An Attitude for Gratitude

G-R-A-T-I-T-U-D-E!

Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful and a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Gratitude helps you bring recognition to the value of every aspect of your life and the lives of others.

In my observations, it was apparent that while people issued thank you’s, there was a huge gap between the thank you and the gratitude.

1499365595873and realized that I was just as guilty of not overindulging in it as so many others.

To be honest, when I first began this journey into the dissection of gratitude, saying thank you and being grateful was one big melted crayon. I wasn’t aware that they were two separate entities that were co-dependent on one another.

Consider this:

In the supermarket, an elderly couple were waiting for the cashier to ring up their items. The wife left the line and returned with ice cream sandwiches. She said to her husband, “I know how much you like these so I grabbed you a box”. The husband, who had been looking at a magazine never glanced up but said, “Thanks”. grandparents-962866_640The wife became visibly irritated and told her husband he was very ungrateful. He looked up and said, “What? I said thank you”.

At home that night, the supermarket couple came to mind. This time in a different way. While I could only see the side of her face, the elderly woman’s posture gave away her disappointment in her husband’s, seemingly, lack of appreciation for her thoughtfulness.

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At the same time, her husband, whose face was in full view when he turned to look at her, had an expression of genuine shock and confusion because he overestimated the power in his thank you.

It was easy to put myself in both of their shoes. I understood what made her feel unappreciated and I also understood why he thought thank you was enough. There was a void of gratitude or, at the very least, their use of it was very weak.

Here’s another one:

When your mind is set on something the expectation is that you get what you see at face value. You tend to not plan for deviations. You know what you want and you expect to get it.

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For almost 2 weeks, a friend’s car had been out-of-order. I offered to transport her to and from work until her vehicle was ready. One day, however, I was not going to be available and, 2 days prior, she was informed that she would need to find an alternate way to get to work.

She was bothered instead of being grateful that, for 9 work days out of 10, I made sure that she made it to and from a workplace that I was not employed (I work from home). She allowed one deviation to drop a nest of entitled hornets into her happiness bag.

The verdict was clear. When you are not well versed in gratitude, one stray hair can ruin your whole hairstyle.

Having an Attitude of Gratitude humbles the materialistic selfish desires of the human nature and teaches you to recognize the value of what is already in your possession.

You learn to appreciate more what you have and look forward to what can be yours and then you learn to appreciate that. You learn to celebrate what’s current and constant in your life and, through it all, your happiness increases.

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I started thinking about the countless times I was less than appreciative. Those times when my thank you just didn’t match my gratitude and I was NOT impressed.

If you thought about yours, how many could you count? (Hint-Even one is too many).

In comes the gratitude challenge.

The act or expression of gratitude has taken a backseat to narcissism-but not always on purpose. Sometimes it gets rusty and dusty from under-utilization.

I created this challenge is to encourage you to:

  1. Look at yourself. Where you have been, where you want to go, and where you could possibly end up. Your vision can change with the blink of an eye.
  2. Look outside of yourself. gratitude-1251137_640Recognize that you’re not as self-sufficient as you think you are. From the insects to the sun and the gardeners to the teachers, there is someone doing something beneficial to you.
  3. Look to those around you. Be willing to be a source of direct and indirect motivation, positivity and generosity. In some way, someone at sometime was all those things to you.

I believe gratitude is something that should come full circle but it has to start somewhere. In order to make big, meaningful and permanent changes you have to:

  • Make the decision to change
  • Make the committment to change and
  • Start small
  • Share your gratitude and teach others to recognize and appreciate their own beautiful messes.

Once you start living intentionally in gratitude, the world will open up, take on a new look and have new meaning. Are you ready? (Click the image below).

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I’m Ready For The Challenge!

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I Heart My Boobies

The annual gynecological exam. That one day of the year when poking, prodding, and touching in the nude reaches an all time high of awkward.

But, it must be done.

This year my gyno threw in a little something extra. She told me I was now at the age where a mammogram is recommended.

Very sarcastic YAAAY!

I finally get to have the mammies grammied experience. If I allow my imagination to run away with the descriptions provided by my predecessor grammers, I am certain that I will be walking away from this event with football shaped pancakes.

But, it must be done.

The thought of even the slightest possibility of being diagnosed with cancer is beyond frightening.

I salute every fighter and survivor in the world. You guys are simply amazing.

The Susan G. Kormen Foundation is estimating that an average of 252,710 American women will get breast cancer this year. Although not as common, men are also susceptible to breast cancer with 470 estimated to be diagnosed this year.

I have seen the beast come out of breast cancer. My aunt fought, silently but vigilantly for years. An old school mate-my GOD- she fought with style, grace and eternal beauty! If breast cancer wrote a book, she would be listed in the chapter titled SHIT-FOR PETE’S SAKE! Believe me when I tell you, she was that amazing! They both were and they are truly missed!

A good friend of mine has recently undergone a double mastectomy. We have so much to celebrate on her win!

If given the choice I would choose that uncomfortable poking, prodding, and touching any day and every day over having to live with the diagnosis of breast cancer, or any cancer for that matter. That’s why it’s important to learn your body, know your body, and listen to your body.

More than 40,610 women and 410 men will die as a result of breast cancer this year alone.

Breast cancer does not follow a social platform and does not discriminate by race, ethnicity, religion, or age although some people may be at a higher risk to get it; especially those with, family history, obesity, and alcohol abuse. For more information on breast cancer risk factors click here.

STAY AHEAD OF THE GAME

Learn your body. You spend time with your body 24 hours/7 days per week. That’s a committed relationship. You should spend a significant amount of time learning where everything is, why it’s there and what purpose it serves.

Know your body. After you learn your body, you’ll know when something is amiss. Monthly breast exams can help with the detection of any lumps or distortions. If you are not sure of the correct way to examine your breasts, here’s some more information.

Your body speaks. Your body has different ways of telling you something is wrong. If you’re someone like me who has a very high pain tolerance and an even higher dislike for going to the doctor then you definitely need to listen, closely, when your body speaks.

We are so very good at conditioning ourselves to ignore the pains, cricks and creeks that surface from time to time that, sometimes we ignore issues that are actually serious and we cause our own delay in getting the help that we need. STOP THAT!!! 

Signs and symptoms can differ from one person to another and are not limited to those listed above so when in doubt, check it out!

So, yes, in a couple of weeks I will be pancake Penny but I heart my boobies so it must be done!!

Don’t forget to get your annual poke and prod and, if it’s your time, mash ’em up!