Tag Archives: grateful

Entitlement: The Opposite of Gratitude

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Today a whole slew of posts of gratitude with explode upon The Internets!

I love seeing those things this time of year! So much love fills the air. However, a list of what I’m thankful for is not what my Thanksgiving post will entail. For I have adopted a practice of focusing on graditude every day. I have filled an entire journal with it since I began this practice. I highly encourage you to do the same. Don’t think about those things for which you are grateful just today. Think about them every day. Trust me. It’s life-changing.

Because the opposite of gratitude is entitlement.

I’m not talking about the kind of entitlement we label our youth with today. I’m talking about the kind of entitlement we all experience… on a daily basis. We aren’t exactly ungrateful, but we feel entitled – inadvertently.

We feel entitled to have:

  • Hot water for our showers
  • Clean water for drinking
  • Our families to be nice to us and say the right things
  • A working stove for our Thanksgiving meal
  • Two loving parents
  • Friends who understand
  • Enough money for food
  • Transportation to get us to our destination
  • Legs to walk
  • Hands to eat or type
  • Eyes to see
  • The post office to deliver your mail
  • The cashier to give you correct change
  • An open gas station
  • A warm winter jacket
  • A heater in your home or vehicle
  • A place to sleep
  • Someone be, do or act a certain way that you deem appropriate

Yes, these may sound simple.

But not everyone has them.

And you may not even realize that you felt entitled to them. You may have even spent time judging or labeling people or circumstances who got in the way of these things. You are not entitled to any of them.

So instead, be thankful for any of those that you have. Turn of away from those that you don’t. Look around today and be thankful for Every. Single. Thing. you see.

Continue to do the same every day by writing down ten things you are grateful for and WHY. Then, instead of feeling entitled, your life will become truly magical.

Name one thing you may have felt entitled to, but are truly thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cheers~
Carrie

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A Year in Review… And a Magical One Begins

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It’s been a year.

Rob’s parents sent a nice card this week. My mother-in-law wrote a note that I should only do what I truly want to do today. I loved that message. If I would have thought ahead, I would taken the day off of work. 😉

But despite that, I am going to make it the best day possible. I’ve recently learned a new way of life. It’s something that I can’t believe has taken me this long to realize.

Before I get to that, let’s go back to what I posted last year – the list of what I *thought* I wanted to do by now. Boy have things changed! A lot of the list is running-related because I was in full swing at the time. Let’s take a look at what I’ve completed, what I haven’t, where I may have changed my mind and what I’d still like to do.

This list was written 9/26/12:

  • Do a Beer Run – I still would like to do this one day. They look so casual and fun.
  • Do a Color RunCOMPLETE!
  • Complete a 5-mile raceCOMPLETE! It was one of my slowest, but happiest races.
  • Incorporate weight-lifting into my fitness routine – Not even close.
  • Run a 10k race – Running is off the table for a while.
  • Take a trip abroad to a country I’ve never been – We travel somewhere internationally every year. This year, however, with two weeks off for back surgery and, well, less money due to said surgery that left little resources to go abroad in 2013. However, holding off scheduling an international trip meant that when I learned about a friend’s wedding in L.A. that I can attend and will extend a little vacation there!
  • Use my Bahamas Cruise Gift CertificateYou can read about that trip here. I guess that could have counted as international.
  • Reach my goal weight – Ouch. The hard truth is that I lost almost half the weight I wanted to over the course of a year. Since my back surgery, I’ve gained 12 pounds back. No excuse. I know what to do. I just can’t do it running right now. It’s time to adapt.
  • Read more booksYES! Among them include:
    • The Hunger Games series
    • 50 Shades series (Yes, I had to find out what the hype was a about. But if I see the word “murmur” one more time…)
    • Through a Dog’s Eyes
    • In a Dog’s Heart
    • Stuff Parisians Like
    • Histoire de Z’idiote This one’s in French, but I don’t recommend it. It’s about a little shih poo that looks just like Sophie! It was fun to read to feel like I haven’t lost all of my French, but the book was very bizarre! I am still grateful that Rob found it and I had the opportunity to read it.
  • Run around Lake CalhounNo, but I walked it and then some.
  • Run in Eau Claire, WI – No. Running is off the to-do list for the time being.
  • Run the Challenge Obesity 5k in AprilWell, I didn’t run it, but I did walk it post-surgery!
  • Write more concise posts – Even if I tried to convince you of this, you probably wouldn’t agree. 😉
  • Create a written bucket list – I’ve come to realize that I don’t need this. If there is something I really want to do, it’ll be on my mind. That’s all that matters! A vision board is more suitable. Visualization is key!
  • Organize Rob’s favorite recipes in one place – COMPLETE! Reluctantly, I joined Pinterest, but only for organization of favorite recipes and those we want to try.
  • Do something {even a little something} for someone else – every single day – I don’t even know how I could begin to measure this.
  • Organize Music – NOPE. A winter project perhaps?
  • Put together a wedding and honeymoon album – NOPE. Add that to the list of wanting to put together a photo album of our trip to Ireland for my in-laws. I’ve been meaning to do that for months. It’s a matter of organizing all of the photos and selecting the best with a slooooooowwww computer.

This year, I’m not putting together such a list. Not because I feel like I’ve failed or that these are like resolutions, but because I’m learning more and more about gratitude.

For the first time, ever, in my life, I’m filling up a journal. I’m not talking about this little public weblog journal I have of favorite places to eat and such around the Twin Cities metro. I’m talking about a real, hand-written journal. A friend gave me this leather-bound journal at my bridal shower a few years back. I’ve recently labeled it as my:

gratitude journalIt sat empty, without a marked page until February of this year. I was afraid to write in it, afraid to ruin another journal. You see, over the years, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve started a journal. But it always made me feel bad. The words I permanently penned to the page were harsh and embarrassing to look back upon after the fact.

They were so negative.

You see, I thought journaling was supposed to be about that. I thought by writing my thoughts and feelings that I would feel better… that I would work out whatever it was that was bothering me whenever I ran into a challenge in my life.

But I was wrong.

Instead, I felt worse. And later, I always felt ashamed by what I had written. So many journal pages have been torn up. Journals themselves were thrown away because a few pages were tainted. I wanted to start fresh with a new one.,, with new words… to begin a new chapter in life. This never worked.

Until I started writing about gratitude.

journal

This journal is now three-quarters full. I’ve never kept a journal this long. At the beginning, I didn’t journal in it every day. In fact, I went months without doing so. But when I came back to it, I didn’t feel the need to start over. I didn’t feel ashamed, guilty or negative about anything written in it.

So I’m focusing this year on Gratitude.

I’ve been reading the book The Magic, by Rhonda Byrne. You know, the author of The Secret. I’ve always loved learning about the Law of Attraction and I even have the audiobook as well as that of The Power. However, I was never quite sure how to implement everything. Sure, there were suggestions. But I needed structure. The Magic gives me homework every day for thirty days. Yes, I’ve started and stopped the book a few times. But there are two practices in it that I now use every day.

And even those have changed my life.

And let me tell, you my world is a better place, no matter what is going on in my life. Because no matter how difficult things may be, there is always something for which to be grateful.

Today, I’m grateful for another year.

Cheers~
Carrie

Gratitude: Brought to You by the Number 40

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It’s Thanksgiving – the day of the year when we Americans are reminded to give thanks. For some, that may just mean a day off of work and some home-cooked turkey. However, if you haven’t before (or even if you have), let’s dig deeper beyond that.

Although we hear the word gratitude and are encouraged to be thankful this time of year, most people don’t take the time to practice it more often than that. It wasn’t until I received a book as a gift called The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude that I started to practice it more often myself. But it took reading the book The Secret for me to truly understand its power. Being grateful for even the tiniest things can really change your perspective. For me, writing a list of things for which I am grateful helps me turn my mood around. It changes my focus from the negative to the positive. It may sound simplistic, but I find that it really works.

In honor of Thanksgiving, just one day that reminds us that we should be thankful, I want to challenge everyone reading this post to do any of the following:

  • Find someone you love and thank them for something you never have before.
  • Take a piece of paper or notebook and over the next week write 100 things you’re grateful for as they come to you.
  • Keep a notebook by your nightstand and each night before you go to bed, write five things for which you are grateful.
  • Join me on Twitter with thousands of others and tweet one thing each day for which you are grateful followed by #365thanks.

Because really, shouldn’t we show gratitude everyday? That is what #365thanks symbolizes. It’s simple to do and you’ll feel great doing it.

Today, I’m grateful for my wonderful husband.

It’s his  40th birthday today!

He actually *asked* me for a surprise party this year. I just laughed at him and said, “I can’t throw you one now!” Then, to throw him off, I threw a “40 Days Before Your 40th Birthday” party last month. It worked out perfectly. And he was absolutely surprised. I’m probably the only person in the history of mankind to throw one of those!
For his birthday on today, we elected to stay home. We normally travel back to Green Bay for Thanksgiving, but we decided to stay put this year because:
  • We visited two weeks ago for our nephew’s 5th birthday.
  • We went to the 10th Anniversary Ike Reilly Thanksgiving Eve concert last night at First Avenue and were out very, very late.
  • He’s allergic to turkey.

So it was another gift to him not to have to drive there and back. When we originally decided to do this, I thought I was doing him a favor as to not drive in snowy weather. However, this year, we just so happen to have the best weather here in Minnesota in years. It’s currently 61 degrees! {I bet people who were out doing Turkey Trots this morning were elated!}

For his birthday, we celebrated with our usual birthday dinner tradition {Restaurant Impression to come} prior to last night’s concert. But this morning, I put this box in front of him:

Birthday Box

This box contains 40 little gifts that I’ve picked up that reminded me of him. They are either things that he loved when I first met him, things that he likes or uses right now or just things I thought he might like now or in the future.

The first gift he opened however was this:

The instructions are that he has to set the timer for 15:00. Every fifteen minutes, he can open any gift of his choice. He’ll be opening fun gifts all day. {Well, while he watches the football of course.}

Happy Birthday, Baby! I’m grateful to have you in my life.

Cheers to many more years together. #365thanks.

Name one thing you for which you are grateful today.

Cheers~
Carrie

100th Post – Gratitude

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I can’t believe that this is my 100th blog post! I’ve been mulling it over the past few days and have been trying to come up with something to do and write about for this momentous occasion.

I thought it had to be something epic.

And since it’s to be posted on Wine Wednesday, then it should be about wine, right?

But I changed my mind.

It’s my blog and there really are no rules!

I finally decided that for my hundredth post I would write a list of 100 things for which I’m grateful. So I did. I spent some time getting a rough list together, but realized the post itself need a lot of work. I wanted to include pictures and links and such so that I wouldn’t lose you. I wanted you to gain something from reading the post as well. But giving it that kind of attention would mean you probably wouldn’t see another post from me for another couple of weeks. Truly.

Still, I don’t regret making my list. In fact, it’s a little trick that I use whenever I’ve had a bad day or I’m feeling down. I’ll attempt to write or type this list of gratitude until I get to 100 or until I’m interrupted. If I’m in the car, I’ll say the list out loud, numbering them as I go. I’ve even listed them in my head when waiting in lines or during a run!

It may sound silly, but focusing on all the wonderful things in your life can get your mind off any negative thoughts off your mind. Even if they are the simplest things – like the cold side of your pillow. 😉 So that’s just a little tip from me to you, for whenever you need some cheering up!

But I’m not posting that list for you today. Instead, I decided to do something I’ve been meaning to do for a few weeks.

You see, a bag and flyer were put at our front door this week for a Food Drive to support single moms and children in the community. I’ve decided to participate.

In fact, I’m donating 32 lbs of food for the 32 lbs I’ve lost in the past year.

32 pounds of nonperishable goods for my 32 pounds lost this year {not pictured are some additional boxed meals and pasta}

This is something I knew that I wanted to do since I lost my first pound over a year ago. Here is my chance. Just looking at that picture above gives me a sense of what I accomplished for myself. However, when I lifted the box to put it on the front porch for pick-up, I thought about how long I had carried that extra weight every day. How did I do it?

In any case, I’m happy that I can contribute to a worthy cause. I’m grateful that I don’t have to go hungry, so it’s time to give back.

Name one thing you are grateful for today.

Cheers~

Carrie