50 Thoughts: Going for Gratitude

Originally published September 11, 2018

It’s a day I should be celebrating — I’m halfway to my memoir-istic goal of 50 blog posts in 50 days before my 50th birthday.

But September 11th is never going to be much of a celebratory day for anything, is it?

I suspect a lot of people struggle with emotions on this day, especially since for the vast majority of us, 2001 is still relatively fresh in our minds. (Except of course, for the new copywriter on our staff that told us he was in kindergarten that day. Thanks — now I am depressed, and old.)

But even if today weren’t today — even if it was just a regular Tuesday … some days are harder than others. These days, half an hour with CNN is enough to make the average person want to crawl under the covers. But one thing I have noticed about getting older is that especially on these kinds of days, I am unconsciously leaning toward gratitude.

I don’t know that it is a cop out or a coping mechanism, maybe it’s a little bit of both. I feel like everyone has their personal water line, where your soul literally just can’t take any more heartache, any more grief, and your brain just says, “No.” When I feel like there’s just a little room left to breathe, I start looking for things, people, signs … anything for which I can actively switch to gratitude.

Today, it was laughing out loud with co-workers sporadically throughout the day. I work with such good people. It was seeing that my daughter’s Homecoming dress arrived in the mail after a protracted search, that it was super cute and she looks stunning in it. It was knowing I have about 50 pages of a really, really good book waiting for me this evening when I finish this, and Bob Woodward’s book waiting in the wings.

A few years back, I read a book called The Gratitude Diaries and had the pleasure of interviewing the author, Janice Kaplan. I would still recommend it to anyone looking for tips on how to incorporate gratitude into their daily lives. Gratitude is never accidental — it is intentional. But being in its moment is a welcome respite from the anxious world in which we all reside. Give it a try.

Today’s recommendation: The Gratitude Diaries.

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