Learn Something New Every Day!

Early in June, I talked about my plan to start a list of 1000 things I am thankful for—and I have been working on that ever since.  Not everyday, but close.  I add the little daily details that catch my eye as well as the bigger events that make my world better.  I have not been sharing them via my blog. .  .yet.  I am still not real comfortable putting all the details and musings of my life out into the nebulous world of social media. 

But fellow bloggers are showing me what’s possible by sharing their own gratitude lists.  Harold was the first who alerted me he was going to be posting his own list.  Michelle chimed in as well, using a delightful metaphor about the ripples of our gratitude pebbles heading out into the world—and maybe coming back to us as well.  And the thankfulness point of view can even be a bit off center, noting oddities and problems in the world and relishing that your life is not that bad after all, ala a great posting titled, “Well, that can’t be good.”  And Deborah shared how she used to keep track of what ticked her off each day, but that approach only brought more negative feelings her way—making the shift to noting the positive, the items worthy of gratitude, can make a difference. 

With so many fellow bloggers having the courage and conviction to put their gratitude lists out there for review, how could I not share some of my thankfulness list as well?  William Faulkner made a good point when he said, “Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.”  So I am going to share some of what I am thankful for at least once a month.  Committing to more than that would be a challenge I might not keep!


 Other bloggers who share their life lessons with honesty, humor and insight.

My dad being recovered enough from his major infection to be heading home this weekend, after a 10-day stretch in a rehab center.

 Summer!  Even in the heat of Bakersfield (it was 105 degrees the other day and 16% humidity—I know, I know, dry heat!), the joys of summer come through:  a cool pool to jump into, central air, peaches and watermelons and home grown tomatoes, and some frogs this year in the little brook that runs through my apartment complex.

 An abundance of roses in gardens and parks and thus the ability to bring them indoors to simply enjoy or to give as gifts to friends.

Visiting with a cousin this past weekend and hearing stories about our grandfather’s trapeze act back in vaudeville in the early 1900s. He had some art work from the time to share that he received from a distant relative he met online.  My grandfather was part of a duo wire act that performed in France at the Cirque Medrano; their act was captured in watercolor by the Vesque sisters in 1913 and 1916.  Among other things, they worked on a slack wire, which is supposedly more difficult than working on a tight wire because it can sway from side to side during the performance!  Ah the wonders of internet searches and connecting with long-lost relatives.

Rediscovering the murder mysteries by Susan Conant—they all have her main character’s Malamutes as central characters to the story, and each story includes other dogs as well. Her titles can be a bit hokey, but fun, such as Gone to the Dogs and Animal Appetites. The reading is fun and gives me little reminders of living with a dog.  I miss having a dog—little things like these books help. As does seeing dogs out in parks, being walked in the neighborhood, or wandering around my apartment complex.

Bees were buzzing around the other day, enjoying the summer weather.  I love to see them at work—and the butterflies too, making everything look simple and easy. 

The consistent love and support from my sister and my aunt, who are always there to say, “Hang in there!” or “Things will get better” or even just “Thinking of you today!”

Chocolate!  What more need I say?  The Lindt truffles (dark, milk and white chocolate) I brought to a little open house on Sunday were scrumptious—it seems impossible, but it is easy to forget how good, good chocolate can be.

Reliable cable/internet connections—they went out today for a couple hours but came back before I was getting too worried.  Yeah!

So that’s a portion of my ongoing gratitude list.  Enumerating the details helps set a tone and attitude of thankfulness that lingers, sets the stage for more observations.  The more I document what I appreciate, the more I notice what is out there full wonder and beauty. When I tell others what I value, they share as well.  The circle of gratitude widens!  Therefore, I encourage each of you to make your own lists—and to share with others what you appreciate and value. We do not control much in our lives, but we can control the dynamic feelings of happiness, love, laughter, and appreciation that we generate and transmit to others.  Go out there and set off your own gratitude chain reaction! See what happens.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.  John Milton

 Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Melody Beattie

Comments on: "A Gratitude Chain Reaction" (6)

  1. bigsheepcommunications said:

    This post absolutely brought a smile to my face. Love the story about your grandfather – how many people have a story like that?

  2. Well done Patti!
    Ah, Chocolate…that does say it all…in one word (like it or not). Now I want some! I had to look closely at the second pic of the trapeze act…thought he had fallen at first! 🙂 A nice remembrance.
    You can post thankfulness when ever you want…you were our inspiration to do it the way we all want…so…THANK YOU! 🙂

  3. Harold said it! We all do what works for us, and that’s the the way it should be.

    This is just what I was talking about with the ripples coming back to you. You started something – you sent out the first waves. Then you kept swimming. Your waves of influence rolled over Harold and both of yours rolled over me. That’s three of us sending out ripples. Later on, you resurface in a new spot, and those original ripples have reached where you are now – you’re in the right place for them to roll over you. I know I won’t shut up about the ripple analogy, but it’s so exciting!

  4. What a lovely task to involve yourself in, thinking of 1000 things you are grateful for. It certainly would keep you in a positive frame of mind! I’ll add one thing of mine own from today: I’m grateful that we finally have our air conditioner working again after a miserable weekend without it in this Virginia heat and humidity! Nice post!

  5. […] more consistently and more often.  It is not a new focus as I have talked about gratitude several times in the past.  My problem is that lately I’ve been noticing pet peeves more and more often.  To try to […]

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