Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Gratitude

Recently my children have started to say grace before dinner. Mostly it is a very positive experience and I've stopped cringing when they thank god for everything instead of each other or simply expressing gratitude. The concept of thanking only god has always rubbed me wrong - it feels belittling to the things the rest of us do. Anyhow, they seem interested in saying grace and expressing thanks for our food and other things.

According to Dr. Emmons' research, my kids are on their way to a happier, more fulfilling life. His research is based on the concept that "Gratitude is the “forgotten factor” in happiness research." He asserts that those who take the time to express gratitude and spend time thinking of their blessings are happier, healthier and more likely to help others.

I love it.

So, here's my first shot at three things:

- I am grateful for my long-lasting and enduring friendship with my college room mate and look forward to seeing her soon.
- I am grateful that my husband helped reinforce to our son that he should eat the healthy lunch his mom packs for him instead of skipping snack and buying lunch.
- I am grateful that my former boss, who has been respectful but distant since I changed jobs, has agreed to see me for lunch today.
- I am grateful that I live close enough to my dad that I can be there for his cancer surgery, which is tomorrow, and that my boss is supportive of that time off.

3 comments:

yertle said...

This is cool that you are doing this with your family.

It reminds me of something I read recently.

"Compliment Keeper by Tracy T.

Before I went to bed, I took three empty jelly jars out of the recycling bin and labeled one for each of my daughters. I stuck a slip in each one with a sentiment in red ink, such as "thanks for reading to your sister," "good job brushing the dog," or "loved your smile when you nailed the backstroke today."

The girls noticed the jars right away the next morning, and reading the notes brought on big grins. Now I sneak in a new note or two each day, taking out the old ones so it's easy to find the newcomer.

Talie in particular likes to hear the lines of praise in her jar. Sometimes she'll say "I'll bet that'll be in my jar, Mom," when she knows she's done a good deed.

It's a small thing, but when the day gets helter-skelter and I'm too caught up in overflowing hampers, dog hair on the floor, and errands to run, the tip jar helps me refocus on the little bright spots of life with kids."


I love things that remind me to be grateful for what I have. That might be good for me right now.

1. I am grateful for blogging and how it has brought me support and friendship and helps me stay connected.
2. I am grateful to the person who told me tonight that my employer is lucky to have me, since lately I have not been feeling that way at all.
3. I am grateful that my parents watch my kids for me while I work and offer support and guidance.

Many good wishes to you and your dad for his surgery tomorrow. I will be thinking of you.

APerry3 said...

Have you heard about Dr. Emmons's new book? It's called "Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier." It was released in August and has already received nationwide acclaim. You can get it on Amazon or at any bookstore. As PR representative for "Thanks!" I invite you to help us to spread the word about the book and how gratitude really does affect lives for the better. Visit www.thanksbook.com for more info!

Sierra said...

Gratitude is an amazing thing. Good for you for encouraging it with your children. They ARE building great tools for coping with stress and leading happy and fulfilling lives.
Sorry to hear that your dad is batteling cancer. My thoughts and well wishes will be with you and your family.