Sometimes when I’m really tired or I realize I won’t get everything on my perpetual to-do list done, I hear myself complaining. My next thought? Oh, it’s just me being grumpy; I’m feeling sorry for myself. It’s then that I remind myself how rich my life is and how much I have to be grateful for. So, today I’ve written a fresh Gratitude List.” It’s incomplete, of course, but I’ve started.

I’m grateful for :

  1. My deep spiritual and moral beliefs.
  2. My grandchildren.
  3. My health—my body has been very good to me.
  4. The home I grew up in. Everyone in that three generation household (my Italian family) modeled life skills and personal values that I needed. Among many other values, they emphasized sharing with others and “doing good” in life. They especially stressed good living: faith and responsibility in all matters but balanced with good, healthy fun.
  5. My brother, Jim, his wife, Mary, and their children who don’t lose faith in me because my communication is irregular.
  6. My piano – it has been a good friend to me since I was nine years old.
  7. My casual neighborhood restaurant where everyone knows me, welcomes me, and takes care of me.
  8. Talk radio, especially NPR where reason prevails, and I learn so much.
  9. Books: I’ll read practically anything.
  10. Meeting new souls who constantly remind me how valuable each of us is. We all have something to offer.
  11. The daily chance to learn the powerful lesson of acceptance.
  12. Jennifer for her kind offer of help with my business.
  13. The many daily opportunities for “doing the right thing.”
  14. The 30 years of trust given to me by others as I helped guide them down the path I’d already taken.
  15. My USA Today newspaper – it’s my morning treat five days a week.
  16. This blog/website – it’s a wonderful adventure. And, for all of you who read the posts – thank you so much

Every day I wake up feeling grateful that I was born. True; some choices I’ve made along the way weren’t wise, so there were periods of pain. But, as I got better at handling me, they became good opportunities for growing. So if you’ve been there and done that too, don’t be discouraged. Just get up and get going again. We can be content with Today.

Now, you might be asking yourself: “Why take the time to do this exercise? Are there any personal payoffs?” Yes! Just writing my list today lifts my spirits and gives me more energy. There’s a little added spring in my walk and I’m smiling more even though I’m alone in my office. Yes; it’ll work for you, too. Okay, are there any more goodies? Yes! As I check in with my body I realize that I actually feel fuller and more satisfied, like I’ve had a really delicious meal. I feel calmer, less anxious. And yes, you will, too.

So, here’s a final thought: Webster writes that the word grateful also means thankful and appreciative. Is there something that you’re especially thankful for? Are there thoughts or feelings within you or things or people around you that you can appreciate? I bet there are.

If you already have a gratitude list or you’ll be making one, I’d love to see it. Please share. And, in the meantime, I hope you have a feel-good Thanksgiving wherever you are.

All the best to you until next time,


Author's Bio: 

Joan Chamberlain is an author, therapist, and life coach with over 30 years of experience helping adults, couples, and teens. She has a Bachelor's degree in Business and Finance, a Bachelor's in education, and a Masters in individuals, couples, and family counseling. Her book, Smart Relationships, has helped many people achieve the self-awareness needed to see themselves honestly. Its wisdom has helped them work toward improving their relationships with themselves, their friends, and their families.

To learn more about the ideas and concepts presented in her articles, please peruse her website: