Gratitude is, to me, an antidote to resentment, fear, anger and anxiety. I pray when I go for my morning walk, and I always include a prayer of thanks and list about ten things. Sure, there are some mornings when I have to dig really deep into the barrel to complete the list. (One time I was thankful that I have good hair.)
Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep because my mind is running on the anxiety treadmill like a deranged hamster. I think of my gratitude list, then, too. I find I have better dreams when I do.
I think I almost take for granted to be thankful for the Big Things, like health and my work, so sometimes it’s fun to think of the small, even silly things. I’ve got good hair. My electric blanket. That I finally found someone to fix my stereo.
I’m especially grateful – more than anything else – for the hidden blessings: the close shaves, the narrow escapes, the long shots that came in, the lucky accidents. Sometimes I can tell what they were (the job I didn’t get at a company that turned out to be a horror show or the negative blood test).
Somehow, though, even when I don’t know what they were, thinking of my hidden blessings consoles me in a special way. They make me feel grateful because they affirm my belief that Someone is watching out for me and wants the best for me.
But that’s my gratitude list – which of course includes the chance to do these Open Threads! What’s on your gratitude list – big or little, silly or serious? Let us know in the comments!!
Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send your suggestions for Open Threads to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.