Grat Friday - Glorious SunsetAre people wired to be grateful or do external factors play a role? Researchers at the University of Minnesota estimate that about 40 percent of a grateful disposition is inherited from our genes. That’s great news, because it means that the majority of our gratitude is under our own personal control!

One of the most popular and effective way to cultivate a grateful disposition is by keeping a gratitude journal. It’s an opportunity to focus on the abundant gifts we are fortunate to have, as opposed to what’s lacking in our lives. Here’s my gratitude journal for this week:

>> I am grateful to have been able to go back to my freshman dorm, where my twins are living this summer for a program at my alma mater, and have such incredible memories 29 years later. It was a bit surreal: the rooms and the furniture have not changed at all, and I got to remember and tell my boys about the wonderful friends I made, the crazy things we did and how awesome Boston is. It was a part of my life I have always treasured.

>> Famished on our way back from Boston, we were fortunate to stumble upon a fantastic restaurant for an early dinner: Oyster Club in Mystic. The warm welcome, the superb service by our adorable and friendly server and the outstanding coastal cuisine made us weary travelers (it was a six-ferry day!) extremely satisfied. Looking for a time to return, hopefully with our RI buddies.

>> It’s always awe-inspiring when you take the time to watch the sun set, but it’s even more majestic when you can savor it sinking into the horizon across a body of water. I got to do just that aboard a ferry from New London to Orient Point, crossing Long Island Sound. What a beautiful scene to witness as the edge of the sky glowed yellow, orange, red, purple, pink as the sun retired for the night.

>> This is our fifth summer at our Hamptons house, and I still pinch myself daily that we are able to live in such a glorious area so near the beach. My gratitude never wanes for the blessing of spending time surrounded by the ocean, the sand, honeysuckle privets and colorful hydrangeas and statuesque trees, sweeping farmland, just-picked produce and just-caught seafood. It’s a mix of pastoral and coastal, charming and luxurious, casual and glamorous. Truly a feast for all the senses.

>> I simply would have faded weeks ago were it not for air conditioning! The oppressive heat and unbearable humidity make it so hard to breathe, and I am very appreciative to have a pretty good air conditioning system to keep our home comfortable.

>> What a special date night at home I was fortunate to enjoy with my loving husband. We’ve adored having one or more of our kids around this summer, but it was perfect to have a few hours alone to savor a delicious bottle of rich red Zinfandel, admire our surroundings, reflect on our blessings and dream together about the future.

What are you grateful for this week?


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