Young@Heart: A Crash Course in Gratitude

November was the month of gratitude. During that time of year you we’re bombarded with reminders to be thankful and that was probably a good thing because it’s so easy to forget how blessed we are. Now that it’s December and Christmas is almost here, has gratitude sort of been swept under the sleigh?

Hey, you’re busy! Who has time to write in a gratitude journal when you’re going to have 25 people over for Christmas? How does Oprah do it? She must be the busiest woman in the world yet she’s always talking about her gratitude journal and how she starts and ends her days being thankful. If you’ve got a gratitude journal (or two) and you’re a SHE, it’s probably like any journal-type pretty book you’ve ever owned. It has enthusiastic entries from January 1 to about the 15th and then it went on a shelf if it’s pretty or in a drawer if it was just a Spiral.

Now you see them and either feel guilty or you shift into “I should,” mode. STOP.

It only takes thinking about what you’re thankful for to lift your spirits. If it has been a while since you had a little rampage of gratitude, here are some thoughts to jumpstart your gratitude. You could actually execute the EXTREME actions, but really just being thankful is all you really need to do.


1. Hold your breath for a minute, or just be thankful you can breathe.

2. Put a blindfold on for an hour, or just be thankful you can see.

3. Put your arm in a sling for an hour, or just be thankful both your arms work.

4. Shut the electricity off for an hour, or just be thankful you have all the blessings that go with having electricity.

5. Scotch tape or eyes open, or just be thankful for your eyelids.

6. Sleep on the floor, or just be thankful you have a bed.

7. Lock yourself out of your house, or just be thankful you have a home.

8. Tape your mouth shut, or just be thankful you can eat and talk.

9.  Shut off the water to the house, or just be thankful you have pure, running water.

10. Tune the book you’re reading up-side-down at a book and try to read it, or just be thankful you can read.

11. Walk around the block barefooted or just be thankful you have shoes.

12. Wear mittens for an hour, or just be thankful you have fingers that work.

13. Plug up your nose holes with cotton, or just be thankful you can taste.

14. Turn the television volume up too loud, or turn it off and be thankful for the silence.

Just think of the million things your body does to keep you alive and being you! It’s stuff you don’t even know about unless you’ve got a doctorate in anatomy. Right now, some part of you is monitoring the stars and the tides. Right now, something in you is keeping your potassium balanced and is turning your food and water into energy to run you.

Be still and be thankful you’re a freakin’ miracle!

Oh and Merry Christmas!

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