What Makes You Happy?

happySomething Lizabeth and I started a while back is a daily gratitude list. We know, and have experienced first hand, how verbalizing our list of gratitudes… things we are thankful for… each day helps to get us in a more prosperous frame of mind.

We usually take turns, in a round-robin fashion, shouting out what we are thankful for until each of us has named ten things that we are truly grateful for today.

I remember doing this around Mom’s bed when she was in Hospice. She couldn’t speak anymore, so we would mention the things we thought she would be grateful for today until we got her overly-expressive, grateful nod. They were things such as nurses, pain meds, and potty chairs. Things we don’t usually think about, but, we had lots of fun and laughter going through our lists with her. I am thankful for those memories.

We try to make a habit of this gratitude list every day. We did it with the kids on the trip in the cramped car. The first day, we strongly suggested that they participate with us. We were met with a lot of eye-rolling, huffs, and mumblings about ‘this being stupid’. After a couple of days into the trip, they were reminding us that we had forgotten to do our ‘gratitudes’ for the day. We had more laughs while going through our gratitudes each day than any other portion of the trip.

We even got our wonderful Vegas tour guide, Charlotte Foust, involved while we were there. I will always have great memories of being in the very back of her nice big SUV, riding through Vegas, and being thankful for friends who were showing us such amazing hospitality and friendship.

Even when things became stressful (try being cramped in a small Nissan Rogue with 2 adults and 3 kids, who are literally bigger than both the adults) and we didn’t want to be around each other, we kept our commitment to do our prosperity plan and gratitude lists. (Have you ever been thankful for sunshine with a frown on your face? I have, but it’s not easy). Our bad moods always got better. Maybe they didn’t go completely away, but they ALWAYS got better.smilinghand

On the day we headed home, our generous friend and host, Heather Beckett, told me that she and her friends call it a happy list. They weren’t very fond of the word ‘gratitude’ because it was used in such a derogatory way so many times. As kids we often hear, ‘we should be grateful’ for this or that. She preferred to use the word ‘happy’ instead of ‘grateful’, ‘thankful’ or ‘gratitude’.

I have to agree that the word ‘happy’ does make me feel better than the other three. So, now we’ve started listing our ‘happy things’… the things that make us happy today. I think it’s really changed the way I look at the whole list. Now, my list has become more of a true list of things that I truly appreciate instead of things that I ‘should’ be grateful for. My list now has a different, better feel. Thank you Heather!

Along with our commitment to do the 40-day prosperity plan (which we ‘failed’ and had to start over – I’ll save that for another post), and the happy list, we are also committed to walking every day at least 30 minutes. We kept that commitment pretty good while on our trip. (Traveling often requires a LOT of walking to see what you want to see, AND to get the kinks out legs that sit way too long in a car.) When we are walking we go through our ‘happy list’. By the time we get back home, we always feel much better. Maybe a little more sweaty and tired, but always, always better.

So, what are you happy for today? I’m happy for beautiful mornings, singing birds, sunshine, cooler weather, working from my porch, my kids, all my bills are paid up, my TN house is in the final steps of closing, coffee, and flowers. Tonight, when we walk, I’ll come up with another list. Then I’ll feel better twice today.

I would love for you to join us and list what you are happy for today in the comments below. You don’t have to list 10. You could list more, or less. But, there’s something in sharing your list that makes you even happier. It also makes the receiver of your list happy as well. Let’s multiply the happiness by sharing our lists. Have a HAPPY day!



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