Gratitude

While it feels a bit cliché to be crafting a blog post on the topic of gratitude in November (which in the USA is our Thanksgiving holiday), the practice of gratitude has been a significant factor in achieving a feeling of happiness in my retirement.  I use this practice a few different ways: 

  • Daily gratitude in my morning journal. I began morning journaling in my retirement transition as I unearthed my love of writing as part of my self discovery. Daily journaling helps me with creativity and feeling grounded. Adding in an aspect of daily gratitude has boosted this activity to keep me in a more positive space. I find that there is always something to be grateful for!
  • 25 things that make me happy right now. While not exactly gratitude, this practice helps when I’m getting into a funk. Yes, I do get into negative funks for all kinds of reasons. When I do, I find that if I write out at least 25 things I am happy about (grateful for), I can feel the calm settling into body.
  • Big picture gratitude. These are moments in time I both look back and look at the present and realize how wonderful life can be. I will use this tool as a way to see beyond the stress of the moment or to shift out of a Compare & Despair mindset.

What am I grateful for right now, in a bigger picture way?

  • I am grateful I have the capability and capacity to explore assisted living facilities for my mom.  I am grateful my mom has long-term care insurance so we can move her into a facility that meets her needs at this point of her life. And I am grateful my mom is still relatively healthy and accepting of this move.
  • I am grateful for our home. While it will never be seen in House Beautiful, and would be to many too messy and cluttered, for me it is comfortable and bright.  Having our amazing water view brings me a sense of calmness no matter the weather!
  • I am grateful for my hubby, his easy-going ways, and his ability to fix things. I still, after 30 years of marriage, enjoy spending the day with him exploring – it’s not his favorite thing, but he’s willing to be my plus one for it. I know I can count on him to support me in whatever I want to do.
  • I am grateful for my siblings. While we do not live physically close, we are still emotionally connected.
  • I am grateful for my aunt & uncle who years ago left me an unexpected inheritance that started our journey to living fulltime in Florida.
  • I am grateful to the new friendships I am forming here in Florida, from the members of my Fun Tribe who are appreciative of my planning activities to the welcoming acquaintances in various clubs who give me a sense of belonging.  Intentional connections take time and effort; I am grateful that the time and effort I’ve put in appears to be paying dividends.
  • I am grateful for my blogging buddies who “listen” to my words, share their own thoughts, and provide support and inspiration. 

As I wrote this list of gratitude, I was surprised (maybe should not have been) at how much it related to people. I never thought I was a people-person. But this Thanksgiving, family and friends are definitely in the front of my mind!

What are you grateful for this “Thanksgiving month”?

Picture: a sunrise this past week – so grateful for this view!

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14 thoughts on “Gratitude

    1. Ally, and I’m late is responding to all comments (my first gratitude about capacity should have noted that it was in fact pushing into some other activities time, like blogging). I love your meta answer.

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    1. Thanks Bernie. I’m beginning to think I’m changing a bit and becoming more of a people person in this stage of my life. I might have to explore that shift in a blog post!

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    1. Janis, I was away this week and realized how much seeing that water view every morning settles me. And yes, I am feeling like I’ve found my place and my tribes. That is a very good feeling.

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  1. Hi Pat – I think gratitude is the key to a contented and happy life. We can’t control all that life throws at us, and we can’t expect it to all be sunshine and roses, but there are always little (and big) things to be grateful for. I enjoyed reading your list and to see how well you’ve settled in to your new place and that those elusive friendships are gradually solidifying.

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    1. Leanne, I was at a town gathering yesterday and realized how many people I have gotten to know. Not that any are close friends, but enough to stop and chat with at the town park holiday lighting. It did make me feel very settled!

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    1. Suzanne, Having things to look forward to is another thing I could have added on my list for sure! Although I am feeling a bit overwhelmed – I think I’ve got too many things on the calendar at the moment. But I am looking forward to all of them.

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