Last year I opted out on New Year’s resolutions and decided to go with intention. It wasn’t an ideal year, and this year I decided to wait until after the New Year and focus on gratitude; it’s always timely.
For the fourth year in a row, this is an opportunity to hit pause and focus on all the good things that each of us has in our lives. The holiday season has a way of rushing in, every year, and making it hard to remember that throughout the year, there are blessings. There are so many things that bring joy, so many happy things; yet it’s easy to find to lose sight of this fact, as we manage busy lives.
In 2014 I followed in the footsteps of Jen over at Jenny’s Lark, and wrote a list of 50 things (in 10 minutes) that I was grateful for in 2014. The list actually became 60 things, because I still had time, and a lot to be grateful for. The exercise was originally a spin off a Daily Prompt challenge. Those Daily Prompts are something to be happy/grateful about, if you haven’t checked them out yet, do it now! Jen and I had so much fun with it in 2014, that we added links to each other’s blogs, and other bloggers followed suit.
In 2015, happy-gratitude exploded as I invited a few bloggers and suggested we all come together and share gratitude. Bloggers begat more bloggers, and it grew… and grew… and grew! And once again, Jen had another great idea: focus on happy and be grateful. It’s about choosing happy, choosing positive, over the negative things that we could focus on. Gratitude or Happiness–– Chicken or egg?
The 2015 project included 74 bloggers–– something I thought would be small and easy, turned into something huge. I met so many cool new bloggers, and my happiness and gratitude grew exponentially. In 2016 a lot of bloggers bowed-out. As the inauguration loomed; many said they just weren’t up for it. There were 30 bloggers who chimed in, and shared their happy thoughts and gratitude. Both years I read every post, to see what we have in common, and how we differ. Those places where we meet, and where we are unique, are a beautiful thing and a great way to start the year.
It was hard not to go back and edit my list, each time I found something wonderful on other lists… but it just gave me things to focus on for this year. If I express gratitude, I find myself feeling happy, and if I list happy things, I inevitably feel grateful–– either way, it’s win/win! I guarantee, you’ll find yourself smiling, feeling grateful and happy if you spend 15 minutes reflecting on positivity. Couldn’t we all use more happy and more grateful? Think of this as a blog party, to share happy, grateful thoughts. Find the full instructions below my list.
This year, I’ve made a few small changes based on feedback. Ten minutes was not enough; I heard that over and over. This year set a timer for 15 minutes; but timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list. The goal is to write things that make you happy, or things you feel grateful for. Don’t think too hard; just write what comes to mind in the time allotted. If you use the numbered mode and just type what comes to mind, it’s easy. When the timer’s done stop writing; finish whatever sentence you’re on. If you haven’t written 50 things, don’t worry. If you have more than 50 things great; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful! The number doesn’t worry. Add the photos, links, instructions, etc after you finish the list––the timer doesn’t matter for getting these details down; it applies to the list only. Be sure to link back to this post, so that others can find the instructions and join in too, we can promote each others’ blogs, and so I can read them all, and enjoy the fruits of my labor. This is a feel good project; if you don’t want to do it, don’t, but the more the merrier, so I hope you will.
A grateful, Happy New Year to you all!
2017 Gratitude list (not in particular order):
- My two year-old grandson– Every. Single. Day!
- My husband and children
- Love, giving and receiving it
- Music, and dancing in my kitchen each day
- Hiking & walking- especially in the woods/mountains/shores of WA state
- Friends- thank you!
- Reconnecting with my brother & healing our relationship
- Participation in the March on Washington
- Strong women and folks willing to protest
- #MeToo knowing we are not alone & strong voices calling for justice
- Miraval trip
- The Desert
- Jumping off a 35’ pole with my husband
- My work with high school seniors, on their college essays
- My dogs. Every day.
- Solo, long-distance hikes
- The first snow each winter
- Blogging friends
- Friday Fictioneers
- Great books, that sweep me away, and inspire me to write
- Facebook, for the connections and the ability to share
- #ThinkBigSundaysWithMarsha the most positive place on Twitter
- PP&M and meeting Peter Yarrow on a flight from Denver to NYC
- Great movies
- My 100 year-old Christmas cactus; it blooms 3x a year!
- The Pacific NW
- My pillow, especially when it’s cool
- Feeling strong and fit
- My aunts
- My father
- Summer vacation with my grandson, daughter and son-in-law
- My son-in-law, Alex, who we all love so much
- Emmy, who I love, and who my son loves more
- Legalized marijuana
- Seeing Hamilton and Dear Evan Hanson on Broadway, NYC
- My nieces and nephews
- Spending time with my sister
- The Redwoods
- Sushi, anytime, but especially each Friday with my bestie
- Good health, especially after my meningitis scare
- The Internet
- Clean, fresh water
- Hummingbirds each day at my window, year round
- Seaglass, and Port Townsend, where I find so many treasures
- Yellow Posted™ notes & lined yellow note pads
- The ocean
- Christmas ornaments & my menorah
(all those links will take you to more fun story-telling)
How to join in: write your own post and publish it. Copy the link from the post. Then click on the frog below, and follow the instructions to add your link. If you have any trouble, please let me know, and I’d be happy to help. I will also add a link to each post on my own blog post, as they are published. For extra fun, please add the hashtags #BloggersUnite and/or #50HappyThings… because, well, everyone loves a hashtag! The link-up expires January 15th at 11:59pm.
Now it’s your turn. Add your Gratitude Blog Post Here:
Please share your thoughts in the comments. I’m grateful for the feedback.
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©2011-2018 All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!