Yesvember: Gratitude Expressed in 100 Words or Less

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This is it!

The MOMENT you’ve been waiting for! (Well I have!)

I would like to thank these six seven brave souls for their kindnesses toward themselves; whether or not they realize it, expressing gratitude is one of the nicest things we can do for ourselves.

these people contributed their 100 words or less to show us what gratitude means to them. kismet is a beautiful phenomenon; i have a feeling some good new friends will be made amongst the contributors of this post today.

My original post solicited the following: 

Here it is:

  • 100 words or less about what gratitude means to you. Not what you’re grateful for (like an iPod or the last seat on the bus), but what it means. Writing this is meant to be introspective and candid: (show, don’t tell). It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be lyrical, it just has to be original and what you want it to be. A poem, a string of nouns or verbs… up to you. Oh, and it has to be not disgusting or obscene. Any weirdness in that regard will not be tolerated. If you wish to remain anonymous, I will treat you as such.
  • 10 words which describe you (remember, you don’t have to give your name).
  • An image of you or what best features your summary.
  • Your website or blog or way for others to reach you if you are interested in providing it.

In NoYesvember, Gratitude can seem cliché, everyone is doing it, I think that’s a good thing. It’s something we can do every day.

Without further ado, we start off with words from Sadder But Wiser Girl:

Being thankful is appreciating things.  It’s an unspoken understanding and gratitude for not just tangible objects and people, but also for that which we cannot see and cannot explain.

Ten words that describe me:  Unique, scatterbrained, mother, wife, humorous, misunderstood, rambling, ADD, geek, hopeful

The Sadder But Wiser Girl
http//:sadderbutwiser.wordpress.com/

Next, I am happy to share thoughts from a high school buddy of mine, Susanne:

Gratitude is an attitude of humility and thankfulness.

  • appreciating what you have (even if you want to build on it)
  • finding positive outcomes from negative experiences
  • a feeling you get when you don’t take things for granted, when you don’t feel entitled to anything
  • a mindset of appreciation for life’s gifts even when they are concealed and difficult to discern
  • slowing down
  • small moments start to matter more like the warm glow of hugging your children
  • feeling satisfied that you reached a goal or that you had an opportunity to help someone

10 Words That Describe Me:

  1. extroverted
  2. opinionated
  3. loveable
  4. reliable
  5. direct
  6. inquisitive
  7. responsible
  8. eclectic
  9. musical
  10. gifted

You can find Susanne at Susanne’s World and www.facebook.com/susannesworld

Next, I am happy to share an amazing tribute from my friend Anh, which reminds me how this whole Thanksgiving gig got started:

I am grateful for the lady in the photo. She fled her country with her two little girls (I am the tall one). We became one in hundreds of thousands of “boat people” who fled/escaped Vietnam in those dangerous little rickety overcrowded wooden boats on our way to the promised lands. The promised land for us was the USA.

Our next grateful friend from Clearly Kristal had this to say,

Each Breath

I held my baby niece close.

Her breath warm on my cheek.

She teetered, tottered.

But it grew dark one day.

Fighting for her life in hospital sheets.

Needles poking.

Her life changed forever as a Diabetic at eight.

Now, she’s a beautiful 17 carrying an iPhone, going to dances and football games.

Grateful for each breath, she wrote a post on Facebook…


American Diabetes Month: Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.

Our friend Kelly at DeBie Hive had this to say about what makes her feel gratitude:

Gratitude is so often expressed in menial terms, for insignificant things.  Gratitude is a concept that reaches far beyond the minutiae of our lives.  It is deeper.  It demands awareness, not just for what we have, but for what we don’t.  Without an appreciation for what we have lost, what has been taken from us, what has been harmed and threatened, it is impossible to truly grasp how blessed we are for what we have.

Only with that awareness can our eyes truly be opened to the wonder that surrounds us.

Embrace the void to fill the space.

————————————————————————————-

I write to stay sane.

————————————————————————————–

You can follow Kelly at http://debiehive.blogspot.com

————————————————————————————–

After looking at Kelly’s clouds and infinite wonder, I am happy to share what Sandra Gea had to say

 G.R.A.T(T).I.T.U.D.E

Every Day. Often. Especially in Adversity.

Stop.

Smile. Sing. Dance. Whisper.

Simply.

Thank. YOU.

I.

Am.

Alive.

Sandra Gea ::  Who am I ?  Wanderer. Wonderer. Heartist. Citizen of the World. Follow her blog at www.bulamamani.com

Next up to share is our friend, Lillian, from It’s A Dome Life:

Gratitude is making a choice to focus on the positive. It’s a choice to notice and be thankful for what we have. It is also a measurement. We use gratitude to determine our own level of happiness and to measure our personal level of contentment. Gratitude is also how we measure our success as we struggle against the human desire to focus on what is wrong with the world, with us, and with other people. Gratitude is how we access our spiritual being and find presence and calm in a storm. It’s a fight for love.

10 words: I am a mother, writer, painter, blogger, dancer, friend, daughter.

You can also find Lillian at her virtual art studio, Dome Life Studios.
I guess that leaves me. I was trying to come up with what I’m grateful for as this challenge is something I must also abide: 100 words or less. I couldn’t put just one finger on it so I decided that,

I am most grateful for the moments of my life that give me pause, make me take notice and justifiably humble me: sun shafts through a cloud, silence from a snowfall, children’s laughter, and beating hearts. The physical signs that all systems are still go and that I’m gonna be alright after all: laugh lines and gray roots, sweat drops from my elbows, my singing voice and writing hands, friends who stick it out through thick and thin, people I’ve never met and squirrel pants. Above all: laughter. Still, this is not enough, but it’s a start.  It will do.

10 words: feisty, loving, engaging, attentive, loyal, badger, clever, honest, true, alive

Thank you to all the fantastic writers who shared what gratitude means to them. I know other people wanted to get in on this opportunity too and couldn’t make it all roll out for their schedules. I understand that. I will badger them next year. Maybe we’ll have 12 contributors then!

Thank you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

ps – want gratitude delivered to your inbox daily? Check out Gratefulness.org’s Word for the Day

pps- This just in from my friend Tammy Soong over at World’s Worst Moms who’s a little late to the party; she has endured had a very difficult period and I’m with her when she says she’s just glad to be here:

It’s been a rough couple of months. Truth be told, it’s been a rough couple of decades. And there are times when I feel like I’m hanging on to the good stuff by the tips of my fingernails.

Stuff like that moment right before I’m fully awake, and I’m in that fleeting window when I’m feeling “okay.” Or that little something inside that gets me up so I can interact with my kids even when I’m beat. Or that drive that’s still there to write.

And then I’m just grateful to still be able to feel grateful.

Amen to that. Happy Thanksgiving one and all.

xoxoxo

21 responses »

  1. Pausing from my long to do list before leaving town. what a great idea and the contributors really touched me! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is about family, being together and without the pressure of what to buy everyone. I am grateful you are my friend and neighbor Molly.

  2. Molly: You really helped inspire me to write this piece – and I am so grateful. I don’t consider myself a poetic writer of sorts – so it was a risk for me. I think we should take risks – that’s how we will continue grow.

    But really, the piece wasn’t about me – it was about my niece and her bravery to fight this horrific disease. Thank you for giving her another platform to raise awareness of diabetes.

    While reading each contribution, it felt like I was unwrapping a present every time. Such a beautiful, unexpected gift. I am also honored to be included with these other wonderful writers. Thank you and have a lovely Thanksgiving full of gratitude.

    • Kristal, my niece was also eight when she was diagnosed. I remember the day I found out, vividly, as if in a dream. I didn’t understand, I didn’t quite grasp the concept of the disease. Foolishly, I tried to communicate my understanding, fumbling, making mistakes telling stories about people who weren’t on top of their situations by means of ham-handed cautionary tales. It was still too early, too raw, too real. She is almost 13, thriving and beautiful. I remember the summer before the sadness: she had grown gaunt and moody, tired and wan, had lost her cherubic and still necessary baby fat at the wrong time of life: in the years before the cusp of puberty; bug bites from her sweet breath and CO2 was a possible sign? Always thirsty, never sated. I did not understand. When it all supposedly “made sense” four months later I still refused to put the jagged pieces together; I would not go willing into that crevasse. I love her so. She is my first genetic almost daughter. The closest I will ever get to having one of my own. She is beautiful and taller than me (!) and sings – oh! how she sings! like a nightingale. I will love her forever. She is the middle of brothers – just like me. We are made of similar stuff: tough, moody anyway and loyal.

      I am so grateful for your participation. As hard as those days were for us, you brought me back there and you showed me your niece is thriving and that so will mine. T1D stinks. It must be eradicated.

      Have a wonderful loving and peaceful Thanksgiving, Kristal. -Molly

      • Molly: Thank you for sharing your intimate and eloquent thoughts. I can relate to how you felt – both in the sense of denial (which I still find myself covering my eyes and ears); and that my niece is like my first daughter. I agree, we’ve got to sucker punch T1D. I plan on becoming more involved in the fight – as I think coming to grips for me was a first step. I will keep you posted.

        Totally off subject – you are a “mad” writer (translated = really, really, really good). So glad we crossed paths.

      • i am glad we crosses paths, too, Kristal! and thank you so much for your “off subject” comment — that was like the bubbles in my perrier. :) I appreciate it very much. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m with my niece and her family now. We went to the Empire State Building today; the weather was gorgeous. Will write about the whole weekend – still have 2 more days to go! -M

  3. Thanks for holding the bus for me. I’m sorry again that I was so late.

    And thank you so much for getting me to do this. I over think almost everything, all the time, but it’s good to have someone else force you to ask yourself a question. Otherwise, you may always pick the easy ones.

    BTW, I love that you used “badger” as one of your words. That’s totally one of my words.;)

    • I am so glad you made it! We were all turning around and looking for you and after I’d pulled the lever and shut the doors, released the air brakes and pulled away, someone shouted, “Tammy! Hold Up! She’s waving a cat and she has a bag of nyquil products in her hand! She’s wearing a hat that says, ‘WAIT FOR ME!’ on it, like that guy on ’30 Rock’ always does… Stop!” and I did. And here you are. :) Sorry about closing the door on cat though.

      I over think too. I think it’s a condition that comes with having not enough bandwidth and too much data. One day, when we are old and feeble, we won’t think about anything, except Adam Levine. Like I did yesterday. And just now. *sigh*

      I am a badger. A nice one, but an assholic one too.

  4. Pingback: G.R.A.T(T).I.T.U.D.E | BuLaMamaNi

  5. This is awesome, Molly. Glad I got looped back here through the Clearly Kristal’s entry about hands that you inspired. Beautiful and unique contributions by everyone!

    • Felicity! How great of you to swing by here! Thank you :) Yes, this turned out well; I’m really glad it wasn’t super crowded too – I think 10 is a good number; if we had too many it might’ve been too long. I am looking forward to doing another collaborative one, maybe in the spring; these group efforts are really wonderful. -Molly

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