Cicero once said: “Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues, but the parent of all others.” Pretty snappy stuff. I also saw on Facebook (by an unknown author) that “it is not happiness that brings us gratitude but gratitude that brings us happiness.” Also snappy. Cicero may not be so grateful of his quote being aligned to that of an unknown author on Facebook. I imagine a muttering like, “how dareth thee comparath me with the dirge of Facebook. Bah!” Anyways, as I continue on my lifelong journey to slowly improve myself, I’m going to spend more conscious time with gratitude. And good news (sic) for the 9 readers of this blog: I’m going to share my thoughts with you in short, brief entries here so I can look back and see the process. The challenge with this for me will not be coming up with things to be grateful for but ensuring they come centered from me and not based on what I think others will think about them. I also fear that these will be sing-songy which is making me focus on life around me – those daily occurrences that make me think, wow, I’m really grateful to have experienced that, met that person or witnessed that situation, etc. Lastly, I’d like to avoid explaining my gratitude as I think this will hopefully be obvious and at times could add to the sing-songiness.
Let me get those items that I am most grateful for, which happen to be the most obvious items, out of the way here in this first post:
I am most grateful for my wife Cindy and her love, my family (both immediate and extended) and the love and humility they give me, my job and the gifts it gives me and my family and my home and the surrounding neighbors who give me reasons to smile and safety. Today I am also grateful for unexpected “Happy New Year” wishes from friends who I haven’t seen in quite some time. I think I’ll pay it forward.
Closing thoughts: I’m not planning on replacing my annual assessment of past resolutions and capturing of my upcoming resolutions with this. I view this as one of the upcoming resolutions but hopefully not something I stop after a year or ideally ever (maybe I’ll stop the public capture once it has run it’s course). Also, our family, although they don’t know it yet, will be capturing items we are grateful for in a jar starting today. As we have these moments, not necessarily daily moments, we will quickly write them down on a small piece of paper and put into a jar. At the end of the year we’ll hopefully have something cool to look back on and at the same time might be influencing the kids to see more good around them which maybe, just maybe, gives them some extra incentive to pay that good forward to those around them. Lofty? Yes. Cheesy? Maybe. Effective? I’ll report back in 365. Thanks to my old rowing buddy Scott Niblack for the idea.
Happy New Year!