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« On Being Wonderfully Human | To Do or Not To Do? »
Thursday
Nov172011

Gratitude 101: What's on Your List?

One of the beautiful things we can express as human beings is gratitude. Incorporating it regularly in your day can help you keep perspective and balance. Especially now as Thanksgiving approaches, gratitude thoughts permeate my mind. There is so much to be thankful for. As we know, life is far from perfect. We are far from perfect. However, in the midst of life’s busyness, pausing to acknowledge the positive enhances our joy and brings us peace. There is much to be grateful for. Take time to reflect and appreciate the wonders that surround you. Luckily, there is an endless supply once you put “gratitude” on your radar. It’s impossible to capture everything. I’d like to share a few from my list.

Linda’s List - I Am Grateful For:

  • Loved ones here and gone. I love and appreciate my family and friends. Some are in my daily life, others are at a distance, and many have passed away. No matter where they are, they are always with me. I am grateful for them and don’t hold back from letting them know how I feel.
  • Sun and rain. On sunny days, my entire being feels lighter, colors are more vibrant, I feel less bothered by small annoyances, and I can see more clearly. When the rain comes, I love those days when I can stay inside with a good book, hot tea, and a warm, soft blanket.
  • Working and non-working parts. When we're young and when we age, our bodies aren't always able to do as we wish. We either lack the skills or have lost them. There's the time in between when are bodies work as we expect. It’s so easy to take our health for granted. I appreciate all that is working right now.
  • Sweet and sour. Nourishment is essential to our existence. I am thankful for the basics, but also am passionate about certain tastes, textures and scents. The short list includes coffee ice cream, almost anything chocolate, concord grapes, all berries, tomato with mozzarella and basil, grilled salmon, and lemons. I am grateful that my senses are working and allow me to fully appreciate these foods.
  • Activity and quiet. Our house was always a bevy of activity as we raised our daughters. We encouraged them to invite friends over and loved having a full house. They are now both away at college. We have become empty nesters and it’s much quieter. Soon the house will be lively again for the holiday. I am grateful for both the energy of a full house and the quiet of less.
  • Organization and chaos. As a professional organizer, you might think I only like extreme order. In fact, I am grateful for both order and chaos. I appreciate a certain amount of organization with room for a dash of chaos. I’m grateful for the dichotomy and flow between the two.
  • Status quo and change. I recognize that change is essential for growth. I go through periods where I’m actively stirring the pot. But there are also times where I am able to just let things simmer and be. Both have value.
  • Structured and unstructured days.  More of my days have a plan to them then not. I function well with a schedule. To balance that, I also need days that let me just “float.” I can wake up when my body is ready, without a special agenda, and do whatever I feel like. I can do or not do. I need and am grateful for both types of days.
  • Old and new friends. There’s a folk song we used to sing when I was a kid that went, “Make new friends and keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” There’s nothing quite like our “old” friends where we share a history. They knew us when. We share a lifetime of bonds and experiences. With new friends, we are in the discovery mode. The ties are in the making.  I am thankful for all of my relationships.

What are you feeling grateful about right now? Take a gratitude break. There’s space below in the comment area to share your thoughts.

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Reader Comments (27)

Gratitude break time: what are you thankful for?

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Love , Love, Love your post Linda. It is all so very important. I love having structure and flexibility in my days as it suits my personality best too. We are all so beautifully different. Time for reflection and to be thankful is paramount to enjoying the process/journey of life not just the end point of all the things we want to achieve.
Love knowing you my lovely new(ish) friend!
Claire McFee
Author Organize Your Health and Wellbeing Naturally

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterClaire McFee

So happy to be connected to you too, Claire. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts. I love your phrase that "we are all so beautifully different." That is so true. We express gratitude in different ways. Sometimes it's out loud and other times it's through personal reflection. But however we do it, as you also thought, it's "paramount" for enjoying the journey.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

I am grateful for the change of seasons. As cold and dark as winter is, I look forward to the days I get to stay home, curled up with a book, warm blanket on my lap, listening to the wind blow outside, grateful for my warm home and the family and friends inside.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShar

Shar- you had me at "change of seasons." Beautiful description of the gratefulness you feel for nature, home, warmth, and loved ones. What wonderful imagery and reflections. Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts with us.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

I am grateful for connections, near and far. Thank you for being one of these amazing connections!

I love how you have put paired your gratitude. Great way to share!

Wishing you a wonderful fall season too.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Linda,
Love the duality you describe - the yin/yang. black/white, night/day balance. How much I appreciate the trees after spending a day walking under skyscrapers, and how much I enjoy the city vibe (at least for a while) after the isolation of a country setting. I coach my clients/myself to be mindful of what they do - and don't. Sometimes they are moving so fast they need to take time to pause for a while (without feeling guilty). Other times they are so caught up in experiencing the moment they forget/have difficulty taking action that will move them towards their goals. We need both - to be in action and to take time to just be.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Lasky

I think my list will be much like yours. To make it simple, I'll just say that I'm thankful for everything. I guess the list has something to do with contentment.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVivian Kendricks

Ellen- I love your pairing of connections "near and far." Beautiful. And I am SO grateful to know you.

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Susan- I see your appreciation for the duality in life. Gratitude opportunities are abundant and as you so insightfully said, can sometimes pull us too far in one direction as we are noticing and embracing them. So in all things, there is a balance. Appreciate the moment, but also know when it's time to take action. Even in that action, there is much to be thankful for.

I am grateful for you, my friend.

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Vivian- Thank you for stopping by to join in the conversation. Being grateful for everything is a wonderful. The idea of contentment and appreciating what is here instead of wishing and hoping for the next thing, more or bigger is lovely. I'm grateful that you shared your thoughts with us.

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

As always, so wise mama

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

Great list, Linda. I share the sentiment of being grateful for everything - the good and the bad. Without the bad I'd be much less aware of the good things in my life, and there are so many. Thanks for a lovely reflection on how rich and wonderful life can be. Happy Thanksgiving!

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSue Becker

Thank you, Allison for your words of encouragement. I'm happy to know that you are finding value on my blog. Can't wait to see you next week in just a few short days.

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Sue- Thank you for joining the conversation. I agree that the "bad' things give the "good" stuff it's flavor. Opposites help us appreciate things that much more. Thank you for your Happy Thanksgiving wishes. I'm so looking forward to having a full house. The girls will be home and we're having family over on Thursday. It's our favorite holiday. I wish you and your crew a wonderful holiday too. Will your sons be home?

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Beautiful, as always, Linda! Thank you for sharing your list of gratitude with us. I love how you've taken the pairs of opposites that life is made of and looked at the gifts they each bring. It shows the depth of your wisdom and life experience.
A professional organizer who appreciates "a certain amount of organization with room for a dash of chaos" is a person who understands what balance means. This understanding makes you indispensable to your clients and those who you're close to.
I'm grateful and honored to be your "pen pal" :-)
Hugs.

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterYota Schneider

Thanks for the good wishes, Linda. Andy will be home from college for the week, but Eric will be hanging out in Oregon, where he's in grad school. We're looking forward to seeing him next month. Enjoy having your girls home!

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSue Becker

Yota, my "pen-pal" friend- Thank you for being part of our conversation about gratitude. As I began to write, I couldn't help but find many ways to be thankful. But what became most clear to me was how it's in the opposites of things that my gratitude resides. The push and pull lets me appreciate each piece for what it offers.

I am grateful for you, our conversations, and shared love of writing and blogging about life.

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Hey Sue-

It's so nice that you'll have Andy home for an entire week. How wonderful that Eric will be home next month. Steve and I went over our Thanksgiving "to do" lists today. We're looking forward to cooking and welcoming the family.

Enjoy your time with your loved ones. There's so much to be grateful for.

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

We should really be thankful for everything. All the ups and downs of life add up to our life's spices. I think I want life to stay that way.

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLance Morrisey

Lance- Thanks for joining in the gratitude conversation. I like the description you shared about "life's spices." As you said, there is much to be thankful for, "everything." Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Thanks Linda for sharing your feelings with all. I like your post very much. Thanks for sharing with all.

November 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterReal Estate Sydney

Happy Thanksgiving, Real Estate Sydney. I appreciate you joining our conversation and letting us know that you like this post. Am grateful to know you're there.

November 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

This is a beautiful post, Linda. I especially like the way you demonstrate that we can be equally grateful for things that are polar opposites from each other. I set aside time every day to add one item to my Thankful Thoughts board on Pinterest, which serves as my visual gratitude journal. And you are on it!

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Janet- This was a fun post to put together because it helped me focus on finding that silver lining of gratitude in any direction that I looked. I love, love, love your amazing "Thankful Thoughts" Pinterest board. What a wonderful concept to create a visual gratitude journal! It's a modern-day twist on expressing gratitude.

November 19, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Sweet and sour. Such a gloriously simple pleasure to taste a scrumptious morsel!
The aromatic call of hot coffee always brightens my senses.
Thank you Linda for pointing out the simple things in life that deserve many thanks.

November 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRachel Seavey

Rachel- I can tell that you too are an appreciator of scents and tastes. Each day there are many opportunities to enjoy these "simple things." Focused appreciation = gratitude. Gratitude brings more positive energy to every day. Wishing you and your lovely family a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season.

November 25, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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