I was really happy to see a gratitude post from a new blog I’m following (shout out to Catherine Ryan at TenThousandHourMama).   I believe in the power of gratitude to change a negative into a positive, and I loved that this exercise was a chain letter invitation from Tales From The MotherLand, who initially invited a group of her blogger friends to share gratitude by doing this exercise at a party. What a powerful way to harness some really uplifting positive energy!  Here are the instructions:

If you’d like to join in, here’s how it works: set a timer for 10 minutes; timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list (the timer doesn’t matter for filling in the instructions, intro, etc). The goal is to write 50 things that made you happy in 2015, or 50 thing that you feel grateful for. The idea is to not think too hard; write what comes to mind in the time allotted. When the timer’s done, stop writing. If you haven’t written 50 things, that’s ok. If you have more than 50 things and still have time, keep writing; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful! When I finished my list, I took a few extra minutes to add links and photos.

To join us for this project: 1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste the instructions from this post, into yours) 2) Click on the blue frog at the very bottom of this post. 3) That will take you to another window, where you can past the URL to your post. 4) Follow the prompts, and your post will be added to the Blog Party List. Please note: the InLinkz will expire on January 15, 2015. After that date, no blogs can be added.

This list represents my third attempt to let the gratitude flow from my brain out my fingertips and onto the screen. Strangely, I’ve been in a bit of a funk when it comes to doing this exercise. After trying two different sessions yesterday, I didn’t want to give up on this – this chicka is not going to get pent up about gratitude, that should be super easy to riff on for ten minutes…. So here it is, in it’s third incarnation.

Gratitude 37 Ways:

  1. I’m grateful for the ability and permission to change my mind.
  2. I’m grateful fro my laptop that gives me a beautiful space to create, and a space to goof off, search the web, and see what other people are writing and creating.
  3. I’m grateful fro our Prius, and that it is paid off.
  4. I’m grateful to be debt free.
  5. I’m grateful for being able to rethink my life’s priorities in 2015.
  6. I’m grateful for a patient, supportive, and caring husband.
  7. I’m grateful for a precocious and adorable two-year-old daughter.
  8. I’m grateful my dad survived his heart surgery.
  9. I’m grateful my family takes care of our family.
  10. I’m grateful for my six amazing (impressive), talented, caring, funny, siblings.
  11. I’m grateful for their billion (19) kids.
  12. I’m grateful Zoe and I made a road trip to Utah to see Dad and the fam over the summer.
  13. I’m again grateful for a loving and supportive husband who told me to stay as long as I needed.
  14. I’m grateful to have freedom and space to decide what I want to do every day.
  15. I’m grateful to have worked in a place with such an awesome mission as OHSU for almost 18 years.
  16. I’m grateful that I left my job in good standing.
  17. I’m grateful for my home.
  18. I’m grateful for the neighbors that live on my street.
  19. I’m grateful that there are three other children that live on this block and that Zoe has gotten to grow up with them so far.
  20. I’m grateful that we live near a walking path and that there is a Starbucks a mile and a half up.
  21. I’m grateful for coffee roasters near and far. I love the dark brown brew!
  22. I’m grateful for the sunny summer that Portland had – it was so wonderful to be outside enjoying the beautiful weather.
  23. I’m grateful that we live only 90 minutes from the beach.
  24. I’m grateful Zoe is my little travel buddy.
  25. I’m grateful that Zoe is strong and healthy and smart and beautiful.
  26. I’m grateful that we spent so much time walking this summer.
  27. I’m grateful for all of the luxuries I enjoy that I often take for granted such as:
  28. Running Water
  29. Electricity
  30. In home washer and dryer
  31. A clean home
  32. A covered garage
  33. A safe neighborhood
  34. Good schools for my daughter to attend
  35. Political stability in our country
  36. A democratic nation
  37. The freedom to agree or disagree with my political leaders

And then the timer rang. Perhaps if I’d started with the one or two word answers, I’d have reached fifty items or if I’d attempted it as a race.  But I feel blessed and grateful for everything I listed, and a whole host of things I didn’t get to (like my wonderful girlfriends!! And my health, and my garden, and chocolate… to name a few).  I hope that even if you aren’t able to do this exercise, you’ll spend a moment or two thinking about what you feel gratitude for, and see if it doesn’t leave you feeling better than when you started!

PS. A big thank you to Alene Davis for the last minute Christmas Photo Shoot.  Your photos are beautiful, and you are a wonder woman, thank you!!