Welcome back to, or welcome for the first time TO, the gratitude-a-thon. Now in blog flavor! The gratitude-a-thon began a little over a month ago, when a rather troubling and pathetic string of events happened in my family, which left me, by the beginning of December, feeling utterly and completely miserable. Historically, when I get into a particularly ugly-feeling place (which a string of troubling and pathetic events will put you in), I often grab a notebook and start writing down what I’m grateful for each day. I do it for as long as it takes to feel better. I’ve done it for like 15 years (on and off, of course). I mean, there are a billion things to be grateful for, once you start looking. Indoor plumbing! The color of the sky right before sunset! Utensils! And they can really change the way you feel about a situation, when you focus on them. Daisies! Fireplaces! Toilet Paper! Anyway, when the most wonderful time of the year began in early December, I was feeling pretty un-merry, and for some reason decided instead of a notebook, I’d use Facebook. I promised to write something I was grateful for every day of December. And well, a funny thing happened. People started to notice and respond. Suddenly, I heard from “Facebook Friends,” who I frankly didn’t even think read my posts. I got a message from a complete stranger when I wrote about my hometown, next to Sandy Hook, and how much my words about growing up in that close-knit, small town made her feel good about living there. I had an old friend ask me if she could start a gratitude-a-thon on her Facebook page because it had helped her to start appreciating “all her blessings.” And I had lots of people, in public and private messages tell me that they looked forward to the gratitude-a-thon everyday, and that I should keep writing it when December was over, or to write a book, or a blog. It was sort of amazing!
I went with door number three, the blog. So, here I am.
It’s pretty simple. I just write about what I’m grateful for, big and small. That’s it. But while it’s simple, it ‘s also very powerful. In fact, last week two friends forwarded me a great article in Scientific America, talking about how gratitude boosts the immune system and increases feelings of well being. Shut the front door! I always knew it helped me to feel better, but now there’s scientific evidence! The article also talks about a site where people are invited to write their gratitudes, illustrating them on a map, proving that good stuff is happening all over (gratitude.crowdmap.com/)! You go, gratitude!
Because negative stories get ratings, the media gives 24/7 coverage to horrible events, and because we have the technological ability to stay plugged in every minute of the day (hello computer, phone, tablet, radio, tv, morse code) unspeakable-awful-miserable permeates our pores. No wonder, it feels like there’s so much bad stuff happening all the time. But I’m no Pollyanna. There REALLY IS A LOT OF BAD STUFF HAPPENING ALL THE TIME. But here’s the thing, I’m not trying to say there isn’t, I’m just trying to say, “HEY, LET’S REMEMBER TO LOOK AT THE SUPER, INCREDIBLE, AMAZING, RIGHT-IN-FRONT-OF-OUR-FACES-EVERYDAY, GREAT STUFF, SO THAT WE DON’T DROWN IN THE BAD STUFF THAT’S HAPPENING ALL THE TIME.” Carbonara! Mascara! Good coffee!
That’s it. Hope you’ll come by often. Tell me what you’re grateful for. That would be cool. See you soon. Stay grateful! It’s good for you.