Being the person I am, I decided that I needed to do something to change my attitude. In an amazing coincidence, my online friend Jennifer started a Facebook group called 2,011 Gratitudes in 2011. Here are the only guidelines for participating:
In an effort to reclaim gratitude in our lives - 2,011 gratitudes has created this page to let YOU put out what makes you happy every single day of 2011. It's user friendly and you get to put it out in the Universe so you can learn to appreciate everything you have. The only rule is - NO REPEATS. You have to find 2,011 different things to be grateful for - 5 things every day (with 186 days needing 6). We won't be weirded out by what you find - if you're grateful for it - SHARE IT!Now I don't know Jennifer well. I originally met her on the Texas Message Board at Obesity Help, an online support group for people who are considering or have had weight loss surgery. I met her in real life for just a couple of minutes at an OH conference a couple of years ago. Her husband is a cancer survivor and I've been so amazed at how she has stayed positive and downright sunny through her husband's treatment and recovery. On top of that, several of her other family members have also been seriously ill but Jenny just really finds a way to shine through. She also makes the most amazing and creative baked goodies for her daughter and her classmates.
The object of the exercise is to take time every day to look for things to be thankful for. It has definitely been an exercise for me. Every evening, just before bedtime, I take a few minutes and think about the day. It makes me think about how much I have and how blessed I am. It truly makes me count my blessings.
It's not a big group, there are only five or six ladies who are actively involved in the group. The bonus is, I'm getting to know all of them better. We're all very different in age, careers, family lifestyles, etc. But we're all getting to know and appreciate each other. And, we're all growing as a result of the exercise.
I'll be honest, this is still work for me. Some nights it would be easier for me to just go to bed. But the truth is, like any exercise, it gets easier with practice. I'm exercising my attitude of gratitude and, in the long run, I know I'll be a happier person for it.