An Attitude of Gratitude

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Several years ago I had planned to take a 6:30am flight on Saturday morning to New Jersey to visit my grandchildren. Needless to say I was excited about the trip. In fact I was packing for it for a week.

On Friday at noon it started snowing and the weather forecasters sounded certain that it would continue all night. They also said if you were on the coast (I am!) ocean-effect snow would cause it to snow all day Saturday too. To make matters worse another storm was predicted for Sunday, the day I planned to return.

Since I was pretty sure that the plane to New Jersey would not be going on Saturday morning (it was snowing in Newark too). I cancelled the trip. I am grateful that the airlines gave me a credit and no penalty! Of course I was very disappointed that I couldn’t go.

Despite the fact that it caused it to snow all day and night on Saturday I love living near the ocean. A week before this happened in fact that same ocean that was causing the ocean-effect snow was keeping our temperature above freezing so we missed the horrible ice storm that others in New England experienced. The ocean most often is a blessing and I am grateful to live near it even if this time it caused a 3 day snow storm.

The ice storm that others experienced was worse than this snow. There were people who had both the 3 day snow storm and the ice storm. The ice caused power outages all over the New England states. While most had their power back quickly, some people were without power for an extended period of time. Cancelling a trip sounds pretty minor in comparison.

There were people who spent 3 or 4 days without power or heat and it was cold and dark here! I heard a woman who was in a shelter because she had no power in her home say that she was learning to appreciate all the things she takes for granted. How true! There are so many ordinary things we have that we take for granted: heat, power, running water, food to name a few.

How often do we take time to think of how very grateful we are for the ordinary conveniences we enjoy? There are lots of things that we have that we just don’t appreciate unless they are taken away. I don’t want to wait for them to be taken from me to appreciate them. For me the list begins with my home, my family, my friends, my health, my music, my clients, my business and the list includes you, my readers!

How about you? Who or what do you take for granted? It is always a good time to express that appreciation verbally or in writing. Keeping a gratitude journal has been really eye opening for me. It makes me watchful all day for the different things I really appreciate. I must say though I look for the unusual not the ordinary when I make my list. I need to work on that! J

Take Action:

What are you grateful for? If you don’t have a gratitude journal, think about starting one. Buy a journal or notebook and plan to write down regularly the things you are grateful for. Studies show that people are happier when they are feeling grateful. You don’t have to do this every day. Those same studies show that 3 times a week works best!

Who do you want to express your appreciation to? Take the time to tell someone how much they mean to you. We often take our close relationships for granted too. I not great at this either. Not only do we need to feel gratitude for having someone in our life we need to tell him/her too. When was the last time you told a friend, a relative, a child, a spouse, or a significant other how important he/she is in your life?

Want to put some color in your life?

Does life feel flat to you?  Do you feel guilty because you are not feeling grateful for what you have?  Find out how to appreciate what is good and at the same time make some changes for the better. Coaching will bring the color back to your life so that you will go from flat and colorless to Technicolor! Call me at 781-598-0388 or email me at asparker@asparker.com

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