Sunday, July 25, 2010

Focusing on Gratitude

I write about gratitude quite a bit. It's important to me. I think it's life changing.

These first few months of learning to be an insurance saleswoman have been pretty stressful and I know the next few months are likely to be stressful as well. When life is extra-stressful, I find it ESPECIALLY important to focus on gratitude.

So everybody knows that I work a 12-step program for eating and dieting issues. I'm all out of the closet with that and it feels good and a little bit frightening to be so open about it here in my blog.

I know from past experience that when I've felt vulnerable, afraid, weak, tormented or just plain overwhelmed -- gratitude has been a saving grace. Gratitude has kept my attitude in check. Gratitude has saved me from resentments. Gratitude has saved me from self pity. Gratitude has saved me from doubt. Gratitude has -- on numerous occasions -- saved my back.

The wonderful thing about gratitude is that you don't have to come by it naturally. It is a trait that can genuinely be fostered. Sponsors I've had in my 12-step work have helped me to practice gratitude.

I've been a little bit depressed over the past few weeks about some of the things that I am not. I am not making much money yet. I am not a super-star insurance saleswoman. I am not a fabulously organized business woman. I am not extremely confident with my sales communication skills.

You get the picture. The list could go on. There are so many ares where I can improve.

But I believe those areas will improve in the future if I focus on gratitude instead of self pity and uncertainty. In fact if I do focus intentionally on gratitude, I believe that I can realistically end each of the "not" statements I listed, with a truthful and optimistic YET!

For the next thirty days I am committing to start each day by writing a list of 20 things for which I am grateful. Every day for thirty days -- 20 gratitudes to start the day. I invite you to join me in this practice if you feel you could use a bit more positive energy in your life.

Here is a list for today... I am grateful because:

1. I am not at war. I am not a soldier in military battle.
2. I have a comfortable bed to sleep in.
3. I have a car that has no major problems and needs no big repairs (this is a big gratitude after driving older vehicles that broke down frequently for a number of years).
4. I have six older siblings who love me.
5. My 17-year-old cat, Lucy, is feeling better and apparently may live for quite a while longer -- maybe a year or two, even.
6. I have an interesting new career and work with some great people.
7. I have the opportunity to learn more about health insurance and I am receiving some great training about insurance and insurance sales through the company where I work.
8. I was able to arrange to buy a computer system and signing pad for $400 barely used. If I had purchased these items new they would have cost me $675.
9. I have great friends and family who love me.
10. I live in Michigan -- one of the most beautiful places in the world.
11. I am very healthy for a person my age.
12. I have a great dad and I was raised by two parents who loved me.
13. I learned to play a fun card game called Speed last night. A nice 13-year-old taught me.
14. I have excellent eyesight -- especially for a person my age.
15. I know how to sail.
16. I can swim!
17. I have good books to read.
18. I have groceries!!!
19. I have fresh blueberries in my refrigerator.
20. It's summertime!


  1. And you have a blog where you can reach out to people you would otherwise never find. Gratitude makes you feel better. Grumpiness makes everything worse.

  2. What a lovely post, Patty. It is a good thing to remember what we should be grateful for. Thanks for reminding me.