Last month we had a funeral. Of a wonderful, generous, kind and thoughtful man.

We will miss him.

His wife is one of the most outwardly-focussed, generous people I know. When she spoke to my father that day, she asked him how my mother was (who couldn’t be there) and how her work was going.

She wanted to know how my children were.

And since they were reasonably upset about the loss of a grandfather figure in their lives, I brought them to see her after picking them up from school since the funeral was finished but a last few people were still in the church.

So then she spent the time introducing them to the others who still remained behind as well.

All while mourning the man who she had been married to for nearly 57 years.

We had time together a few days later as well and rather than complain about pain in her leg, she expressed gratitude that the pain hadn’t been there while she had needed to take pain killers for a more serious issue in her back.

And it made me think about how I live my life.

Do I show that kind of care and generosity and gratitude?

I want to.

So I have decided to try to do the gratitude journal thing that others talk about. Of course I have done it in small bites before. But I haven’t really stuck with it.

Yesterday I was going to get on with more gardening.

At the moment since our house was not well cared for by the previous owners – I have been asked by tradesmen if it was abandoned for a while – gardening actually means trying to battle ivy overgrowth.

I went out to check on something without shoes on… and stood on a tack. Gardening in our new house also means clearing up rubbish that was left behind.

My foot started bleeding and I had to rethink how I used my time!

So I turned on some of my favorite music, sat down with a good drink (hot tea!) and did some of my latest craft work. It gave me time to think and reflect that I would not have otherwise had. I spent some time praying as well, focusing on what I am thankful for rather than a list of requests.

You know what?

I had more calm and focus for dealing with hot grumpy kids at the end of the school day.

Maybe some more gratitude-focus pays off.

How to be thankful today

Here in New Zealand we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. It is not part of our heritage. We have other wonderful ways we celebrate but not that.

The wife that I mentioned above is from the States. So we always do Thanksgiving, and it started for her.

But I think we now do it for us.

Having a meal together that is focussed on what we can be grateful for seems a good use of time and energy to us.

SO now, as I said before, I want to try to record things each day that I am grateful for.

I suspect recording the little wins of each day will be a good way for me to track my son’s progress as well. And that will certainly help me to feel more gratitude!

I made myself a printable to keep me on track.

And I thought I would share it with you as well 🙂

I figured I would write down and capture little moments to help me remember what I was thankful for. And then that I would tally up the number of hugs and kisses I got – my kids are at the stage where that is a lot luckily for me!

But I always have random ideas floating through my head so I thought I would capture the ones that I felt thankful for.

Of course, thoughts do not always need action points, but sometimes they do have them. So I included a section for me to note things I want to do as a result of any of this.

Hopefully this will help with my “attitude of gratitude”. But it will also help when I look back to remember how far we have come with our son’s progress.

If you decide to use this as well please let me know!

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