i am grateful

by mraynes

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i would say that by nature i am a pretty pessimistic person. i don’t believe this says anything about my character, just that my life circumstances and experiences have shown me that the world can often be a hard place. this doesn’t mean that i don’t try to see the positive, i believe that because i struggle with optimism i need to work extra hard to illuminate these things in my life. (just like i believe optimists need to work hard to see other people’s struggles and sorrows even if they have not personally experienced this.)

i was thinking about this last night after i made several pessimistic comments about valkyrie which mr. mraynes immediately counteracted with positive ones. it wasn’t that i was being unloving towards my daughter i just momentarily let my concerns for her future overshadow the wonderful little girl she is.

this experience reminded me that i need to work harder to be grateful for the many wonderful things in my life. in one of life’s little synchronicities i came across jana riess’ 30 day gratitude challenge this morning. i had the opportunity to spend a weekend with Jana a couple of years ago at the denver area mormon women’s retreat and have since worked on a mormon related project with her. i can’t tell you how much i admire her brilliance, thoughtfulness and work to bring about understanding and positive change.

i figure that if working on gratitude for the month of August is good enough for Jana Riess then it’s good enough for me. Jana will be writing down five things she’s grateful for as well as sending a note of gratitude to at least one person every day. since positivity presents more of a challenge to me and i don’t want to be stressed out by something meant to enrich my life i have modified the challenge for myself so that i do this at least once a week…hopefully more.

so today i am grateful for:

  1. having optimistic people in my life, particularly mr. mraynes to help me see the positive.
  2. a body that, while imperfect, is strong and allows me to experience all the joy and pain of mortality.
  3. the opportunity to improve myself through education.
  4. a comfortable and privileged situation that allows me to follow my passions.
  5. three children who remind me daily of the need for laughter, patience and grace.
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