My buddy Grateful Kae has a crazy busy life! But she still finds time every day to write down the things she’s grateful for!
Here’s her backstory…
My Gratitude Journey
It was a regular weekday evening, sometime in early winter several years ago. Let’s say mid-December.
I was muddling through the usual after-school chaos with my boys- tired from work, cranky from sitting in traffic after my son’s piano lesson, and still facing the usual “what’s for dinner?” question along with dishes, homework, showers….
My husband walked in the door from work. I gave a brief smile and a “hi”, quickly turning back to rummaging through the fridge for an onion. He stopped to ask how my day was, and I sighed.
“Oh, okay, I guess… You know, I’m just tired and this house is a mess. Traffic was horrible…” I drifted off as he set his hand gently on my shoulder.
“Kae, do you ever realize just how much you complain??”, he asked quietly.
I paused. A wave of clarity suddenly washed over me. My normally very supportive husband was exactly right. ALL I ever did was complain! Sure, I was busy and tired, but what exactly were my complaints accomplishing? Did the traffic disappear because I complained about it? Would the dishes magically be done?
That day was a turning point in my life.
I dove headfirst into studying the topic of daily gratitude practice.
I read an account of a person living in a cold, snowy climate who was out in the elements. While everyone around her grumbled about the weather, she chose to say, “Thank goodness I have these warm, cozy boots to keep my feet dry!”
I read another story of someone surrounded by sour-faced co-workers all day who instead chose to smile, “It was great to get outside for a walk on my break!”
Wow! This was incredible. I love the term “paradigm shift”. That’s exactly what it was for me.
I started paying attention to this concept in my own life immediately and discovered just how often complaining had become my standard default. I vowed to change this.
When I walked into the gym the next morning and the woman at the desk said, “Yuck, that snow is really coming down out there!”, I replied, “It sure is beautiful!” When I ran into a friend who asked how I’d been, I said, “Really well- we’ve all stayed healthy so far this winter! Thanks!” instead of my standard “Busy…” reply.
Pay attention to those around you today, and yourself. How do you approach the day? As one problem after another? Or can you find a way to “flip” every moment into something good? Trust me, there is always something positive to be found. It takes a lot of practice to change old habits, but it’s worth the effort.
Just for fun: Try to catch yourself in five complaints today. Before you say them out loud, spin them into a positive instead and see how you feel. 😊
Canyonland National Park, Utah!