Grateful Gratitude Attitude

2021 is here and we should all bring a Grateful Gratitude Attitude along for the ride.

It’s January 2021.  Here I sit on the same couch where my bottom has made an imprint from 2020.  The same couch I binged endless Netflix, even watching my favorites over and over again. The same couch where I FaceTimed my friends and family, where I zoomed numerous meetings for work.  The same couch that I talked to clients from, and worked on deals with my laptop.  The exact same couch where I spoke with long term care and hospital staff as we discussed the numerous ways to make my husband comfortable perhaps for his last days on earth. The same couch I drank many glasses of wine and nibbled on way too many snacks. The couch where I snuggle my dogs and shed many a tear.

Part of me wants to get rid of this couch, say goodbye to the worn spot and welcome a new couch just like the new year.

I’m so done with the sadness that weighed me down in 2020.  Feeling each loss of my friend’s dearest family members.  Feeling so out of control from all the news of the pandemic.  Feeling low having to spend yet another evening hanging at home alone.  Tossing the couch will help that……..maybe.

I’ve learned these past years that it would feel good to get rid of the old and bring in the new.  I’ve also learned that it’s only a bandaid for the real feeling.  That bandaid doesn’t last.  It’s a great moment of high, but I had to dig deep and celebrating the past, present and future with gratitude worked for me.

That’s why I gave my book Forgiving The Man Who Forgot the subtitle of Grateful Gratitude Attitude.  That’s why I asked my artistic sister to create a logo for my Grateful Gratitude Attitude.  That’s why I hired an amazing marketing company to design my website. I wanted to share my story and expand my message to the world.  So everyone can benefit from a Grateful Gratitude Attitude

It took effort to be in that mindset.  It didn’t come easy for me and I’m a very positive person.  I was fearful at the beginning.  I didn’t think I was capable and let FEAR stand in my way of happiness.  I thought it would be too challenging for me.

Once I got the hang of it.  I LOVED IT!!!  Things started to change for the better in my life.  Perhaps the better was always there and I just needed to clear the cobwebs to see the positive.  I had just existed before, only managing each day, moment in time, getting through it and surviving.  That wasn’t a bad thing at all.  There are times in our lives when that is the best we can do to get through it and continue to the next day.  I knew I wanted more than that in my life.  So feeding my thoughts with gratitude, keeping my energy grateful and my attitude positive was a beautiful place to be living.

It all started with my business coach, Jacquelyn.  I called her and told her about my latest woes of the month and how I was tired of the negative things happening.  Was it something I was doing….something I wasn’t doing?????  Either way I wanted things to change for the better. 

Here is an excerpt from my book about practicing gratitude and how it changed my life.

In her kind and articulate manner, Jacquelyn got down to business. “No, Irene, we all lead a happy and grateful life. But sometimes things happen to us, and we have to deal with them and keep moving forward.” She then gave me some great ideas to help me deal with my challenges.

“Do you go through a gratitude list every day?” She asked me.

“Well, some mornings I do. Sometimes when I’m driving I think it or say them out loud. In other words, no.”

“I want you to write 10 of them out every day,” Jacquelyn instructed.

“EVERY DAY? That’s a lot!” It was all I could say. I felt my voice getting quivery and tears starting to well up. I was ready to lose it. Another job to do? Add it to my long list of stuff. How could I possibly do this every single day? There’s no way I can. Who could do this? Maybe someone who doesn’t work or just sits around all day. That was my fear churning inside me and stopping me from doing something that would help me in my journey of living life to its fullest.

I took a deep breath and committed myself to taking her advice. “Okay, I’ll try it.”

So began my time of change. For months I wrote out my daily list of things I was grateful for. Some mornings, I had to think really hard about it. It didn’t come easy at the beginning and I struggled. Annoying, unpleasant, awful things have happened to me. How can I be grateful for those? But I started small, light, and easy: I’m grateful that I have a comfortable place to sleep at night. I’m grateful that Andrew, Carina, and I are healthy. I’m grateful that my boss is kind and generous. I’m grateful to have such wonderful friends who are so supportive. I’m grateful that my husband is getting the best care.

As this morning ritual grew into a routine, my thoughts of and gratitude grew deeper and more blissful: I’m so happy and grateful to be the mother of Andrew and Carina, who have grown from well- adjusted, healthy, happy, and independent kids into kind, smart, responsible, and loving adults. That particular thought delights me to my core and brings such a warm and tender feeling to me, inside and out. Day after day, I wrote these things for which I am grateful and things started to change. My outlook returned to its previous positivity level. Actually, my positivity level grew to become even brighter. The result? Lovely things started to happen in my life. Things that I had barely noticed before became brighter: The grumpy store clerk actually smiled when I cracked a joke. The sun was really trying to peek out from behind those dark clouds.

In short, bigger and better things started to enter into my life. I met wonderful clients and did lucrative deals. I began to travel more with my friends and enjoy the most marvelous time of fun and laughter. I began to find joy in small things and felt my fears slowly leave me while my gratitude entered my world. It wasn’t magic—it was my true life unfolding. What was an effort at the beginning became, and is now, second nature. Of course, sad and negative things still happen, but it’s the way you handle it, look at it, and deal with it that makes the difference. This is what I have learned.

Now, I understand that this technique is not for everyone, but come on! Isn’t it better than being fraught with worry or consumed by fear? Mind you, there are some people out there who love to wallow in self-pity and enjoy grumbling all day about this and that. I say “If it makes you happy, then by all means, go forth and grumble.” It’s just not for me.

I was so pleased about what was going on with me in my life that I wanted to share this with a large group of girlfriends. They HAVE to experience what I’m feeling! So I decided to have a Gratitude Party.

That was such a welcome change that came into my life.  I write about my Gratitude Party in my book.  That was one of the best parties I have hosted.  Everything worked out so beautifully and each guest appreciated the theme and hopefully was able to practice their own form of gratitude after my venue became a memory.  I was going to have one every year as it was such a hit, but COVID19 said ‘not this year my dear’. 

Now 2021 is here and with it lots of chatter about a vaccine so fingers crossed we all have a better year and bring a Grateful Gratitude Attitude along for the ride.  

My bottom indented couch will serve me for some more laughs, cries and lots of grateful moments.

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