The blogger Jane with her blog “This Week for Dinner” is grateful for her husband and her daughter and expresses it beautifully in this story of gratitude. Not only does she know how to add the right ingredients in food, but also adds the ingredient of gratitude to life, which we at Gratitude Nation admire!
Yesterday was a rough day, thanks to work and myriad other things going on. When dinnertime rolled around, we decided to just hit California Pizza Kitchen with the kids. When we first got there, Owen was being all grumpy-like and the girls were kind of hyper. I was feeling overwhelmed.
Then Cate said, “Let’s play I Spy!” Honestly, my brain couldn’t handle it. I kept thinking about my to-do list, I wasn’t feeling well, I just didn’t have the energy. But Nate jumped in and proceeded to play a guessing game with the girls all throughout dinner. I sat there, watching their excitement with the game, listening to their sweet comments, gazing at their innocent, beautiful faces. It was like a healing balm. I felt grateful…grateful for Nate, grateful for those cute kids.
Gratitude. That is what I’m focusing on this week.
Gratitude for a 5-year-old daughter who wanted a crown birthday cake. Gratitude that I had the chance to make it for her.
Gratitude for the work that provides us a place to live, even if it gets stressful sometimes.
Gratitude for each moment I get to spend with my loved ones.
I’ll survive the week. I may or may not get everything done that I’m supposed to, but that’s okay. I am grateful.
“While many can be grateful for what they have now, I look back and see how blessed I was through my childhood and adolescence. My grandfather, or nonno, as my Italian heritage would denote, was the man I idolised above all others. He loved and adored his family and taught me that no matter what you can achieve on a personal level, no amount of wealth of personal goals are more important than taking care of the family.
In 2003, nonno suffered a major stroke and lost his ability to speak and paralysed his right side. Doctors gave him little to no chance of walking. But the stubborn b**tard that he was, nonno didn’t like people telling him he can’t do things. He worked hard through months of rehabilitation until he could walk with a cane. A small step but it really emphasised the man’s incredible character. Even though he had lost his ability to speak, it never stopped nonno from straining his voice trying to pronounce our names and sing happy birthday to each of us. He never stopped pushing his limits to engage with his family.
In a selective schools test in 2005, the question was “Write about someone you admire.”. I wrote about you nonno. You always gave me strength and support in all my endeavours, soccer, school and family, and I looked up to you. Nonno, your guidance has been a huge part of making me the man I am today. You taught me that family comes first and you led by example. I cannot begin to express the love and gratitude that I have for you.”
So how does expressing gratitude and being a genuinely happier person actually go hand in hand? This amazing experiment tries to address this question. Trust the guy – he’s in a lab coat!
“I have had nightmares about death three nights in a row. Last night I dreamed that my mother died. I woke up with my face covered in tears. In France they say that when dreaming about someone’s death it means the opposite – that they are healthy. I told my mum about the dream and she responded: “Well, I am glad you cried”. The relationship to my mum has always been strong. She has been my driving force for most of the things that I do today. She forced me to sing, study and to be focused and committed to the things I do. I love her for forcing me. Despite several discussions, fights and disagreements, I try not to hate her as much as a love her. I hope the French people are right and that the dream indicates a healthy living and a healthy relationship that will last for many more years.”