The “experts” say if you write down three things you are grateful for each day, you can change the level of awareness you have for the good in your life.  The more aware you become, the more grateful you are!

In my position here at Interfaith, I get to practice gratefulness nearly every day – something I’m so happy about!  I open the mail and process the donations that come in.  And frequently there’s a note in the envelope describing how wonderful our volunteer was, or how grateful they are to have a ride to “X and so” destination.

Recently, we received a delivery of flowers from one client who was grateful we didn’t think she was too much of a troublemaker!  She’s certainly NOT.  Sometimes she forgets if she’s called us – making us scramble a smidge.  And we were so happy with the flowers, we took a selfie and posted it on Facebook!

Gratefulness, once in motion, creates a self-sustaining circle.

I played reporter and asked my colleagues here at Interfaith to answer two questions about gratefulness:  What are you personally grateful for?  What are you professionally grateful for?  Here are their replies:

Karen (director):

“At work – When I turn into the parking lot at work each morning, I quickly look for the familiar vehicles of my staff.  If each car and one golf cart is there, I know we’re going to have a great day helping people. Golf cart, you may ask?  Yes, Patti lives close enough to drive her golf cart to work.  It always brings a smile to my face. Same thing for all of our generous volunteers and donors.  Working together, we make amazing things happen on our community.

Personally – I’m thankful that my family is healthy, from my 89 year old mother to my 25 year old daughter.”

Patti (rides):

“Here at ICPC, I am thankful for ALL the volunteers that help me fill the many ride requests that I have.  (And) thankful for my co-workers that make work easier and more fun.  

Personally:    My adorable, funny, much-loved granddaughter, Hazel Mae, and her family that allows me to spend so much time with her.  I am also thankful for Glenn, who helps both of my families, personally and at ICPC. Also, for supporting me in my wild ideas (like an enclosure for my golf cart so I drive it to work until it snows).”

Tammy (light housekeeping and  caregiver respite):

“Personally:  I am grateful for this long and beautiful autumn.

Professionally:  I am grateful that my talents are appreciated. And my talents are being used to help people stay in their homes.”

Luann (Financial):

“I am so thankful for the wonderful people in my life, both at home and at work.”

Michele (Donor Development/Communication):

“Personally, I’m grateful to have people in my circle that lift me up and encourage me to continue to reach for those things in life that are the most important.  Professionally, I’m grateful for the folks that support this meaningful program and cause various forms of independent living to happen every day!”

So… now you.  Go get a piece of paper and a pen.  Seriously.  Write down three things you’re grateful for.  No need to put why.  No self-editing.  No one is going to see this, so go for it!

There.  Do you have a half-smile on your face because of the thought of someone or something that brings you joy?

Now here’s my challenge to you:  From now until Thanksgiving, do the above exercise each day.  Just three things you’re grateful for in a small notebook each day till November 24.  Don’t look back at previous days.  Just write from the heart.  

Then on Thanksgiving Day, after everyone’s in their L’ Tryptophan coma, page through your notebook.  Take a measure of how you feel.  My bet is: you’ll feel pretty good!

For those of you who are alone on Thanksgiving, give us a call for the nearest free or free-will donation dinner near you.  We’ll be gathering information about which group is doing what on Thanksgiving Day.

Our address (for snail mail) is P O Box 65, Milltown, WI  54858 – OR – email me your question at michele@interfaithpolk.org –OR – call me at 715-825-9500.

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