Gratitude is something that I haven't given much thought. I am still reading The Diamond Cutter (I've been busy) and one section is about gratitude. I can't locate it in my notes but I do recall that it said that people who exercise gratitude are happier.
I will limit my list to five (one for each member of my family):
1. Family...without family, I would not exist. Daddy and I are buddies, who desperately need to go golfing again soon. Mom and I...hmm. There has been a distance as of late (besides geographically). Hopefully that will change soon. Maybe the reason for it is that she is letting me grow up and not rely so much on her...or perhaps it is just me being stubborn about something stupid. My oldest sibling, Jill...I feel that I have failed as a sister. We should be closer than what we are. This relationship is something that I will strive to do better at cultivating. My twin sister and I are like the Moon and the Sun, night and day. We are similar in so many ways, yet different in many more. I am often annoyed at this, but am drawn to her energy. Of all of my relatives, she is my strongest bond (duh).
2. Career...in these uncertain economical times, I am grateful that I have a job...and that, for the most part, I love it. I often say that I get paid to play at work. What better way to make a living? I can't imagine doing anything else for the rest of my life.
3. Friends...I am blessed with great friends back in Iowa, and I look forward to visiting them or vice versa. Here in Montana, it is much the same. With only one year down, I am very happy to say that I have a great group of friends that I feel I have a strong bond with already. Whether we are getting together to cook a meal, drink a glass of wine, play board games, or go hiking, I feel that I have made quality friends.
4. Nature...I am surrounded by it. They call Montana "Big Sky Country" for a reason. No matter where you are, there is a lot of sky to take in, and it is always different. After a year in Montana, I am still in awe. I hope that I never take for granted the beauty that is so readily available to all of us (no matter where we are).
5. Running...I resumed running on June 11. So far, no hip problems, and I hope that my luck will hold out. I have never looked forward to running as much as I do now. A year ago, it was therapeutic. It took my mind off of the things that I didn't want to think about. Now, it is more of a meditation...my mind remains free for 90% of the time, not overwhelmed by my useless chatter.
Even when it is cloudy, the sun is still shining. If you start each day with a smile, you will be more likely to end each day that way as well.