless of how often we try. It’s actually the definition of insanity when you really think about it: doing the same thing over and over again and still getting the same result, despite your conviction that things will definitely be different this time! I know that I have been certainly guilty of doing this on many occasions!
We eventually learn that “the void” we feel is actually a spiritual one, so no amount of possessions will ever satisfy the heart because it was never meant to in the first place! Heart and spiritual contentment comes from more concrete and lasting treasures that are priceless, ageless, and enduring. We have the opportunity to choose these gifts, which result in gratitude and a peace that fills the empty vacuum that each one of us possess. When given a choice, I will seek peace and contentment, for personal experience tells me that theses things are way more rewarding and enduring than material possessions. Don’t get me wrong- I love nice things just like everyone else- who doesn’t?! I just don’t place my hope or main focus on earthly treasures that are fleeting and will one day be gone and ultimately won’t matter. I have learned throughout my lifetime, that it is definitely possible to be grateful , regardless of how much or little I possess. Yes, it is a conscious choice and it is NOT always an easy one to make, but is it worth it? I would say with whole-hearted conviction: 💯 ABSOLUTELY! It is from this mindful place, that an “attitude of gratitude” is possible and where my top “100 Things I Grateful For” comes from:
100 Things I Am Grateful For
1. My Christian Faith- God’s love and grace help me to endure this earthly race- the rhyming here was just incidental, lol
2. My Family- To be blessed with a good family, both immediate and extended.
3. My Friends- Life is sweeter, funnier, and more bearable with friends- I am so fortunate to have the ones I do!
4. Brian’s Extended Special Needs Family- From the moment Brian was born, Jim and I have met many incredible special families, medical and educational professionals, as well as dedicated volunteers who have supported and guided us throughout this special needs journey. I thank God daily for all of them!
5. My health- I have had some ups and downs healthwise over the years, but am so lucky to be in good health at the moment- priceless!
6. My life experiences: education, work, and travel. I had the opportunity to try different careers, as well as travel, with a good education. I look forward to future travels and other life adventures!
7. Hot coffee-a definite daily MUST!
8. Chardonnay- chilled, please!
9. Chocolate 😊👍🏻
10. Belly Laughs
11. Sunsets- NEVER sunrises, I generally sleep through those, lol
13. Hot showers
14. Clean clothes
15. Brian’s smiles and deep hugs 😊😊😘😘
16. Sleep, which is definitely underrated!
17. To be an American🇺🇸
18. Home-cooked food
19. Ice cream 🍦
20. Fresh air
22. Beautiful singing voices
23. Children’s laughter
26. Modern Medicine
27. The sound of the school bus when it arrives to take Brian to school! 🎉😊👍🏻
28. Fresh Flowers
29. Baked Bread
30. Italian Food – my favorite!
32. My home
33. Scented candles
35. The Beach
36. Air travel
37. My Mom’s advice ❤️❤️
38. My Dad’s guidance – even from Heaven now❤️❤️
39. Heaven- my eternal home
40. A good read
41. Jokes- all kinds, especially the practical ones! 🤣
42. Grace and Wisdom
43. A sense of humor- an elixir for whatever ails you!
44. Leftovers 😊👍🏻
45. Netflix- especially during Covid!
46. Fall Foliage
47. Dairy Queen Blizzards
48. My church community
50. Random acts of kindness
56. Writing as catharsis
58. Costco- no joke! What a store!
59. Snow on the trees
60. A roaring fireplace
61. Hair color – a necessary self-indulgence
62. Handwritten letters/cards
63. Facebook- especially for social connection during these isolating times
64. iPads, iPhones – the technology is amazing for everyone, especially the disabled!
65. The future and the possibilities it holds
66. A shoulder- both to lean and cry on
67. Cherry cheesecake
68. My 5 senses, which are definitely changing as I age, but still working! 😊👍🏻
69. My teeth – so far, I have all my original ones! 😁
70. Opportunities to share time, resources, and hope with others
71. Meaningful conversations
72. A regular routine, especially right now!
73. Brian’s joy when he accomplishes something and knows it!
74. Respite ❤️❤️❤️❤️
75. People who believe in Brian and are determined to help him learn, despite the challenges that he presents. #EternallyGrateful
76. A big slice of chocolate cake
77. Water- the ultimate life source for everything
78. Being Jim’s Wife
79. Being Brian’s Mom
80. Great neighbors
81. Reliable and fair-priced contractors
82. The ability to experience and express a range of emotions: joy, sorrow, love, anger, etc
83. Adversity that has made me stronger and a more compassionate person
84. Naps- whenever I can take one!
85. Last minute travel adventures
88. Each new day, aka, new opportunities
90. Flannel sheets
91. Breakfast in bed
93. A positive attitude
94. The ability to learn from my mistakes
95. Girls Nites Out! ( or mornings/afternoons)
96. I’m never to old to learn something new
97. A good cry
98. Physical exercise
99. Words of encouragement
100. Inspiration- it’s all around us!
I’m sure you can come up with your own gratitude list and would encourage you to do so! It’s not only a good exercise for the mind, but it’s also a wonderful reminder that there are always things to be grateful for, despite these uncertain times that may tell us otherwise. I pray all of us can maintain an attitude of gratitude through the trials and tribulations of life, for it is truly our best defense against despair. May you and your loved ones be blessed abundantly with the things that truly matter- Happy Early Thanksgiving! Until next time, thanks for reading! 😊