The Wisdom of Gratitude

Today marks the end of the first week of the 31-Day Gratitude Journaling Challenge. Some days I have posted my list here, on others I have written them in my journal, but every day I have documented five things I have grateful for on that day.

Today, having come to the end of the first week, I realized something about myself. It’s difficult for me to focus on gratitude when I am swept up in the busyness at my place of work. I allow myself to get caught up in “doing” much to easily; I am willing to put aside the experience of “being” in order to complete a task or achieve a milestone.

On Saturday and Sunday I found myself in a place of peace and contentment and it was easy to be grateful for many things – large and small. My lists came easy.

Today as I walked out of my office at the end of the day I realized that I had not thought about gratitude in a conscious way even once. I was busy, I had things to do, meetings to attend, and a job to do. And as I walked through the rain on the way to my car and allowed my focus to shift to my life outside of work, I realized that I had chosen to spend my day in a state of personal unconsciousness.

It is true that I have responsibilities and accountability to do the best job I can at the career I have chosen, but not at the expense of losing myself in the process. This striving that I do, this trying to do more, trying to do better, has consequences that cannot be ignored. Am I willing to lose myself and to negatively affect my health by allowing stress to have a foothold in my life. It’s really my choice, isn’t it?

So, back to gratitude.

Today I am grateful for the wisdom that being grateful has brought me.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. What’s that quote? Something like Don’t be so busy earning a living that you forget to live. That’s what your talk about work and the tasks and missing the moment we’re in made me think of.

    What a great project, though! Worth keeping up with all year.

    I just spotted your section with guest posts. It excites me that my name is there! 🙂

    1. Yes Janna – that’s it exactly!

      P.S. I am excited that your name is there too! And grateful that you contributed a guest post. {{hugs}}

  2. I totally understand what you are saying; we all have that tendency to lose ourselves in the day to day, our work and responsibilites. I received a comment on one of my gratitude posts that said how “sad” it is if we can’t find something in our day to be appreciative; and yet, as life takes us through each day, I find myself the same as you, already, in this first week!
    I am grateful I am not ALONE!! Hee Hee!
    It just makes me realize how much we really do need to pay attention to ourselves, our bodies and our surroundings, how we so importantly need to OPEN our minds and hearts…

  3. Linda, congratulations on a successful first week of gratitude journaling! Yes, we do get caught up in the moment-by-moment doing of things, but I like to interpret it as being so fully engaged in what we’re doing that we don’t have room for other things. Like a child playing in the mud … we’re so busy making our wonderful, pretend mud pies that we don’t notice it’s started to rain again, or that the sun came out.

    One of the things I love about the practice of gratitude is that is does force me to raise my eyes to the horizon and breathe, be conscious of the moment, before I dive back in to my mud pie baking endeavor.

    Life is play is work is doing is being is life. 🙂

    1. I like that analogy of a child playing in the mud, Amber. I am finding that practicing gratitude does have the effect of causing me to pause, even if it is only at the end of a busy day, and consider my blessings.

      Thank you for starting this challenge!

  4. What a wonderful insight for you to have. It’s so easy to forget that the power of gratitude is available to us no matter where we are, or what we’re doing.

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