Being Grateful...

A while back one of my favorite hangouts near my place closed and today I finally decided to treat myself to a little quiet time at another Barnes & Noble. I have to admit that it took me about 20 minutes to drive there compared to the 5 minutes I was used to drive before, but it was worth it. Now don't get me wrong I'm all for technology and I love my ipad and imac and my windows computer but there's something special about actually holding and touching a book. Turning the pages and being able to actually sit there with a whole bunch of books and magazines and take my time in choosing which ones are worth buying while I sip on my Starbuck's cappuccino.

Of course my first stop is always the discount section and I came across this little book on special for $6.98 titled "A Simple Act of Gratitude" by John Kralik. When I started to read it I thought about all the wonderful people that I have come across that have showed me kindness, understanding, friendship and love and it also made me take a minute to wonder about how I can brighten up their day. I thought back to when I was in my twenties and how I was much better at sending thank you notes, remembering to send birthday cards and so forth. Then you have kids and life takes its course and somewhere along the line we don't bother to send birthday cards anymore we rely on facebook and other easy ways to relay our message maybe via voicemail or text message.

The more I read this book the more I thought about examining my life and how I want to live it and what changes I need to make. And like John Kralik I thought that maybe a good place to start was by making a commitment to start appreciating the people around me and showing gratitude for the little  things in life. I know that sometimes just a simple smile from a stranger or a heart felt thank you can make me feel good about myself. And it's easy to dwell on the negative things that happen to us but if we really think about it most of the time we can find something to be grateful for.

From my previous blog entry you know that June was a rough month for us after the mix up in the hospital lab that ended up with my son having to spend a week in the hospital. But thank God he is okay and thank God the hospital took responsibility for their mistake and corrected it and he ended up healthy after all. So even after all that negativity I find myself being thankful. Which makes me want to send a thank you card to the Doctors that worked so hard to fix everything.

I also thought about how I like getting cards or gifts in the mail. Even the smallest unexpected delivery puts me in a good mood. So I decided to try John Kralik's experience for a year and send out 365 thank you cards to family, friends, strangers, neighbors and see what difference it makes in my life for the next 365 days.

I challenge you to take the time to think about what you are thankful for. Or who you need to thank and take that 5 minutes to write a simple heartfelt thank you, put it in an envelope and mail it. It doesn't have to be a fancy card because the important part is the message.

And if nothing else put a smile on your face and thank the barista that makes your coffee, say hello to your grumpy neighbor with a smile on your face, thank the mailman for delivering your mail come rain or shine. And if you believe in a higher power thank God for all the wonderful little things in your life. I'm sure that there are a lot of things and people that you are grateful for.

Remember that smiles and kind words are free to give and precious to receive.

Thank you for reading this and have a wonderful day.

©2013 PaulaSantos

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