Being Grateful is as Simple as ABC

Over the past decade, I have had occasional issues with waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep. It’s infrequent, but frustrating, especially when I already wake up early to exercise before work. I have tried a number of things to fall back asleep, usually to no avail, until a piece of timely advice found it’s way to me and helped to resolve this problem.

My daughters’ second grade teacher still keeps in touch with us through Facebook, and she mentioned that when she is having difficulty falling asleep, she doesn’t count sheep. Instead, she uses the letters of the alphabet to identify some of her blessings and to help lull her to sleep. Not long after the suggestion was made, I had a chance to try it. Since I don’t remember anything after the letter r, I would say that it worked!

Here’s what I gave thanks for, as I drifted off the sleep and when I finished where I left off in the morning. It’s a bit of mishmash of thoughts that emerge in the wee hours of the morning.

Apples. I am blaming the lack of originality on sleep deprivation for this one, but it actually is true. I tend to enjoy an apple a day, not to keep the doctor away, but because they are so delicious.

Bed. Not just any bed, but my bed and all of its comfortable pillows and blankets. I am grateful to have a place to rest every night, even on sleepless nights.

Cats. Having grown up as a staunch lover of dogs and an avowed hater of cats, it still amazes me how my feelings have changed on this subject as an adult. I am glad that it did, though. Our current two cats bring us so much joy that I cannot imagine life without them.

Daughters. My two daughters are extraordinary young women, and my love and gratitude for them cannot be measured. They motivate, love, and inspire me every day.

Eyes. I rely heavily on my gift of to navigate the world around me, and I am grateful for my eyes that help me to see clearly with the aid of corrective lenses

Football. Although the Minnesota Vikings have the ability to frustrate me to no end, I love watching them play, along with the other NFL teams, well, at least most of them. I am looking at you Patriots and Packers!

Garbage collectors. Seriously, they are the unsung heroes of our times. Without them, disease, filth, and stench would overtake our communities. So, I have lots of gratitude for the men and women who keep our cities clean.

Home. I have become more of a homebody, because my home provides me with a cozy retreat from the rest of the world and is filled with lots of love and laughter, courtesy of my daughters.

Independence. I am grateful for freedom and independence on a national and personal level, especially as a woman.

John. I am immensely grateful for John, because he has shown me the true meaning of unconditional love and acceptance. Hands down, he is one the most thoughtful and genuine people I know.

Kentucky. I am proud to call Kentucky home and am grateful for the people and opportunities here.

Love. What an absolute gift it is to love and be loved.

Mom. I talk with my mom nearly every day, and that is something that I value more and more with each passing year. Her sense of humor and advice are invaluable to me, and her homemade desserts definitely are appreciated, too.

Nature. I am in awe of the beauty and mysteries found in nature. From picturesque landscapes to gorgeous horizons, every day, nature offers us gifts for which I am grateful.

Ohio River. I always have found peace and solace there. While it may not be the prettiest or cleanest body of water, I am still grateful for its unique beauty and ability to soothe my soul.

Pearl Jam. An obvious choice, as their music has provided me with a beautiful soundtrack for my life.

Quartz. During a particularly difficult time in my life, a friend introduced me to the healing properties of quartz and crystals. I still keep a small collection of them on my dresser, and the very sight of them leaves me feeling calm and centered.

Remission. Being diagnosed with breast cancer was terrifying, so, I grateful to have celebrated 4 years in remission.

St. John Center for Homeless Men. This is a sacred place that is more than simply my former place of employment and the place where I volunteer currently. It is my second home and filled with people second to none. I learned priceless lessons from the men, staff, and volunteers who gather there.

Tea. I have been a tea drinker since I was a little girl, and I never tire of it, hot or cold. It provides me with a daily bit of pleasure in a cup.

University of Dayton. This place is, to quote Miranda Lambert, the house that built me, or at least, it’s one of them. I am immensely grateful for the education that I received and the friendships I made there.

Veterans. These are the real heroes, for our country was built on, and is safeguarded by, their service and sacrifices.

Water. I am so thankful to live in a place that has clean water that is readily available for drinking, bathing, washing, etc. It’s a life source that should not be taken for granted.

XTC. This is one of those bands whose songs conjure up great memories from college, especially Dear God and Senses Working Overtime.

Yaz. Some letters of the alphabet proved more difficult than others, but leave it some of the bands from my youth to save the day. The album, Upstairs at Eric’s, is reason enough to give thanks for Yaz.

Zoo. I began with an obvious and ended with one. I like wildlife, so, the zoo provides us with the chance to learn more about different species of animals.

Some of the things listed here definitely are more meaningful and significant than others, but each one is appreciated in its own way. No matter what, there is always something to be grateful for, even if we have to look a little harder sometimes. It’s definitely worth the effort.

Just one thing each day. . .

Categories: Just One Thing Each Day

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