Wednesday, November 24, 2010

With gratitude...

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.  ~Eric Hoffer, Reflections On The Human Condition

Like most people in this country I have so much to be thankful for.  I'm healthy and happy, have a healthy, loving family (including our furry children) and wonderful friends, a roof over my head and a garden, food on the table, a good job that I really like, and I really am so thankful for all of that.  I try to be mindful of that not just at Thanksgiving, but every single day. But there was a time in my life when I didn't know how to do that, so I started a gratitude journal.  Every day I would look for three things to be grateful for, so I could write them in my journal.  I didn't let myself use all the usual stuff; my health, the health of my children and loved ones, etc.  Not that I wasn't thankful for those things.  Just the opposite.  Those are the things we're all grateful for.  That part was easy.  So I looked for all the little things, the things I was missing every day, and never wrote the same thing twice.  I'll be honest - there were days when the fact that I got two green lights in a row counted as something to be grateful for.  But as time went on I started finding five or eight things every day.  Then dozens of things every day!  Things like the color of sunlight late on a fall afternoon, or when I dug up what I thought was a dead toad while gardening, and then right before my eyes he "came back to life" after his winter's hibernation!  Like the time I cut into a zucchini and the seeds were lined up in a heart shape, or like when you smile at a stranger's baby and she smiles back (or the stranger smiles back, for that matter).  Like the hundreds of little tiny things that are right in front of me every day, if I just look for them.  I don't write in the journal any more.  I don't feel like I need to any more.  But I do pay attention, and I do notice, and I am thankful.  Each and every time.

Happy Thanksgiving to my friends (both here and in blogland) and beloved family!


  1. Hi, Karin,

    I just wanted to thank you for all the wonderful, thoughtful and enthusiastic comments you've left on my blog. I try to keep up with everyone that follows me and it's difficult sometimes, but I'm becoming a follower so I can check with you on a regular basis. Have a wonderfully happy vegetarian Thanksgiving. I hope you'll share some of your favorite dishes!
    Best, Steve

  2. hi karin,

    like steve above me, he's always above me!!!, i'm very grateful for having met you. have a wonderful thanksgiving and i too for several years wrote in a gratitude journal. i'm just starting it again b/c i'm feeling the need. thanks for sharing your wonderful story and for always leaving me such thoughtful comments.


  3. It's because of the two of you - and a few others like you - that I've enjoyed this little foray into the blog world so much. Thank you both for all the inspiration you've provided ME! And a very happy holiday to you both.

  4. That made my dark snarky heart swell.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Darlin'.

  5. Raina - Thank YOU for making me laugh out loud day after day. Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Happiest of thanksgivings to you each and every day.

    Thanks for the reminder about it being the little things that make our lives so big.

    Whenever I'd feeling sorry for myself i make a little mental gratitude list and as soon as i adjust my attitude to gratitude my world feels right again.

    xo jane

  7. Hi Karin,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. I just did a quick read through your recent post and I really enjoyed it. I love your quotes and writing style. I'll be back!!

    My dad used to always say, "It's not having what you WANT, it's WANTING what you have." I think that goes along with your sentiments. Attitude of Gratitude :)


  8. I do the same thing! I don't write them down, just list them in my head as I am going to sleep but it is a great way to end the day!

  9. Hey Julie - thanks for stopping by! I've heard your dad's saying before, and you're right - attitude of gratitude!~
    Blue Hydrangea - thank you too, for stopping by. I don't know if you noticed, but we're in the same town! And that is a great way to end the day, isn't it?

  10. I just came over from Janet's blog and it looks like I picked the right time to visit...what you wrote is so very true. When you have a grateful heart, it's so much easier to see beauty everywhere. It really helps if you smile as much as you can too - it really changes your outlook on life. I wish you happiness and thankfulness everyday ~ husband applied for a job in Wilmington...I would love to move there!
    Take care,