“I’m grateful for…”

Thinking about what you’re grateful for helps deal with Covid stresses.

We’re all going through a pretty horrible time. I don’t have to recount here all the ways Covid 19 has affected our lives –assuming we’re even still here to replay those consequences.

So, here’s one thing we can do. Just sit quietly every day and be grateful for anything that’s good. That gives you happiness. That still works well. No matter how inconsequential.

I’m very grateful that, so far, no one in my family has gotten sick. I’m very grateful that the 2020 Presidential election is over. I’m very grateful that at least one Covid vaccine appears to have a 90% efficacy rate.

Some days I’m just grateful that the sun is shining when I go for a walk. A few weeks ago, I spotted a beautiful pink rose in Riverside Park.

You get the idea.

Single pink rose blooming in Riverside Park, NYC.

The Power of a Thank You!

ThankYoucartoon

The older I get, the more convinced I am that two of the most powerful words in our vocabulary are “thank you”.  I’m chagrined to say that they’re not really spoken enough.  I’ve also heard this from friends.

It’s just so simple to say it, or to write it in a note, which is much more powerful than in an email or text. Yes, it’s quaint to write a note and put it in the mail, but a handwritten note of thanks is probably one of the nicest communications any of us can receive.

Being Kind Can Make YOU Happy

HoldingDoorOpencartoon

There are many recommendations for how to improve your level of happiness.  I think one easy one is simply to be kind to someone else.  Sometimes it takes just the smallest gesture, like holding open a door, giving up your seat on the subway or bus, letting someone with a few items at the checkout get ahead of you if you have a cart full, picking up something that’s fallen for someone whose arms are full.  These are really just a few.

I’d like to think that I’m helping to raise the level of civility in society today, which is sorely in need of it.

The next time you do something, just spend an extra second thinking about how the ‘thank you’ of the person you helped made you feel.  Nice, huh?

Grandchildren!

kidsonsofacartoon*

I was never one of those parents who hocked their kids about having children. Quite the opposite, in fact.  I just assumed my very talented daughter and daughter-in-law would continue to pursue full-time careers and not try to balance them with motherhood.  In fact, at my 45th college reunion, one classmate asked, “So, Amy,  any grandchildren yet?” My response, “No, but I’ve got 2 adorable grand dogs!”

So, in the fullness of time, and a mere 7 years later,  I now have 5 very wonderful, adorable, bright, and (mostly) kind and considerate grandchildren,  I truly do count my blessings and am enormously grateful to have them, and my wonderful children and children-in-law, in New York City.

I’m heartbroken that my husband of 41 years, who died 9 years ago, can’t be here to enjoy spending time with them, too, and I hope they each come to know about him even more as they get older.

I recently read an article aimed at the “wrinkles” demographic, about the importance of having “meaning” in life,  for its health, social, psychological and emotional benefits.  Having a close family certainly helps provide that meaning and grandchildren, well, they’re right up there.

 

 

Black Friday, Gratitude and the Gray Rat

Ratdrawing

For Thanksgiving, we all try to focus on things for which we’re grateful.  For me, they include having a wonderful family and being able to see them regularly.  It also includes being able to live a reasonably full life doing the things I enjoy.

I read recently that taking note of your gratitude is something of a life preserver.  The article recommended that we all keep ‘gratitude journals’ and record daily entries of things for which we’re grateful.  I decided I would at least make mental note of them, since I didn’t think I would actually keep up a notebook.

Like the rest of the planet, I thought I’d get into the spirit of Black Friday by starting my holiday shopping.  It was a pretty chilly but sunny afternoon in New York City and walking down Broadway definitely put me in the holiday spirit with lots of sale signs and people.  It was enough to inspire my first mental note of gratitude.

However, the formulation of my gratitude list was suddenly interrupted by the appearance of a big, gray rat racing across my path a few feet ahead of me.  I yelled, “YIKES”, but it wasn’t enough to wake the man sleeping on a bench right where the rat was headed.  I thought of waking him but then thought better of it and didn’t. In NYC, you don’t wake up people sleeping on benches.

So that was my first daily gratitude experience.  But apart from the trauma of the rat getting so close, I’m at least grateful that he didn’t run over my feet.