GratiTuesday Guest Post: Daily Gratitude

Guest Post by Christie, So What? Now What?

 

I’m not a morning person—or more accurately, I don’t like be jolted awake before the sun is even up. Let’s just say I can be a little cranky when the alarm goes off. It’s sad to think that I’ve been blessed with a brand new day, and I begin by grumbling about having to get started. Where’s the enthusiasm for new adventures, experiences, possibilities? Where’s the gratitude?

In an attempt to turn things around, I’ve started a new practice. Every morning when I wake—before I open my eyes even—I say to myself, “I am full of gratitude and love for another day on this earth.” Sometimes the first one doesn’t take, so I say it again. “I am full of gratitude and love for another day on this earth.” I repeat it until I mean it, and then I get out of bed.

Every day that we wake up is a good day. Every breath that we take is filled with hope for a better day. Every word that we speak is a chance to change what is bad into something good.

~Walter Mosley

Life is full of good times and bad. Some days are better than others, but every day offers up opportunities for gratitude if we are receptive to them. When all else fails, go back to the basics:

  1. I am grateful for air and lungs to breathe it with.
  2. I am grateful for the beauties of nature and eyes to see it with.
  3. I am grateful for the soothing smell of coffee and the warmth of the cup in my hands.

Your list may be different from mine, but you get the idea.

This is the gift—to have the wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy.

~Abraham Maslow

Today I am also grateful to Janis for the opportunity to share my thoughts on her blog. I’d love to hear what you’re feeling grateful for right now.

From Janis:

Thank you, Christie, for sharing your GratiTuesday guest post with us! I appreciate the reminder of the importance of practicing gratitude every day… even when it’s hard (maybe especially when it’s hard).

For those of you who haven’t yet discovered Christie’s blog, please check it out. She’s a self-described “goal-setting, list-making, self-improvement addict” and she writes about her journey to discover What Now?

Please stop by next Tuesday when Liesbet from Roaming About shares her thoughts on gratitude.

Author: RetirementallyChallenged.com

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

97 thoughts on “GratiTuesday Guest Post: Daily Gratitude”

  1. Terrific post, Christie! I am a morning person so don’t need to reach for gratitude at that time, but I use your strategy of repetition at other times – like when I’ve agreed to go somewhere or do something that I don’t really want to do. In addition to reminding myself that it will be over soon, it helps to be grateful for the friend who extended the invitation or the time that the organizers put into creating the event or whatever.

    1. Hi Karen! That’s a great reminder… even when we aren’t 100% thrilled about what we might be doing at the moment, it’s important (and probably good for our own well-being) to look for ways to be – and show our – gratitude.

    2. I actually love the mornings when I can wake up to natural sun and the birds singing. I don’t like getting up when it’s still dark outside. I do like your idea of looking at each situation for those aspects for which we can be grateful. Have a wonderful gratitude-filled day, Karen!

  2. Thank you for that reminder to be grateful for the little things. Although sometimes getting up in the morning is quite a feat – especially if you have arthritis and need movement to get going. When I think of my parents at the age I am now, I really thought they were old. I think we are aging much younger now (or more gracefully) so I am very grateful for that. Nice post!

    1. It can be hard to feel gratitude when you are hurting but, when you get going, you have such great adventures hiking in your area. I agree about aging differently than our parents did (I wonder if they would agree?) and I am grateful for all the vibrant, engaged older men and women around me who inspire me every day.

    2. It is hard to feel grateful when you are in pain. That’s when I really go back to basics, focusing on my breath and being grateful for air to breath. I do believe you are right about that I am aging slower than my parents did; however, that could have to do with the effort I am putting into staying fit. I see from your blog title that you are a hiker. I have started hiking more the last couple of years and am loving it. I’ll stop by your blog soon to have a look. Have a wonderful gratitude-filled day!

  3. Great post, Christie! Since I’m up at 3:45 a.m. I guess you could call me a morning person. I wake up on my own, no alarm necessary. Having experienced health issues in my 20’s and 30’s, I’ve made it a practice to be thankful for the day ahead and the fact that I’m able to get out of bed and walk across the room. Thanks for hosting Christie, Janis!

    1. Wow! I am impressed that you wake up naturally that early, Jill. I’m curious, what time do you typically go to bed? I must agree every day that we wake up to another day is a good day. Enjoy this one!

  4. Lovely thoughts here, Christie. I’m a morning person by nature, so it’s when I feel most alive. Today I’m grateful for the sound of little birdies tweeting outside my home study window. They remind me, like the old song says, to “live, love, laugh and be happy.”

    1. Oh, I love the sound of birds tweeting! What a lovely way to start your day. I actually do love mornings when I can wake up naturally to the sun rising and the sounds of nature. It’s the alarm going off while it’s still dark that I really hate. But in the spirit of GratiTuesday, I am grateful that I have a job to go to and that I have the health and strength to get up each morning. Thanks for joining the conversation, Ally. Have a beautiful day!

  5. Thank you for the reminder Christie! Gratitude has always been something I’ve tried to embrace – and have employed similar practices as you in the mornings, evenings, throughout the day as the need arises. I am not one to be consistent but the idea floats in the background of my life. I desperately needed THIS reminder today! Thank you!

    1. It’s amazing how many things we can find to be grateful for when we open our hearts and minds to it. I love Christie’s reminder that, although gratitude for BIG things is good, there are many, many little things to be grateful for too. Thank you for your comment, Janet!

  6. What you are suggesting is definitely a good way to start the day. We have so many things to be grateful for. Why not think of them while we get up and start a new day?!

    1. Give it a try. It really has helped me start the mornings on a better note. My office just moved to a new building (for which I am very grateful), but right now we are suffering the pains of moving phones and computers, which makes work more stressful than usual. I need to remind myself to focus on the positive. GratiTuesday came at a perfect time for me.

  7. Hi Christie and Janis! What a lovely way to wake up in the morning. I am not a morning person either so my particular practice is to grab a cup of coffee and journal. And I ALWAYS start my journal out with gratitude for the day. I do what they call, “morning pages” writing longhand and as the creator, Julia Cameron says in her book The Artist’s Way, as a writer we often need to just get our thoughts on paper and remind ourselves of our creativity no matter what. And because I am often still half asleep, I find that writing out a positive (and thankful) affirmation to get started is usually all I need. I also finish my three pages with another acknowledgment of all the good in my life. I can’t even imagine life without those daily pages–so much so that I’ve been doing them for 20+ years (yikes! I just dated myself for sure) Anyway, I so appreciate your practice of waking up thankful. May we all be inspired to do the same. ~Kathy

    1. I love the morning pages idea. I just may have to borrow an abbreviated version. I use my limited morning writing time to work on blogging specifically, but I could see starting with a short thankful affirmation. Thanks for the great idea, Kathy!

    2. I am so impressed with your morning pages ritual, Kathy. Just the thought of writing three pages in longhand daily makes my fingers cramp. I love the idea of starting with positive affirmations and ending with words of gratitude. What a lovely way to begin each day. I’m curious, how often to you go back and review what you’ve written in the past?

      1. Hey Janis…I don’t go back and review much at all. Once in a while if I am trying to recall a particular memory about something I will see if I wrote it in my pages, but not often. I think Julie mentions that what you write isn’t really that important. It is stream-of-consciousness stuff mostly. If I remember some of her ideas correctly, she believes that it helps us center our thoughts better before we begin to do our “actual writing.” Kind of a brain cleaning to let go of anything that is roaming around in our brains. 🙂 Plus, I’ve been reading things that mention how beneficial it is to write things in longhand because of how it processes in the brain. Sort of a combination of right and left brain thinking that is good for positive aging…so how can I now? ~Kathy

  8. All very true – the older I get, the more grateful I am to wake up each morning hale and hearty and ready to face the day. I spend all day on Tuesdays with my mother. Not many of my contemporaries still have a parent, and so I’m also grateful that she is doing so well at 91. I’ll be even more grateful if I have inherited her longevity gene!

    1. That is lovely, Anabel. My MIL just turned 91 on June 1, and my mother is turning 80 this year. I am grateful for every day with them. I hope you had a wonderful Tuesday together.

    2. You are so lucky, Anabel! I am so happy to know that your mother is doing well at 91 and that she lives near you so you can spend quality time together. The way you gallivant around, I’m sure you have the same live long and prosper gene!

  9. I’m a bit of a morning person; however, my husband, most assuredly, is not. He gets annoyed if I attempt any semblance of conversation pre-caffeine. I, on the other hand, am usually on my feet at the crack of dawn (I blame nearly 30 years of working a day job). By 9 AM I had eaten breakfast, fed the dogs, and written a rough draft of my next blog post! I should certainly take more time to be grateful. I’m a planner girl and your post has inspired me to add a gratitude section to my weekly spread. What a lovely post!

    1. Thank you for the kind words. I hope the gratitude section is a good reminder for you. One thing I do love about mornings is the quiet alone time–perfect for meditating, stretching, and writing.

    2. I think it is nice to get up first and have those few precious moments of me time before the day begins. I am impressed at all you do before 9 am! If I manage to get myself some coffee and read a bit of the paper or a few blog posts (that’s read, not write 🙂 ), I’m a happy camper! It’s always nice to start the day with gratitude and I love Christie’s morning ritual! Thanks for your comment!

  10. Hi Christie and Janis, a lovely way to start your day. I’m grateful for my two darling grandsons, Ethan and Elliot. I call them E1 & E2. E2 turned 4 weeks old yesterday and I’m so grateful to be able to see then when I want to and enjoy cuddles with Nan. I’m also grateful to be able to spend quality time with my daughter who is on Maternity leave at the moment. Good times xx

  11. So nice to see Christie here on your blog, Janis, while you are traveling! I wake up easily most mornings to my gentle alarm and know that the coffee is ready (hubby goes out the door at 5:45am for work)…dare I say I am grateful for ready coffee? I am! I prep the coffee the night before so either one of us can stagger into the kitchen and merely push the start button. Christie brings up solid points about being grateful and expressing gratitude for the small things can be done all day long! Even though I subscribe to your blog, Janis, Christie shared this on #MLSTL today! Cheers!

    1. Hello Terri! It’s always fun to see a friendly face in the comments on a guest post (though I also love meeting new folks). Blogging friends are near the top of my gratitude list. Coffee is on there as well. 🙂

    2. Hi Terri! I think ready-made coffee in the morning is definitely something to be grateful for! Unfortunately, I’m the only coffee drinker in the house so it’s all up to me (but I’m grateful for my French press coffee maker 🙂 ). I love Christie’s list of things to be grateful for… it’s a good reminder that gratitude comes in all shapes and sizes.

  12. Thanks, Christie, for sharing your gratitude practice. I’m grateful every day for having good health, caring family and friends, and much more. I see every day as a new day and try to fill it with people, places, and experiences that I enjoy, including coffee! Thanks, Janis, for hosting Christie.

    1. Those things are all high on my list as well, Natalie. I love the philosophy of looking at each day as an opportunity to be filled with joyful experiences. May you have a joyful, gratitude-filled day!

  13. It is always good to be reminded of all the things we are grateful for because it is too easy to let annoyances accumulate and fret and stew over them – I am one of those people who frets and stews. I am always grateful for my health and never take it for granted – it seems every day someone I know personally, or friends of friends, are dealing with health issues. It is a scary thought … take a deep breath every morning and say thank you for letting me wake up and enjoy life.

    I enjoy visiting a website called “The Gratefulness.org” and I try to visit daily as they have a inspirational quote. Today’s quote happened to be about gratitude. The quote is below and their site is: https://gratefulness.org/

    Grant me daily the grace of gratitude, to be thankful for all my many gifts, and so be freed from artificial needs, that I might lead a joyful, simple life. ~EDWARD HAYS

    1. It is so true, Linda, that we allow small annoyances to irritate us, and then when something life-altering happens, we realize those little things are insignificant. Anything that helps us appreciate that in the present moment is a good thing. Thanks for the information on gratefulness.org. I’m definitely going to check that out.

      1. Christie – I am guilty of that very thing, I will tell you that. I enjoyed your post. I think you will like visiting gratefulness.org. It has something for everyone to enjoy and is a quiet and peaceful place. I go there to light candles sometimes as well.

      1. Isn’t that nice Janis? I really like popping on there and looking at their daily thought and I do go there to light candles for various family members as remembrances. I used to go to the Catholic church to light candles, but the churches often lock their doors now as people were stealing from or damaging the church when no one was around. So, I started going here instead. You can light candles with or without a donation – I just make the donation I would have made to the church to the Gratefulness.org instead. It is peaceful there – we all need a little more peace and tranquil thoughts in our day don’t we?

  14. Christie, I like the morning phrase idea. I never considered myself a morning person, and I still don’t like to interact with others first thing in the morning. I do find that I love to get up and I look forward to getting up because I know that my first hour of the day is spent quietly reading. I love my morning hour so much that it inspires me to get up. Of course, it is always good to be grateful and everyday we breath is a good day!

    1. I’m with you Michele. I love the quiet solitude of the morning. On the rare occasions when my husband wakes up before the appointed hour, I have to remind myself to be nice. 🙂

    1. Sorry for the delay in responding Jennifer. I thought I had, but I don’t see it, so I’ll try again. I’m grateful you found Janis’s blog too. You’re going to love it! And I’m grateful Janis invited me to participate. It’s been so much fun. Have a wonderful weekend!

  15. I commit my day to God every morning Christie and pray that it will be a good day (and that I’ll have the patience and kindness I need when I’m dealing with other people – especially on work days!)

  16. I have never used an alarm clock.. . Simply because I hate being woken by a mechincal sound. I wake myself up if I HAVE to, but I prefer it when the birds do that job! Or the rain or the ocean…those are the ideals.

    Recognizing gratitude is the key to happiness in my opinion. We can all find negative things and shit happend, but staying focused on what we are grateful for, does help.
    This post reminds me of a conversation I just had with my 94 year old dad. I said “ dad, I hope you can find a little joy in each day”. His response was “the joy for me is in the fact that I wake up, and have lived another day.”

    Peta

    1. I love your dad, Peta. What a great attitude. Thanks for sharing that story. I wonder if I would like waking up more if I set my alarm to nature sounds. I’m going to try that.

    2. I love that, Peta! I can see where you got your positive attitude from! I love waking up naturally too and have reveled in that ability since I’ve retired (although, living in a city, I don’t hear the lovely sounds of morning that you do).

  17. As I say all the time every day on this side of the grass is a good day. No matter what is going on in our lives we do still have a lot to be grateful for. Good post Christie and I like your morning mantra.

  18. As you know Christie, I am not a morning person. Speaking of gratitude, even with my health issues I can still find things to be grateful for. Janis, thanks for featuring Christie. I shared this post x 3 ♥

  19. What a great habit to get into! Especially when you’re not feeling well. I think it helps to remember that each day is a new gift, and to try to be grateful for it.

  20. You’re so right … some days it’s harder to find the gratitude compared to other days.

    Being up in the middle of the night when I’d rather be sleeping isn’t a great way to feel gratitude for the new day, but I will welcome a nap at some point 🙂
    I must say though that this bout of insomnia has given me a chance to admire the glorious full moon!

    1. Insomnia is rough, but the night can be beautiful. I’m glad you found something to be grateful for. Here’s hoping you get a good night’s sleep tonight!

  21. Being grateful for the “small” things, which are actually the big things that we have taken for granted, is an incredible attitude. Every day, I realize I’m alive, and I quietly or unconsciously thank my parents for putting me on this world.

    Every day, there is also something I appreciate, like not being blind when I observe something beautiful, or the ability to walk, when I go hiking with my partner. They are fleeting thoughts, but they are important. Just like my enjoyment taking a pressurized, hot shower (after years of showering in the cold and salty ocean), and so on. I don’t express these thoughts often to others, but they are present in my mind.

    I’m happy to be alive, and try not to have too many expectations about how my days unfold. Each day the sun rises, is a day of opportunities, hope, and a chance to improve whatever is going on.

    1. It easy to feel grateful for the big things but those daily joys, visual treats, and happy occurrences can get lost in the shuffle. I love how Christie makes daily gratitude as part of her morning routine. No matter how low we are feeling, we can usually find something to be thankful for. Pressurized, hot showers are high on my list too!

    2. Beautifully said Liesbet. I love that you give gratitude to your parents for putting you on this earth. What a lovely sentiment. I have an aunt who sent flowers to her mother every year on her own birthday to thank her for giving her life. I always thought that was so sweet. I have to agree with you and Janis on the hot, pressurized shower. Few things feel as wonderful as a really good shower. I’m working on holding fewer expectations for the way each day should go and enjoying what comes. Right now I’m enjoying a cup of coffee and the solitude of the morning–the only truly quiet time in my day. Of course, I’m also enjoying finding your comment on this blog. Thank you for joining the conversation!

    1. Thank you. I do love the smell of coffee, almost more than the taste. That’s one thing that I always seem to enjoy anew, like the very first time each time. Have a joyful, gratitude-filled day!

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