50 Thoughts: Going for Gratitude

It’s a day I should be celebrating — I’m halfway to my memoir-istic goal of 50 blog posts in 50 days before my 50th birthday.

But September 11th is never going to be much of a celebratory day for anything, is it?

I suspect a lot of people struggle with emotions on this day, especially since for the vast majority of us, 2001 is still relatively fresh in our minds. (Except of course, for the new copywriter on our staff that told us he was in kindergarten that day. Thanks — now I am depressed, and old.)

But even if today weren’t today — even if it was just a regular Tuesday … some days are harder than others. These days, half an hour with CNN is enough to make the average person want to crawl under the covers. But one thing I have noticed about getting older is that especially on these kinds of days, I am unconsciously leaning toward gratitude.

I don’t know that it is a cop out or a coping mechanism, maybe it’s a little bit of both. I feel like everyone has their personal water line, where your soul literally just can’t take any more heartache, any more grief, and your brain just says, “No.” When I feel like there’s just a little room left to breathe, I start looking for things, people, signs … anything for which I can actively switch to gratitude.

Today, it was laughing out loud with co-workers sporadically throughout the day. I work with such good people. It was seeing that my daughter’s Homecoming dress arrived in the mail after a protracted search, that it was super cute and she looks stunning in it. It was knowing I have about 50 pages of a really, really good book waiting for me this evening when I finish this, and Bob Woodward’s book waiting in the wings.

A few years back, I read a book called The Gratitude Diaries and had the pleasure of interviewing the author, Janice Kaplan. I would still recommend it to anyone looking for tips on how to incorporate gratitude into their daily lives. Gratitude is never accidental — it is intentional. But being in its moment is a welcome respite from the anxious world in which we all reside. Give it a try.

Day 1: 50 Days, 50 Thoughts, 50 Books. Book recommendation: The Bitch is Back

Day 2: There Aren’t Any Do-Overs, Are There? Book Recommendation: A Place for Us

Day 3: Is Pop Culture Circling the Drain? Book recommendation: Live from New York

Day 4: Perimenopause in the Age of Trump Book Recommendation: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Day 5: Take A Knee at the Altar of Common Sense Book Recommendation: How Not to Be a Dick

Day 6: Perspective is the Gift That Keeps on Giving Book Recommendation: A Fine Balance

Day 7: The Accidental Editor Book Recommendation: Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977 – 2002)

Day 8: The First Last of the Firsts Book Recommendation: The Little Book of Hygge

Day 9: All Kinds of Tired Book Recommendation: Believer

Day 10: Overthinking is Anxiety’s Bitchy Best Friend Book Recommendation: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Day 11: Where Would You go with a Wayback Machine? Book Recommendation: A Little Life

Day 12: Fall in my Favorite Chicago

Day 13: On Having It All Book Recommendation: Lean In

Day 14: Where Were You When … Book Recommendation: The Nix

Day 15: 5 Things to Purge Before you Turn 50 Book Recommendation: The Art of Tidying Up

Day 16: A Labor Day Salute to Bad Bosses Everywhere Book Recommendation: Steve Jobs

Day 17: Do You Validate?  Book Recommendation: Less 

Day 18: Identity Crisis Code Purple Book Recommendation: Amp’d

Day 19: Character Really Does Count Book Recommendation: Believer

Day 20: Death Before Public Speaking Book Recommendation: The Gifts of Imperfection

Day 21: 15 Things You Should Do Before You Turn 50 Book Recommendation: Drop Dead Healthy

Day 22: Calling BS on “Sticks and Stones” Book Recommendation: Love Warrior

Day 23: My Feet Are My Favorite Part of Me Book Recommendation: Born to Run

Day 24: Self-Help Books Aren’t Half Bad  Book Recommendation: The Book of Joy

Today’s recommendation: The Gratitude Diaries.

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