gratitude-a-thon day 1: make-up

Elmo and I could be related, we have the same mouth.

Awe, c’mon, you don’t wear it? You should. Because if you’re using it right, it can enhance your mug in a seriously noticeable way. And who couldn’t use a little natural enhancement? Hey, I wish I looked like Heidi Klum, but unfortunately we would never be mistaken for twins  (maybe not even for the same species). But there’s a big difference between a bare faced me and the one who never leaves the house without a little eye pencil and some lipstick. I wish I was that natural looking beauty, who glows the moment she steps out of bed, but I’m just not that girl (and how many of us are?). But you learn to accentuate the positive (hey, it’s sort of like the gratitude-a-thon!). Anyway, I was not born with Angelina Jolie’s enviable and trendy smacker. Truth is, I have a mouth similar to Sesame Street’s Elmo. My sister used to taunt me about never be able to wear lipstick when I got older (thanks, so much, Joan!). So, you know, putting on some super shiny lip gloss makes me appear to actually have some lips. (And by the way, this is the best lip tip I’ve now read concerning thin lips in the 245,784 articles entitled, “How to make your lips appear larger,” which you can find once a month in at least one of the beauty magazines I read when I’m at the hairdresser getting my hair dyed, but that’s another post.) Let’s be clear, I’m not talking about plastered on foundation, and don’t even say the words “blue eyeshadow” to me, or it could result in a small stroke. I’m talking about looking-exactly-like-yourself-only-better make-up. A little blush to make you look like you’ve been outside, a little defining of the eyes, and a little swipe of some lipstick, and chances are you’re you, but cuter. And a word about bronzer: I could marry it (ok, that’s four words). I have always loved a good tan, but let’s face it, it’s not in your skin’s best interest, so relying on the stuff in the tube or the powder, is just smart. Anyway, I am so gosh darn grateful for make-up. Especially as I get older, it’s nice to be able to know I have a little arsenal that will perk up my face, when it needs it (like everyday).

Introducing the da-da-da-DAAAAAAA, gratitude-a-thon blog!

The gratitude-a-thon is a stop and smell the roses thing, but on steroids (lots of them.)

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 (! 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.