Readers seem to want to know more about the person inside the author. So I asked my fellow authors about Gratitude. Do you keep a jar? Do you keep a journal? Could you share just one day’s entry with us?
I make a gratitude post on Facebook every evening. Here’s one from last week.
Gratitude – for the ocean being a part of my life every day, for a new home to keep us warm, dry and healthy, for family, and for Bear purring in my lap as I write this post.
I’m grateful for the gift of living close enough to my grandson to pick him up from school and learn about his day as we head to hockey practice. I’m grateful that technology has given him the opportunity to thrive with type 1 Diabetes, and I’m grateful that we live close enough to be an integral part of his life.
Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair
Gratitude for the opportunity to be closer to family and have a place to spread my wings in beautiful Colorado.
Gratitude for moving from an overabundant work schedule to time for reading, crafts and, most importantly, writing.
Gratitude for getting back to the parts of me I haven’t experienced for a long time.
Gratitude. . . for the taste of snowflakes falling softly on my tongue in the pre-dawn light, for the sound of wintering ducks swimming in the river and the heron who stands as a sentinel in my little patch of wilderness (written on a cold January morning)
I don’t do a gratitude journal but instead one good friend (my best friend from high school) and I send each other texts each day saying what we are grateful for. This started as we both deal with depression and some life changes. She’s had some major medical problems stemming from a broken neck years ago and while I don’t have the medical issues, I have life changes. Over the last fifteen years, I lost my grandparents, and mom from various illnesses, changed careers more than once and recovered from a divorce. We’ve found that by focusing on the positive in our lives we see that there are more positives.
M: I am grateful for rain rather than snow.
K: I am grateful for being able to give.
M: I am grateful for the family recipes that take me back to spending time with my family. Those wonderful years.
K: I am grateful for being able to help my parents, even though it’s not enough for what they have given me.
M: I am grateful for finding new classrooms that I love to teach in.
K: I am grateful for my friends again.
M: I am grateful for not still being married to G*. I think I would have been so much more miserable. Each time I have to interact with him, it grates on my nerves.
K: Of all things, I am most grateful for this time with my mother.
As you can see, we support each other and sometimes a text can lead to a conversation or phone call. I love being on this journey with her because she’s always known the drive to write and been one of the first people, I read my stories to.
For over ten years, I have kept a nightly journal where I express gratitude for joyful moments and the many blessings in my life. I aim for five entries and often end up with more.
Here’s what I was grateful for on Wednesday, January 6, 2016:
1. Treating myself to a seven-cheese ravioli entrée while dining out with a good friend.
2. Reaching the 30K word mark in my WIP.
3. Having a mechanic at Toyota reassure me that the sudden appearance of the engine light on my 13-year Corolla was just a fluke.
4. Receiving several emails congratulating me on making the short list in the Chatelaine Awards for Romantic Fiction Contest.
5. An excellent response to today’s post on my blog.
6. Picking up a copy of Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter.
I’m grateful for my little hooligans, Taz (l) and Bo (r) –my life is so much more full because of their cuddles, kisses, and mischievous ways.
I’m grateful for family and friends, those who live nearby (close enough to visit) and those who live farther away (far enough to also be grateful for today’s technology that helps us stay connected); for no one ever telling me (in regards to careers or hobbies) “you can’t do that”; for every day getting the chance to embrace my New Year’s resolution to be more positive; for finally finding the perfect gratitude/happiness jar (in an hourglass shape) for recording my journey.
Gratitude Journal entries from the beginning of 2016…
Gratitude – Thankful for a new year.
Gratitude – Grateful I won’t have to see that movie again.
Gratitude – Happy to see my church friends today.
Gratitude – Enjoying being back in the swing of writing by starting book 3.
Gratitude – Strength in my husband.
Gratitude – Happy to be blogging about a Christmas project I made.
Every morning, while I make breakfast for my kids, I am grateful.
Grateful because I prayed for 13 years to have children and when I got pregnant, I found out I was having twins. I’m grateful for the past 16 years of laughter and tears and hugs. I’m grateful for my beautiful family. No matter what else I accomplish in my life, nothing will bring the joy they brought with them when they came into my life.
Gratitude for the wisdom and confidence I’ve gained over the years. I’m finally brave enough to live my dream and in doing so, I’ve met the most wonderful friends and have never felt more at peace with who I am. Part of me wishes that I’d had the guts to set forth in this direction a long, long time ago, but I hadn’t been ready. I have more patience now for the long road ahead of me and I’m able to withstand the critics and the naysayers. And my life experiences both the good and the bad fill my head with the rainbow of emotion felt by my characters.
I’m grateful for the rain that makes my grass so green, even in January.
I’m grateful for the sliver of the moon that appears in the round window at the bottom of my stairs.
I’m grateful for the sunset that streaks bright swaths of salmon and violet behind the old maple in my neighbors’ yard.
I’m grateful for deadlines that force me to work and bring back creative juices.
I’m grateful for those who praise my work and for awards that give me the confidence to keep writing.
I’m grateful for criticism from critique partners and judges — they make me strive to be a better writer.
I’m grateful for a new year and a new start where I can put the past behind me and look forward to a bright new future.
I’m grateful for all my mistakes because they’ve brought me to where I am now, made me who I am today, and I like the path I’m on because of them.
Most of all I’m grateful for my husband who makes every day a pleasure and is my partner in this life’s journey. Babe I don’t know what I do without you.
Marsha R. West
Gratitude for Family members (including Charley, The Dog) who love me, for work that fulfills,
for writer friends who support me,
for beautiful lake house views, soothing and inspiring my soul.
Gratitude for each time I step in the classroom and the opportunity I have to make a small impact on my students’ lives;
for chocolate, music, wine, and laughter that smooth out even the most challenging days; for my wonderful writing friends who inspire me every day and push me to be a better writer; and lastly for my family who laugh at my bad jokes, don’t think I’m crazy when I talk to them about the characters in my head, and most importantly, provide their continuous love and support during each new adventure.
I am grateful for having patience as I search for a new writing-friendly day job.
I am grateful – so very grateful – for RWA, KOD, and SOS for helping me learn enough about writing to become a published author.
I am grateful that my father is beginning his physical therapy at home as he starts to heal from his recent stroke.
I am grateful for the unconditional love I receive every day from my family, friends, and pets.
I am grateful for the beauty of the universe and that it is visible to me, even though I spend 60-80 hours at my day job.
Life is good.
What about you?
We’d love it if you’d share some of your gratitude with us!