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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Gratitude


A few of my writer friends and I spent the year just past contemplating gratitude in our daily lives. It was such a great learning experience; one that taught me a lot about perspective.

Today's post was originally my very last entry at our Year of Gratitude (YOG) blog. If you enjoy this topic or ever need a boost, feel free to hop over there and browse round for further thoughts or a dose of inspiration.

By spending so much time writing/thinking about, and steeped in being grateful, I hope the attitude has become an ingrained habit that will rest on my shoulders like a soft beautiful shawl for life. No matter what comes (and especially if it's bad, hurtful or sad), I think the lessons I've learned will continue to take away some of the chill.

I'll leave you with these thoughts, as I once and for the last time publicly count blessings brought about by a year of focusing on being grateful:

  • Above all, I've realized life is all about how you choose to see things.
    Rain will inevitably spoil the parade now and then, but grateful, joyful thinking makes one heck of an umbrella.
  • Gratitude is contagious.
  • Gratefulness is not only a state of mind, but a way of living.
  • When things are at their worst, a dose of gratitude can change things around, or at least assure you that tomorrow is definitely a new day.
  • Gratitude begets more gratitude.
  • Focusing on the goodness of life increases joy and health.
  • Thankfulness can bring people who have nothing (or very little) in common together.
  • It is just as easy to be glad as sad.
  • Perspective is an awesome and powerful thing.

I will always remember 2008 as the Year of My Gratitude. Thank you, Barb, Kathryn, Patresa and Nannette, for sharing your company and thoughts with me.

May all we've learned by concentrating on gratitude never be far from our hearts and minds.

26 comments:

Kathryn Magendie said...

A-men Sister Angie! And I so enjoyed our time at the YOG...it allowed me to see things in a place of thankfulness - even when I was feeling grouchy, or angry, or sad - and what I loved about the yog is, we were open to those feelings -we didn't sugar-coat it when we felt like hell!

Love ya, friend! I'm grateful for YOU!

Janna Qualman said...

Well done, Angie, and YOG ladies!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Beautifully said! Love what you said about the shawl. I've enjoyed that blog, and appreciate the shifts it helped me create in my own life. I am grateful for YOU!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Durn! Y'all are better for the soul than a double bloody mary after a hangover! Love & gratefulness back to Katty, Janna & Carrie Linkage. :)

Debbie said...

I completely agree with your list. I love your main point of how life is how we chose to view it. Amen!
And the part about being glad instead of sad certainly sounds like you are channeling me. I have so often told a child stuck neck deep in sadness that every day when you wake up you can chose to be happy or chose to be sad. As for me, I'm going the happy route. (Now of course, I know there are times and conditions that this simple adage does not apply. But mostly, it does for me!)

Vodka Mom said...

I ALWAYS try to look for the good. I'm happy I'm alive- my kids are relatively healthy and yeah, life is good.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Debbie & Vodka -- nicest thing about this great big ball o' bloggin' is finding like-minded friends like you. I'm grateful I've met so many wonderful people with the just right attitude!

Bella@That damn expat said...

That's great, Angie.
Whenever I start to lose it I try to step back and count all my blessings.

Sometimes it even works ;)

jinksy said...

Your note on perspective being powerful is a humdinger in the wisdom stakes.

DebraLSchubert said...

Thanks, Angie, and the rest of the yog gang. I've had a tough couple of weeks here. Every once in a while I let myself revel in my own pity party, but the wonder of life is never far out of sight. All I have to do is turn my head in gratitude's direction. Thanks for reminding me.

Nannette Croce said...

Well said,

BTW Ms. L, do you have a new hairdo?

Anonymous said...

Ladies,
Thanks for doing the YOG. It opened some new perspectives in my life and I thank you. The mind is a powerful tool and having a positive and grateful mindset is a handy tool to have in your pocket. It really does work.
Bravo again,
Oren (FOA)

Deb Shucka said...

What a lovely post. I agree that gratitude is amazingly powerful stuff. Thank you for giving me one more thing to add to my list of gratefuls - you and this great blog.

Deb Shucka said...

Oh, I guess that's two. I can count. I'm grateful for that, too.

Angie Ledbetter said...

LOL, Bella. Sure does.

Why, thank you muchly, Miss Jinksy.

Debra, beautifully said. :)

I let it grow out some, Nannette, you ol' YOGger, you. Enjoying your blog on writing!

Oren, you're a top notch carpenter with all those nifty things in your pocket, and you share them generously. I'm glad to be an FOO (Friend of Oren).

Double LOL, Deb Shucka. I hates maff.

Amy Nathan said...

Love the idea of the YOG blog. I hopped over - I bet it was hard to let it go!

Melissa Marsh said...

Gratitude and being thankful...things we need to remember each and every day. Thank you for the reminder, Angie! Hugs...

JyLnC said...

Lovely thoughts and so true. I love the phrase about your "being grateful" habit resting on your shoulders like a soft, beautiful shawl.

amy said...

I didn't get to read it often (I was dealing with hormonal/pregnancy/bedrest issues that left me often unwilling to log onto my home computer for days at a time) (which, now that I've read your list here and your thoughts on gratitude, the YOG blog is probably *exactly* where I should have been parking my butt, every day, last year).

I can't think of one thing I disagree with on your very wise list, Angie. And I am so grateful for that. :-)

kimmi said...

Well done to you and the ladies!!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Amy Sue, it really was. I had that "what's missing?" feeling for the first few days of January. :)

Hugs back to you, Melissa.

JyLnC, thanks so much.

Aww, Amy, I'm glad. And happy things are better.

Thanks, kimmi girl! (The contest prize friendship arrived. It's as lovely as you are. Thanks!)

Pocket Full of Prettys said...

Beautiful thoughts & so true. So many things to be greatful for & so many blessings. Too many to count.

And yes I would love to throw a match at all this JUNK that we have to move. I have been packing for weeks now. We moved most of everything today. We started at 7:30am & got back home around 11:30pm. I am soooo tired! So, good night! Renea

Daniel Brenton said...

This post was highlighted in the February 7 edition of Gratitude Watch.

Thank you for promoting the value of gratitude.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Renea, I hope you get the move completed soon and then just kick back and relax for awhile.

Thanks, Daniel!

Janie said...

Love your "gratitude" list!

Justin and Sha Ree's Life said...

You have an amazing blog on gratitude. I have created a company to assist people in expressing their gratitude to others at www.mygratitudetree.com please check it out

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