I have several friends participating in the Thirty Days of Gratitude Challenge. I participated in the challenge last year by posting my gratitude for someone or something on facebook everyday in November. I missed the beginning of the challenge this year, so decided that I will use my Sunday blog post each week to share my gratitude for the week.
Gratitude has played a huge part in my life over the past 25 years. In twelve step programs of recovery, we talk a lot about gratitude. We are taught to have an “attitude of gratitude.” We are reminded (hit over the head is more like it) to make a daily gratitude list. My therapist even gets into the whole gratitude mix by requiring me to keep a “happy book (gratitude journal)” for a time. Many of us have heard the saying, “Pay it forward.” Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholic Anonymous in a letter written in 1959, wrote: “Gratitude should go forward, rather than backward.” I believe he was telling us to pay it forward. I believe he is reminding us that gratitude as an attitude is desirable, but to put it into action is its true value.
I will share my gratitude list here this month. I want to remember to put it into action. In a post last week, I shared an experience that showed me the value in sharing gratitude. I will find ways to share my gratitude in tangible ways this month. I may not share them here unless I feel there is something beneficial in sharing them.
Here is my list for this week:
Nov. 1 I am grateful for recovery. I probably would not be alive today if it were not for recovery. I am a grateful recovering alcoholic/addict. I am also in recovery as an Adult Child of Alcoholics, a Survivor of child abuse and sexual abuse, recovering fundamentalist, recovery from eating disorder, recovering Codependent, and more. Twelve Step programs brought me help, healing, and helped me find my way back to God.
Nov. 2 I am grateful for my amazing children and grandchildren. I have a son and a daughter, both grown with their own families. I loved them with all my heart but I made a lot of mistakes. We have worked hard to have the loving and supportive relationships we have now. I have three grandchildren who bring me incredible joy. I also helped raise two step daughters who are still in my life.
Nov. 3 I am grateful for my friends. Carol and I have been friends since she was 5 and I was 7. She and her family gave me a sense of sanity and normalcy growing up. She laughs when I say that. This past year has brought a new friendship into my life. Jan, Anna and her family have been an amazing blessing in my life. I have my 2-1-1 Hotline family of friends and they truly represent that attitude of gratitude.
Nov. 4 I am grateful for my physical health. I am 61 years old and have very few health problems. The ones I do have are manageable with medication and lifestyle.
Are you part of this challenge? How do you share your gratitude? Do you think it is important?
This blog post is part of NaBloPoMo. The theme for November’s NaBloPoMo is blogging for blogging’s sake.