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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gratitude is never cliche

It started with Oprah Winfrey and her gratitude journal. Thousands of people jumped in and began keeping nightly lists of 3 things for which they were thankful that day. But I didn't. It all seemed so cliche (I really wish I knew how to make an accent mark above the "e."), everyone rushing to do it just because Oprah said so.

I think the saying "have an attitude of gratitude" followed shortly after (or at least was resurrected). That got tired pretty quickly.

Then there are the annual daily November postings on Facebook. Beginning November 1, people post one status update each day that share something they are grateful for in there lives. But you won't find any of those posts from me. That's just so...unoriginal, maybe?

But sometime in the last few days as I've been thinking about what I might write about for Thanksgiving, I've come to the realization that gratitude is never cliche. Gratitude should really be a lifestyle, not a single action. And those people who write in their daily gratitude journals or who take the time to deliberately consider their blessings each day and share those thoughts are the ones who have it right. Instead of rolling my eyes or congratulating myself on being an original thinker, I should fall in line and, yes, adopt an attitude of gratitude.

It's not that I'm not thankful. I've written before Thanksgiving posts that acknowledge my blessings, even when they seem hidden. But somehow, I've missed the opportunity to practice gratitude as a way of life. I don't think I'm a bad person. I think I'm a busy, over-extended, overtired person. I saw myself in Judy Daniell's post on Momaha.com, Turning a Day of Thanks into a Life of Thanksgiving.

I'm don't know that I'll start a gratitude journal. But I will start trying to be more intentional about acknowledging my blessings. I saw this on Facebook yesterday and am pretty sure there is some truth to it. So I'll leave you with it now:

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Happy Thanksgiving.

5 comments:

Stacy said...

Learning to be intentional with my gratitude, too.

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

Unoriginal me says, blessings are all around us. We tend to think of the biggies when the little ones blanket us.

Now I'm off to facebook to post a status update.

Amy said...

Dear Unoriginal Ellen -- I love your unoriginal self. You're inspiring in your ordinary ways. ;)

Amy

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

That's good, I couldn't be more more average if I tried.

kimybeee said...

i don't do the little challenges or repost things or any of that on facebook. i made a decision when i joined over two years ago not to fall into that cycle. i don't mind the ones that do and i frequently comment on them. i just chose not to change or post in a trend.

as for being thankful - i try to be that way always. and i try to remind others to be that way too! i am a glass is half full and sparkly kind of gal, i am married to a glass half empty, dirty and with a bug kind of guy. not to say that he is grumpy and a curmudgeon, but he is easily put into a funk when i can laugh it off (most of the time) about things like the transmission going out of my car AGAIN and then caitlin's car breaking down AGAIN 3 days later. that is just how we roll.

i know that you are very grateful for your life and those in it - and i don't need a sign on fb to realize it!