Grat Friday - Shower Fresh EditionHaving gratitude is awesome when things are going well in your life, but did you know it’s even more powerful when life isn’t exactly hunky-dory? This interesting piece by gratitude expert Dr. Robert Emmons explains how recognizing and expressing gratitude can help give perspective during bad times. I’ve used this strategy with great success in my own household when someone has fallen pray to chronic complaining. Having them list a few things they’re grateful for has an almost instantaneous positive effect. Try it some time.

What’s on my gratitude list this week?

Time with some of my best and favorite friends. True friends are those who are eager to meet you halfway for a fabulous evening when you live many miles apart or with whom coffee turns into a three-and-a-half hour affair. There’s never an end of things to talk about, and you can barely figure out where to begin. You’re genuinely happy for each other’s good news and you feel pain for their troubles. You can talk about things that tantalize you and that deeply puzzle and concern you. Friends like these are the greatest blessing, and getting to spend meaningful time together is icing on the cake.

Quiet time with one of my boys. He’s never been a squeaky wheel; consequently we don’t get a lot of opportunities to just be alone together. This week we had a wonderful hour just the two of us. It made me smile. He makes me smile.

Often as a parent, it’s our job to dig deeper to figure out what’s bothering a child. It’s not always obvious or easy, and it can take discussion and reflection to get to the essence of the issue. This week I had some light shed on something that’s had more lasting repercussions than anyone would have suspected. I’m grateful to have identified the source of an issue that has the potential to spiral downward so that we can develop some solutions that will make things go forward in a positive manner.

This is going to sound odd, but I love my shower. It’s just a chamber with a shower head, a handle and a drain, just like everyone else’s, but I feel so grateful to be able to escape to a place that offers comfort, warmth, solitude and restorative powers. It’s where I do my best thinking and come up with the most creative plans and logical solutions. It washes away stress and mental roadblocks and gives me the opportunity to take everything down to basics. I am grateful that it refreshes me every morning, and often gives me a reflective respite in the evenings. So simple, yet I thought it was worth mentioning on my gratitude list.

What are you grateful for today? 

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