Living a Grateful Life
It’s been said that living your life with an attitude of gratitude can work like magic in your life. I truly believe this and therefore, make a point to practice gratitude every day. Not only do I say the “magic words” every time I get a chance, but I often sit and reflect on those things for which I am most grateful.
A lot has changed in my life this past year. Last Thanksgiving we were living in Kentucky, dreaming about one day moving to California, the state in which my husband was born and spent many youthful years. I was working my dream job. My parents and brother were five minutes away, my eldest daughter was an hour away, and my sister only 6 hours. I was close to a large group of friends, extended family, and attended a church that treated me like their own child. I knew my town like the back of my hand, and had my own little farm. I was home, and I was grateful.
Today, as I sit writing this, I am two thousand miles from that place. We finally made it to California. I have a new house in the city and a new job that takes me 45 minutes to get to. My kids have been uprooted, with new schools, dance studios, and friends. I haven’t seen my folks or brother since June, or my daughter and sister since July. But, you know what? There is a cost to living your dreams, and I am grateful.
Even though I am sad that I have left my home of so many years, I am so happy that my life finally feels right. It finally feels like I am on the path that God has laid out for me. My son, who is special needs, is finally seeing the right doctors and is finally in the proper class at school. My daughter is at a dance studio that is going to take her to the next level. My husband is happy at work. And, while I don’t love my 9 to 5 (or 7 to 5:30) job, it’s not the worst in the world and I do have time to write for my blog. We are also in very close proximity to both the beach and the mountains. And, for all of this, I am so very grateful.
I made the choice years ago to always be thankful no matter where I am at in my life. Because of this decision, I lead a very happy life. I try to erase all negative thoughts. When I am at work and everyone is complaining about being tired and sore, I say (at least to myself), “I have energy and I feel great!” This positive attitude enables me to leave the house at 5:30am, get back home at 6:45pm, and still have love and attention to give to my family.
Another thing I enjoy doing that seems to make a difference, is keeping a gratitude journal. You can do this, too! You can do it on something fancy, like a nice leather-bound journal, or something as simple as a spiral notebook.
Here’s an easy how-to:
- Pick a time of day to write your list and stick to it. I find it easiest to do this first thing in the morning with coffee or last thing at night as I lay in bed.
- Use this formula: I am so very grateful for________________ because_________________.
- Do this 10 times.
- After you have written out 10 things for which you are grateful, read them out loud, and then say, “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you”.
Try doing this for a week and evaluate how your attitude has changed. I’ll admit that I do go through phases where I don’t write in my journal every night, and I can really tell a difference in my outlook on life. However, when I start my journal back up, I feel so much lighter after a few days.
Lastly, I’d like to say that I am so grateful for Lorelai for letting me contribute to her blog. And, I am so very grateful for each of you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Visit Deborah at her blog, Kentucky to Cali!
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Contact Lorelai at Lorelai@LifeWithLorelai.com