“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” –Doris Day

At the beginning of the year I chose “Gratitude” as my word for the year. I thought I would share some insights that I’ve gained this past year on this particular subject:

  1. Living with gratitude is damn hard actually. Especially if everything around you is breaking and if life is just generally overwhelming.
  2. It is much easier to be grateful when things are going well and running smoothly in your life or when you are on top of things.
  3. Living with gratitude is not something that one can turn on and off. It becomes a way of life – much like praying.
  4. I love writing very much but I do find it challenging to keep a gratitude journal. At times I felt that I was recording the most mundane things that I was grateful for. Nevertheless, it does actually become easier with time. I am going to be continuing the journal in 2012 but in a slightly different format. It’s going to have a bit of craft appeal to it – am going to be making this in the next couple of days. May rope Child 1 into doing something similar with me.
  5. Teaching kids to have a spirit of gratitude is not that easy. That is why you need to constantly be aware and be clear about the fact that you are grateful. They do eventually learn from your example.
  6. Living with gratitude can certainly put things into perspective. You see just how blessed you are and how wealthy you are. I refer not only to material wealth here but also spiritual wealth.
  7. I have found that it is WAY easier to find things to be grateful for if I surrender my issues. In plain English, this means giving it over to God or the Universe or whatever you refer to as your Higher Power.
  8. Once you become accustomed to looking for things to be grateful for, you will find that you begin to appreciate simple pleasures and things that you previously took for granted.
  9. When there is adversity in your life, you will no longer ask :”WHY ME?” You tend to ask things like “What’s good about this situation” or “what can I learn from this” .
  10. There is a lot of research indicating that living with a spirit of gratitude improves your quality of life. I have to say that I can vouch for this. I have had an exceptionally challenging year but at no time did I feel like I wanted to run away. Or jump off a bridge or whatever. Somehow I just managed to take things in my stride. Now this could be because I am becoming a grown-up but I do think it’s more than that and I think that being consciously grateful has a lot to do with it.
  11. In short, this is what I have to say: You simply are not the same person if you are giving thanks and practicing the art of gratitude every  single day. Seriously. Go forth and be grateful. It will change your life.

8 thoughts on ““Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” –Doris Day

  1. So many things are easy in the good times. It’s what we do in the tough times that really matter. I should copy and print that and put it on my mirror!

    Yes, you had a tough year, but throughout I admired the way in which you handled it. You did very well and your gratitude was plain to see. You’re an example for all of us.

    I’m going to be thinking very hard about my word for this coming year…

  2. In the interest of accuracy, this statement “Our gratitude is riches, Complaint is poverty…” was written by Vivian Burnett and is contained in the Christian Science Hymnal in hymns 249 and 250. It’s a great quote, though.

  3. Gratitude is a good lifestyle to live by as many who want to please the Lord.’ All things happened together for good for them that love God’

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