I wasn’t planning to post again before 2016, but along came one of my favorite bloggers, Susie Lindau, with a great party participation idea (because she’s a party kind of gal). Set a timer for 10 minutes and write down 50 things you’re grateful for (or that made you happy in 2015). Share them in your blog and spread the word. The party is hosted by Dawn, who writes the blog Tales from the Motherland. So thanks to both.
Then I remembered that gratitude also has proven health benefits. All the better!
Herewith, fifty things for which I am grateful.
1. My cats, because they’re cats.
2. Scrivener, because otherwise I could never have revised my novel without going insane.
3. My publisher and her editor, who insisted that I revise my novel although I kicked and screamed all the way.
4. Rain in California, because we really, really need it.
5. Coping mechanisms for anxiety. Without them, I’m a quivering mess.
6. Really good friends.
7. Getting together with really good friends.
8. Women having babies because it’s part of my livelihood as a doula. Also, helping support new families diverts my focus from self to other, which is always a healthy thing.
9. Chewing gum. (Noun phrase or verb phrase–you decide.)
10. Quiet in the morning while the rest of my family sleeps.
11. Equanimity (relative).
12. My spiritual adviser, because, though I’m not religious, wrestling with existential questions is part of who I am.
13. Dreams (the night kind).
14. Functional feet, because I love to walk.
15. Martinis. Straight up. With olives.
16. 25-plus years with my soul mate.
17. My kids. Of course.
18. Driving instructors, so I don’t have to be the first one to take my sons out highway driving.
19. My writing partner, for making sure I write at least once a week for a couple of hours, even when everything else is all gone to heck.
20. A roof over my head.
21. Books to escape into, and Goodreads to keep track of them.
22. The community I live in—pretty for suburbia, and safe.
23. Buffer, so I can tweet while I sleep.
24. The luxury of worrying about having too much stuff.
25. OnlineTimer.net. Without it, I couldn’t write and make dinner at the same time.
26. My slow cooker. Without it, I couldn’t write and make dinner at the same time.
27. EAT24, otherwise my family would starve when I can’t cook for them. And because their coupons make me laugh every Friday.
28. Duotrope, which makes it possible to submit, submit, submit, and submit again.
29. Sixfold, because I finally ranked high enough for recognition.
30. Short stories, because they’re so much easier to finish than novels.
31. A teenage son who communicates.
32. A supportive husband who reassures me about the other son, who doesn’t.
33. Cheese. If forced to live in a world either without cheese or without chocolate, I think I’d have to let chocolate go.
34. A great primary care doctor.
35. Podcasts, because they are a window into the worlds of others. Especially: Hidden Brain, Serial, Radiolab, On The Media, The Moth Radio Hour, and This American Life.
36. My ancient iPod, which still works (mostly) to listen to podcasts.
37. Real maple syrup.
38. Cinemark Platinum Supersaver prepaid movie admission tickets, otherwise I’d never spend $12 to go to a movie.
39. Bikram yoga.
40. My doula business partners, who not only let me live a relatively sane life despite being on call, but who are also good friends.
41. The T2 Mood Tracker Android app, because, for some reason, I find it comforting to track my anxiety levels.
42. Texting, because sometimes it’s the only way I exchange words with my kids.
43. The amazing women of Wingpact who invited me in to help them spread the word about their work through their forthcoming book.
44. My best friend of nearly 50 years, who is like a sister to me.
45. The perspective that comes with age.
46. Fellow travelers on this ridiculous journey of life.
47. Readers, because writing without them would be pretty dismal.
48. Tea, especially Darjeeling.
49. A really nice Sauvignon Blanc.
50. Susie Lindau, for posting about this blog-sharing idea and giving me something to say before the end of 2015.
How to share your own favorites
If you would like to participate, here are the rules. Dawn, who writes the blog Tales from the Motherland, is hosting this event.
If you’d like to join in, here’s how it works: set a timer for 10 minutes; timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list. The goal is to write 50 things that made you happy in 2015, or 50 thing that you feel grateful for. The idea is to not think too hard; write what comes to mind in the time allotted. When the timer’s done, stop writing. If you haven’t written 50 things, that’s ok. If you have more than 50 things and still have time, keep writing; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful! When I finished my list, I took a few extra minutes to add links and photos.
To join the bloggers who have come together for this project: 1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste the instructions from this post, into yours) 2) Click on the blue frog at the bottom of Dawn’s post HERE. 3) That will take you to another window, where you can past the URL to your post. 4) Follow the prompts, and your post will be added to the Blog Party List.
Please note that only blog posts that include a list of 50 (or an attempt to write 50) things that made you feel Happy or 50 things that you are Grateful for, will be included. Please don’t add a link to a post that isn’t part of this exercise.
So much wonder and delight. (Maple syrup…drool, oh, sorry)
Hope your new year is full of adventures and merriment!
And yours as well!
A wonderful list. Thank you.
Thanks as always for stopping by to read and comment.
Oh, I needed to read No. 24 … I have been such a grouch about having too much “stuff” lately. While I still want to whittle it down, I need to remind myself how fortunate I am to have a “problem” like that.
I try to look at it that way too. It’s one of those “first world” problems. Thanks for stopping by!
#49, oh yes. Those Chardonnay people don’t know what they don’t know. What fun reading your list! And I echo what Dawn wrote. Doing this as a party just keeps the happiness expanding and expanding. Kind of like the Monty Python song about the universe, only much better, and (of course) real. Cheers to 2016.
I have to thank you, too, because it seems you are the originator of this idea. I’m so glad I stumbled upon it (though I’ve done my own variations over the years in an effort to, as you say, make “a conscious choice to select happy over disgruntled”).
I like your #33 and will have to try #37! And hope to continue this tradition.
great post and activity! we should all do it. your 50 are v cool! k
Thanks! Well, nothing is stopping you–it only takes 10 minutes (or slightly longer if you want to polish it up to post).
Awesome list – especially #19!
__________________ Lisa Meltzer Penn email@example.com
Wonderful things to be grateful for. I’ve never tried Darjeeling tea. Now I’m curious.
Not to everyone’s taste, but if this something like this sounds good to you, you can try it: “Darjeeling tea is treasured for its rich golden liquor and distinctive muscatel (a type of grape) flavor. This tea scores high on both counts. Bright and aromatic, floral muscat grape aroma with notes of warm spice and sugary squash.”
Tea lovers can be as over-the-top as wine afficianados, it seems!https://audreykalman.wordpress.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?p=3097#comments-form
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Audrey, this Gratitude party has blindsided me! I set out to do something fun and positive, to combat the crazies that hit this time of year. I asked a few bloggers to join me, and I’m humbled by all the good energy and wonderful lists! I’m reading each one, and with each new list, I find myself happier. Each blogger has a different take, and they are all so wonderful.Thank you so much for participating and adding to this good vibe. I love so many of your choices!
Dawn, I’m so glad I found it through Susie! It’s not something I would have thought of but what came to mind in those 10 minutes truly represents the things I am grateful for. It never hurts to remind ourselves of those things and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to do so.
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42.. Right? Thank God for it.
Absolutely! And it IS a form of writing…
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