When I couldn’t turn on the news without getting hit with an anxiety attack, I realized it was time to make some changes. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I still watch the broadcasts, my family is addicted but, I have decided to focus on gratitude for my blessings instead of fear and hate that is rampant across the globe.
Once I sat down with a pen and paper it wasn’t hard to make my list. At first, I put down the typical things you would expect. My husband and kids, my house, career and good health. Then I decided to delve deeper because, let’s face it, there are times I’m one wet towel left on the floor from killing someone! I can hear you laughing, yup we’ve all had those days and even though we are all blessed in so many ways. Sometimes…. we forget.
So over the next week I rewrote a separate list for each item. What was it about my husband that I was grateful? There was a ton of things from the fact that he does dishes, gardening, pays the bills, tells corny jokes, understands the remote control and always handles calls to the cable company. Who wouldn’t be grateful for a man who takes on 800 number calls? (why do they take 45 minutes and when you get disconnected they don’t call back?) I also listed things I’m grateful not to have in my life such as abuse, drug addiction, etc.
Then I put things we all totally take for granted with the understanding how different life would be without them. Clean air and water, bountiful supermarkets, farmers, the post office, highways, electricity, medicine, all the details of my healthy body and ditto for my family, etc…
Perhaps you find it difficult to count your blessings. That’s when it's even more important because, when things are bad, remembering our blessings helps get through the day and motivates us to take the step to improve our situation.
(Earlier I mentioned I am grateful for good health, no one is perfect but so many struggle with painful scary diseases. I have aches and pains like everyone, I take hormones for menopause, my vision is blurring more and more, I have several herniated discs, a frozen shoulder, and I’m 25 lbs overweight…..But I’m thankful my legs while a bit larger and more jiggly then I like still take me where I gotta go, my left shoulder may be frozen but I carry my granddaughter with my right arm….you see where I’m going with this?)
I write books about wounded warriors who face a multitude of challenges during their service and when they return home. I am grateful and consider their hard work and sacrifice as my blessings.
Eventually, I transferred my list from paper to a cute mini journal I found in the dollar store and I flip through it daily. I have discovered it boosters my spirit and is a great way to start and end the day. In-between, I have assigned myself to give out ten genuine compliments a day to people I encounter. (Friends, family and strangers alike) I’ve come to think of it as a gratitude scavenger hunt and let me tell you, it feels amazing. There is nothing like seeing their faces light up.
So I ask you to join my Compliment Challenge. Give out 10 a day. It may take getting used to if you’re not already accustomed to praising people. Here are some examples of things I have said:
You have a fantastic haircut! (to a stranger)
Your little boy is such a good helper to you. (in a store)
I really appreciate your help!
You make that look so easy, yet I know how hard it is.
The color of your blouse is so pretty on you!
You did a great job cleaning up the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc.
I invite you to my Challenge and hope the smiles you receive invigorate you and show just how rich and bountiful your life can be when you embrace gratitude.
One last thing I am grateful for is you….my reader. Thank you for inspiring me to put my stories in print and share. Reviewers have said they laugh, cry and experience a dozen emotions while reading and it makes me happy! Thank you!