Grateful people are happier, less depressed, less stressed, and more satisfied with their lives. Grateful people also have higher levels of control of their environments, personal growth, purpose in life, and self acceptance. Grateful people have more positive ways of coping with the difficulties they experience in life.
The longest lasting effects are caused by the act of writing “gratitude journals” every day, coupled with reviewing what you are grateful for, at the beginning of each day.
I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO OBTAIN ONE LAST RENTAL HOUSE.
This is how we are hoping to allow Lise to retire 5 years earlier. We can live on Mac & Cheese for a while, but in the end we are hoping to have Lise join me in retirement five years ahead of time.
Lise remarked this one is like opening the mystery trunk you got in an estate sale and finding an 'old master' inside. Houses are selling in less than 24 hours now and there wasn't time to make an appt. to see inside the house before we placed our offer. After losing the last five offers we placed on this final rental home, we were lucky enough to win this one. When we got inside for the first time, we found that the home had been mostly recently remodeled. Lots of upgrades. All hardwood and tile floors, upgraded Corian counters in the kitchen and bathrooms, wall to wall cabinets in the garage, all new oak cabinets in the kitchen (they look like the were installed yesterday) and even a practically new hot tub in the back yard.
This will be a fun house to fix up (mostly yard work). I know a guy with lots of time on his hands that is ready to jump right on this project..
Although it doesn't always beat so regularly, it is large enough to hold a magnificent amount of Gratitude. Family, friends, renewed experiences....all after my doctor's help send my life into overtime. There is so much I am grateful for, I should write a blog...oh wait, I am.
"Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small
could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude."
- A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
I AM GRATEFUL FOR FINDING ANOTHER GRATEFUL WELTON.
After putting 'gratitude blog Welton' into the Google search engine...I found I was number two on the search list....lo and behold, the result ahead of mine is a gratitude blog from a Kathleen Welton. How cool is that? Here is her blog for today. I am a fan.
The end of summer always reminds me of the importance to
plan for something new. For the remainder of this year, I plan to focus as much
as I can on practicing gratitude each and every day.
I have become proficient at practicing gratitude on certain
days of the year and certain times during the week or month. In this
book, Living in Gratitude there are a
multitude of ways to be aware of how to be grateful on a daily
basis. I highly recommend this excellent book and the wonderful
quotes, stories, and practical advice that the author shares to expand the
worlds of work, relationships, health, and finances.
September 19 is National Gratitude Day. September 21 is
World Gratitude Day. November 22 is Thanksgiving. Why wait for one
of these days to express thanks? There is lots of information on the Web
to research in order to create your own gratitude celebration. The research shows
that gratitude is good for you.
So, I have decided not to wait for just one day to
celebrate. Instead, I have decided to celebrate each and every day for
the rest of this year. To help me with my plan, I will donate $128
between now and the end of the year to a happy cause. A total of 1$ each
day–in memory of the little horse that makes me smile (see my “just for the hay of it”post last
month.). Because it is important to remember each day that gratitude is the
I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE EXPERIENCE OF KAYAKING IN ALASKA.
Peaceful, serene, cold, beautiful, awesome. Lise and I joined about a dozen others from our cruise ship to spend a few hours kayaking around a secluded bay just out of Ketchikan, Alaska. See About Me photo to the left.
Although we saw whales on the trip we are glad we weren't with this guy. Whale came up under him with mouth open in a school of small fish. (he made it through) Paddle faster!.
I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY LIVE MUSIC WITH MY WIFE.
Live music showcase today at the Natomas Racquet Club. Me on bass and Lise on violin and my teacher on guitar. Played 'House of the Rising Sun', 'Unchained Melody', and 'The Thrill is Gone'....was a gas, well received and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. We were good.
Sounds odd, eh. In my endeavor (sidebar: final flight of the the Space Shuttle Endeavor on top of a jumbo 747 on its way into history happening over Sacramento, as I write this) to open up my mind to all that I have to be grateful for. I continually find examples of the simplest things we all take for granted.
I am grateful for the opportunity, time and financial means to join a gym and can go as often as I like. My trainer is working on a program to strengthen my legs and especially a "bad" right knee I have operated on for torn cartilage when I was 28.
As a result of my recent exercises, my leg muscles are so sore, one would be ordinarily inclined to complain.
I AM GRATEFUL FOR NOT BEING TOO OLD TO BE A ROCK STAR.
Lise and her violin will join me on bass for three songs at my music studio showcase event this Saturday. Am looking forward to it. This is what I imagined as a goal when I first started playing. Hopefully YouTube videos will follow next week.
House of the Rising Sun
The Thrill is Gone
Twenty years ago I was a single Dad, unemployed and going through bankruptcy with a business venture that did not go as planned.
At 45, I figured I had used up all my turns and I was doomed to unhappiness for the remained of my days.
The easy path was to give up, whine, drink and feel sorry for myself. Admittedly there was some of that in the beginning.
Far from being over, my life has turned out to be better than it ever was before. My relationship with my three small boys (now tall grown men) is stronger for the experience, I have been happily married for 17 years and now have a 14 year old daughter. I found good work, did well, bought homes, saved money for retirement and now have every life gift a man could ask for....all starting at 45. The first 44 years was full of false starts and life lessons I had to learn the hard way, sometimes more than once.
I have a poster on my wall with a picture of a crane swallowing a frog. The problem for the crane is that the half-swallowed, unwilling frog has his hands around the crane's neck squeezing with all his might. The tag line reads: "NEVER EVER GIVE UP!"
Today's video shows a small boy reunited with his favorite stuffed toy lost three years's previously on a camping trip many states away. The Mom didn't give up.
Anyone with a 14 year old teen in the house understands the difficulty in "quality communication" with your child. First, they don't regard themselves as a 'child' and resent the implication that they are no less than a qualified adult ...unless that adult is over thirty and then any of 'those' have passed, unfortunately, from all-knowing adult hood to unknowing 'dolt hood' and any teen knows meaningful communication is, at a minimum, frustrating, as 'old' people 'don't get it' and never will (until the teen reaches thirty and have their own children and then their parents get to be 'normal' again). An odd twilight zone experience parents go through from their offspring's age 12-25 years. My three grown sons and I can actually have good conversations (helped along by them not asking for money and me not offering too much advice...I would say no advice offered, but I occasionally can't help myself...my Mom did the same thing to me when I was 50 and a corporate president and still incapable of safely lighting fireworks on the Fourth of July).
Barely concealed teenage angst boils over with the mere hint of any suggestion regarding household responsibilities, chores, homework, housework, pet responsibility or God Forbid, recommended appropriate attire before heading to a dance or school.
"Got any homework tonight?"-- hmmm - those are in-your-face fighting words. Same category as "That huge pimple on the end of your nose is really gross." There is no point in asking to help on homework, as they would rather have the cat advise them (and you probably wouldn't understand the assignment anyway...whew).
All that said. My daughter understands that I love her and at the end of the day, when it is time to be tucked in, our relationship is good again for the two minutes she takes to fall asleep and for the next eight hours while she sleeps...only to be derailed at 6:30 am when it is time to start the day. "OMG. I can't believe you are being so mean to me!!!".....because I turned on the light and said "Time to get up honey, today is a school day...what do you want for breakfast?" God forbid that it also be picture day, a bad hair day, a test day, homework due day, a rainy day, a hot day, a Monday, running late day, missing earring day, bad Tweets/Facebook day...and so on. Then parents are the last straw in an otherwise already immensely stressful day. And, we are doing it on purpose.
I am being totally unreasonable, when my cell phone rings, I answer it and it is my daughter in the next room, requesting that I stop what I am doing, come to where she is and hand her a book that is two feet away because she is tired and can't reach that far and then bring her a bowl of ice cream and a soda. My gales of laughter, as I walk away back to what I was doing, does not bode well for my designated servant/chauffeur role.
But, that said, those last two minutes of each day are to be cherished and I am sure will grow like a sound investment over time. I am grateful for the two minutes.
I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE ABILITY TO ADAPT TO CHALLENGING SITUATIONS.
The downside to having unexpected bumps in your road of life is the feeling of not being in control. Helplessness is a difficult situation to master and takes you to the dark side of your personal universe. Ask any bartender. They hear it every day.
Adapting to the new situation
No need to repeat them all, but, in the past few years, I have had my share of agenda items show up on my path to nirvana that I did not place there intentionally.
Like a chameleon, to survive, one must adapt to each new situation. To go beyond mere survival into happiness in the new situation is forged in the ability to identify the parts in the new life to be grateful for. They are almost always there.
My difficulties are hugely minor in comparison to true tragedy that exists in the world today. There is much to be grateful for in my current life I would not have fully appreciated on any other path.
I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING MARRIED FOR 17 YEARS TODAY TO MY BEST FRIEND.
There is an abundance of information about traditional gifts for each anniversary. Some are gold, silver, diamonds, crystal, etc. Some are extremely romantic. Some are practical. We already renewed our vows at 15 years with all our family and friends...big party - very cool. We have already successfully passed all the paper, cardboard, tinfoil, and etched glass marriage markers (they are not all cool jewelry mileposts - ha).
This is what is said about number 17.
The contemporary gift for 17th wedding anniversaries is
thought to be furniture. (oh, yeah - I can feel the tingle of romance now).
If you are purchasing a gift for a couple you know,
make a mental note when visiting their home of any items of furniture they may
be lacking or ask them directly what they might like for their anniversary in
terms of furniture pieces. (Please don't - we are downsizing and giving away all our extra stuff, as we speak)
Keep their style preferences in mind. Avoid
purchasing traditional pieces of furniture if they like contemporary design.
Consider night tables (Come on! Can you see yourself shopping for nightstands for your friend's anniversary. Please!) for beside the bed, a desk to accommodate a laptop, or a
cozy chair or sofa for the family room.
For anyone that is out there that may be compelled to send us a chair...........please don't.
Somehow, furniture doesn't seem to fit the romantic mold. "Hi Honey. Happy Anniversary! Look Sweetheart, I got you a desk.
I would think that after 17 years you already have a sofa and a dining room table and a couple of nightstands.
I'm thinking something a bit more romantic. Perhaps a chair dipped in chocolate.
There were an infinite number of years where I was obsessed with the work world, often putting in 10-15 hour days, sometimes six or seven days a week.
I think one of the most feared components of retiring is what will you do when there is nothing to do. I have overcome that part, as there is only about a couple of hours in each day that is not filled with opportunities for one great project or another...work-out at the gym, ferry my teen daughter to and fro, playing bass...all cool stuff and if I CHOOSE, I can always add another small project in the mix.
The second challenge is learning how to relax and do NOTHING AT ALL (and not feel guilty). A type A, driven business guy for many, many years...I am embracing the joy of doing nothing except cater to my own whims (should I rent a movie and open a cold beer on a Wednesday at 1 pm...should I take myself to lunch and go to the movies where the sound is really loud and the screen extra large on a Monday at 11 am enjoying the matinee AND the senior discount, should I go to the museum on a Tuesday at 10 am when no one else is there, should I turn on all the fountains in the backyard-pour a glass of wine and sit in the shade of the blooming crepe myrtle and watch the hummingbirds, should I plug in-crank up the amp and play rock-n-roll as loud as the windows can stand) oh my...how do I decide?
However, one must be careful with this 'act of doing nothing' as, with all things addictive, moderation is advised. It could become a habit. My advantage in this endeavor is that I am not plagued with the guilt of unaccomplished dreams and the compulsion to get up and 'go somewhere and do something with my life.' I did.
My trainer at the gym advises that after a strenuous cycle of exercises, always rest, as that is the period when the muscles grow stronger, not while you are pushing it. I did the fifty years of strenuous exercises, now I am resting and I feel myself growing stronger every day.
Retired, FINALLY in charge of my own life vs. selling my time to someone for a dollar, physically fit (3 hour gym visit daily), play rock guitar daily, family close and everyone is generally healthy and wealthy in the ways that count...hard to see how it can get better.
"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole
aim and end of human existence."
"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn
Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."
- Denis Waitley
I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE GIFT OF SIGHT AND MODERN MEDICINE.
Just completed my annual visit with my optometrist and one of the things besides upgrading my nearsighted trifocals (20/1250 lenses) was to monitor the progression my battle with Glaucoma. Good news. Held in check by, yet again, more miracle drugs and a good health plan...I should get even more mileage out of my slowing, failing parts...the trick is to live a full life and expire the day before your parts do.
Sight is a good one, with lots of family going through their evolution around me, building the next generation to follow. I love being here to see it.
My wife sent these to me the other day...absolutely wondrous...nature beats man in created beauty every time. A raindrop bests the brush.
I must be getting relaxed a bit with the Cancer recovery issue. During the chemo process in 2008, I lost all my hair on my face and head. I also lost 35 lbs, so my gaunt, prison-camp look affected me mentally, as well as visually. So, when my hair did start to grow back, I decided not to get my hair cut or shave, being thankful that the hair was actually growing. Once I started playing bass guitar, the 70's ponytail rock-star image overtook me and I was content.
Now at my four-year anniversary of the end of Cancer treatment, the past few years seems like a blur. The desire to keep the hair (thinning by the hour) has been diminishing (with each graying strand landing in the sink). I enthusiastically did embrace the Buffalo Bill Cody look for a few years and now will switch to the Bruce Willis/Die Hard look. 'Yippie...............'.