The Perfect Time to Visit Your Gratitude

This is Thanksgiving week in the U.S. It’s a time when many of us remember to feel and express gratitude. It seems frivolous in 2020—especially when you recall that more than 259,000 U.S. residents and over 1.4 million worldwide have died of COVID-19. Plus, at home and across the world, there are racial injustices and rampant abuses of power, not to mention the political messes. Yet, perhaps this is the perfect time to visit your gratitude.

Illustration of a sign behind pumpkins and gourds. The sign says Happy Thanksgiving--perhaps the perfect time to visit your gratitude

Showing Thanks Makes Others Happy

We all want to be noticed. It’s part of our nature. I’ll be you’ve noticed that being ignored doesn’t feel good. Being noticed means that you are of value. Even if it’s only for holding the door open for the elderly man with his hands full. Being noticed, being thanked feels good.

When you take a moment out of your day to recognize someone for being there—it makes them feel good. A simple thank you to the clerk at the store, the postal service worker, the nurse at the clinic, or your neighbor will be appreciated and remembered. Watch them smile. Bet it makes you smile, too.

Being Thankful Makes You a More Positive Person

two glasses of water--one half full the other full.

Gratitude doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You don’t have to bounce around and effuse thankfulness all over the place. Simply appreciating the things and people around you is enough. That appreciation promotes optimism.

Feeling thankful reduces toxic emotions like envy, jealousy, resentment, and frustration. According to Psychology Today, practicing gratitude increases happiness and reduces depression.

When you look for the things you appreciate, you realize how much you have. It’s fun to enumerate those things. Look at the 20 Weird Things I’m Grateful For.

Gratitude Improves Physical Health

Did you know grateful people report fewer aches and pains? Appreciating your physical health also means you probably take better care of yourself. According to MayoClinic.Org, practicing thankfulness improves sleep, boosts your immunity, and decreases your risk of disease.

A little gratitude each day decreases stress and increases resilience. Even during the worst times. 

Find Your Gratitude

A photo looking down on a cup of coffee, some sprigs of mint, and some cookies on a round wooden cutting board with a handwritten note that urges you to enjoy the little things-perhaps the perfect time to visit your gratitude

Don’t feel bad is you can’t always feel grateful. Even an optimist like me can struggle to remain grateful and positive during the kinds of stressors we’ve had this year. But you can find things you’re grateful for—all you have to do is look.

When I look around me, I see many things for which I’m grateful.

  • My two yorkies are sometimes annoying, but an endless supply of affection and entertainment.
  • My office—it’s not big and it’s not fancy—but it’s a space where I can work.
  • Having a roof over my head. There are so many who don’t have that luxury.
  • Clean water to drink.
  • And so many other things! And that’s not counting the most important things—friends and family and acquaintances. I am feeling grateful, thankful, and blessed.

Thank You

a kalidescope with a note that reads thanks for existing in my little galaxy

I am always amazed that other people read my posts. It delights me and energizes me to write better posts. And when you comment or share my posts—I am so very grateful. Thank you for joining me here.

Whether you’re having a Thanksgiving or a routine Thursday, my wish is that you feel the power of gratitude in your day, your week, and your life.

I hope you practice gratitude every day. Remember, it reduces stress and toxic emotions. So now is the perfect time to visit your gratitude. And please look around the room you’re in right now and comment below about one thing in that room that you are grateful to have.

Thank You, Dear Readers

In the United States, yesterday was Thanksgiving Day. A day of feasting and football and parades and giving thanks. And after a week of cleaning and cooking, it is a day when I collapse into an exhausted heap. But I had to rouse myself enough to say thank you. 

Image of a black long-eared dog hoding a card that reads, Thank You

I’m grateful to you, my readers, for your support. A write works alone at her craft for hours and hours. It’s a solitude that I (as an introverted introvert) enjoy. But, I write my stories for people to read so your comments, your likes, your stars, and your reviews mean a lot to me, to writers like me. And I act a little like this…

Okay, some days I act a lot like that. But honestly, I value every one of you and every response you make. Thank you.

Lest you think I’m only grateful for writerly things, here are a few posts from the past: 

And here are some of my favorite “gratitude” lines from books I’ve read.

Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.

Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

“I am happy. I am very happy. This morning when I woke up, I felt good because the sun was shining. I felt good because I was a frog. And I felt good because I have you as a friend. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to think about how fine everything is.”

Days with Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel

If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum

And the final quote, that says it all:

“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing.” 

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

Thank you.

Remember and Be Grateful

It’s November. In the United States, that means Thanksgiving Day is coming. It’s a month, and a day, known for overeating, for much-hyped sports, for writers meeting crazy deadlines, for parades, and for Black Friday shopping. Am I saying those are bad things? Heck no. But they are signs that November can be crazy busy. In fact, many of us stay crazy busy all year. It just gets crazier in November (and December, too). But whatever your religion or the country where you live, remember and be grateful. 

If your month of Thanksgiving isn’t in November, you can still practice gratefulness. Get a jar or a bowl and designate it the bowl or the jar of thanks. Each day, beginning or end, write a note of thanks. (See the Art of Thank You). If that’s too much, write the date and one or two words that will help you remember what you chose to be grateful for that day.

Sometimes, when you’ve had a bad day, it might be difficult to find something to give thanks for. 

Quotes About Gratitude

Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.

Joseph B. Wirthlin

In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.

Cynthia Ozick

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”

Remember & Be grateful quote: "Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." by William Arthur Ward

If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.

Rabbi Harold Kushner

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

Oprah Winfrey
Image of Skyline with Quote by Alfred North Whitehead. Remember and be grateful. "No one who achieves success does so without the help of others."

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.

Brian Tracy

Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals.

If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more?

Roy T. Bennett

Remember and Be Grateful

I have blogged about gratitude in the past. Perhaps one of these posts will help you find your gratitude: Gratitude for Nature, Weird Things I’m Grateful for, and 13 Things for Which I Give Thanks

It’s Good for You

Research shows that being grateful is healthier. Read about it on Harvard Health  and on Psychology Today

Image of mountains in the clouds and sky with Mary Davis quote, "The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see." Remember and be grateful.

If you live with gratitude, you’ll have a much happier life. It will reduce your stress. It will be an antidote to the negatives that you may encounter.  So in the hustle and bustle of the coming months, fill your jar. Remember and be grateful.

20 Weird Things I’m Grateful For

The last day of November is here. Writers are scribbling words at a furious rate in a final push to win NANOWRIMO. Whether you “finished” or not, congrats to you. Your dedication is inspirational. Cuckoo, but inspirational. Speaking of Cuckoo, all November we hear about gratitude from every direction. Generally, the gratitude expressed is heartfelt and pretty sappy. Not that that’s wrong. I agree that gratitude is the key to happiness. But, we should be grateful for a million little things in our lives. I know I am. I try to express my gratitude every day. Today, I’m sharing 20 weird things that I’m grateful for.

20 weird things I'm grateful for-Taco Bell's $1 cravings menu

  1. Taco Bell’s $1 cravings menu—I know, but sometimes a girl’s gotta have a little something-something.
  2. Opposable thumbs—I had a painful bout of a trigger joint in my thumb a few months back. Made me truly appreciate how often an opposable thumb is used in life.
  3. The garage door repairman—a broken spring is no joke. This guy came the night before Thanksgiving, was pleasant, and had new springs in place in a jiffy.
  4. McGriddles—Sweet and spicy—I could eat these every day and soon I’d look like one. Soft and gooey on the outside and—well, you know.
  5. YouTube—I tell myself I’ll just watch this one bit of research, which leads to another, and another, oh, and there’s a song I’ve wanted to listen to, and isn’t that a cool DIY…
  6. Toilet Paper—I mean the alternatives aren’t my idea of comfortable.20 weird things I'm grateful for-TP
  7. Forever Stamps—Not having to buy one cent stamps is a boon to mankind—or Americans—or is it just me?
  8. Sunshine — seriously. December is so darn cloudy all the time. I get grumpy if I don’t see the sun every day. (Send more coffee!)
  9. Sticky Notes—I do not know what I did before sticky notes. I use them everywhere! Okay, not there or there, but lots of places.
  10. Gel Pens—a sensual glide of ink across a page, what author could ask for more?
  11. Libraries—one of those places where she goes in and will never be seen again—well, almost. I certainly spend a lot of time in our local ones.
  12. Deodorant—I use it daily. Now you’re grateful too, aren’t you?
  13. Trash Collectors—a job I would not want but someone has to do.
  14. Postal Service Workers—mine delivers the mail even though my tiny dogs sound like ferocious mad wolves on the other side of the door.
  15. Magnets—I love my refrigerator magnets.20 weird things I'm grateful for--refrigerator magnets
  16. Minions—They make me laugh and follow my orders. Any volunteers? Anyone?
  17. Hot water—both to bathe in and for making coffee. No, I don’t make coffee with my bath water. Sheesh.
  18. Elastic waistbands—the only kind to wear on Thanksgiving!
  19. Christmas movie marathons—The best exercise on a cold December day. A little cry here, a laugh there, and a feel-good ending. The endorphins really get a workout.
  20. Synthetic diamonds—After all, they are a girl’s second best friend, the cheap one who glitter just as good as the ‘spensive ones.

Actually there are a lot more than 20 weird things I’m grateful for but the whole list would be equivalent to a phone book or two (or three) in length. However, you can take a look at a sample of 13 things I’m grateful for here.

I hope you enjoyed my list of 20 weird things I’m grateful for. Won’t you join in on the weird things to be grateful for list? Of course, you do. Don’t you? Surely you have at least one weird thing you’re grateful for? *Don’t leave me standing here alone with all my weird exposed.*

I Was Alone But Not Alone

My book, My Soul to Keep, launched yesterday. It was a special moment. But as I reflected on the hours, days, weeks, and years I worked on this book, I realized something important. I was alone but not alone.

I Was Alone But Not Alone. A thank you to my supporters and readers

So many things go into writing a book. All the books read, the friends roped into endless conversations, writing group members who tolerated endless rewrites, beta readers, editors, proofreaders, artists, and ARC readers each contribute to the story. I’m going to take a moment to say thank you to all who had a part in this.

A Little Emotional

I’m a little (okay, more than a little) overwhelmed by the friends and family who celebrate this book with me. I’m delighted that my very first review was a five-star review (it’s on Goodreads if you want a peak).

Now you might rightly assume that my emotional outpouring has to do with pride. Yes, I have a healthy amount of pride in accomplishing a book. But what I am most grateful for is all the people who helped me get to this place. I could not do it alone, even though I must write alone. The support, the camaraderie, the encouragement I received is priceless.

The acknowledgment in the back of the book couldn’t be strong enough or long enough. So I want to take a moment to thank friends, critique partners, and encouragers (not a word, but that’s what you were) for all they’ve done for me.

Thank you

(in alphabetical order)

Cindy Baker

Rob Chilson

Eric Cline

Rick Cutler

Dora Furlong

Jan S Gephardt

Julie Glover

Kathleen Groger

Steven Gould

Kate Graff

Micah Hyatt

Judi Jarvis

Sidekick Jenn

Kassandra Lamb

Racheli Lavi

Margie Lawson

Elizabeth Leggett

Laura LeHew

Eden Mabee

Terry Matz

August McLaughlin

Holly Messinger

Lisa Norman

Matt Sherley

Dennis Earl Smirl

Allison Tellure

Sandy Williams

Jennifer Martin Woodrow

Sarah Worrel

Bill Wu

And More

I know I’ve forgotten at least one person (probably more). Please know that I’m indebted to you, too.

There are so many more people who have been in my cheering section—too many to name. You know who you are and you, too, have my heartfelt gratitude.

I do not forget the readers. Yes, you who are reading this blog. And of course, those who read my book. You are the final piece of any story because you finish the story. Without readers, there is no story.

And last but certainly not the least, my brother and his wife and family, my son and my daughter-in-law, and my husband. I love you all to the moon and beyond!

I was alone but not alone and I'm every so grateful.

I was alone but not alone in so many ways. I hope you each know how very grateful I am for every one of you. Thank you.