Do you take part in one of those social media memes where you declare November to be gratitude month, and each day for 30 days you post about something in your life you’re grateful for? Do you find that, say, by the 21st or 22nd of the month, you’re kinda stretching to figure out something original to share? Well, you may be suffering the effects of gratitude overdose.
I love hearing about what others are grateful for. It’s a refreshing change from the seemingly endless ranting, complaining and grousing out there (something I’m more than guilty of myself!) But according to Psychology Today, a study of gratitude journaling showed that people who tracked their gratitude once a week were happier after six weeks, whereas those who tracked their gratitude three times per week were not. Such concentrated gratitude, like trying to do it daily for a month, may actually make you feel less grateful and happy than if you hadn’t tracked your gratitude at all. So if you’re looking to sustain happiness by practicing gratitude, try spreading out your thankfulness throughout the year on a weekly basis.
And on that note, here’s what I’m grateful for this week:
>> After a long and arduous journey, I’m grateful that my oldest kid’s journey through the college decision process left him feeling pleased and proud. While he lacked confidence throughout the process because he’s not a certified genius, a prodigy, a superstar athlete or a minority, in the end he was enthusiastically appreciated by the colleges where he was accepted for who he genuinely is.
>> I loved celebrating good news with my family, and we were all so grateful to have been very graciously accommodated at the last minute for what ended up being a special, joyous dinner. While the meal was stellar, as usual, the warm hospitality we were shown was particularly memorable.
>> It’s always renewing to see hopeful signs of spring: buds on trees, crocuses and daffodils peeking through the ground, landscapers doing spring cleanup, bright skies, (slightly) warmer weather, and that first pitch on Opening Day.
>> Glory be: at long last, we got a back-up power generator. It’s not yet connected—that will happen over the next few weeks—but it was delivered and placed yesterday. Anyone who knows me or has listened to my kvetching knows that we’ve had horrible luck with power outages, including nine days in the dark after Superstorm Sandy last fall. I’m fairly sure that getting a generator insures that there will never again be another outage on my street, but I’m happy to know that we’re finally covered in that unlikely event!
>> My siblings rock. We are an awesome threesome! My brother seriously makes me pee my pants, and my sister is an amazing listener who always has the most constructive advice and suggestions. We do way more than our share of laughing together every day. I am blessed.
What are you grateful for this week?