Around the time of the American Thanksgiving holiday, I think about the things I am grateful for. I have found the “alphabetical gratitude list” to be a useful tool in cultivating an attitude of gratitude.
A — I am grateful for Age. Youth was fun, and there are times I wish I was young again. The perspective, experience, and, yes, wisdom that come with age are irreplaceable.
B — I am grateful for my Brother. He inspires me with his joy and engagement in life. He has faced challenges, setbacks, and disability with grace and acceptance. And yet, he continues to engage and celebrate what he has.
C – I am grateful for Children. I am grateful for my children, who have brought so much joy and challenges into my life. I am grateful for others' children, who are our future, and who keep my life from stagnating.
D – I am grateful for my Dog. He loves me unconditionally, but is also straightforward about making his needs known.
E – I am grateful for Electricity. It makes my life comfortable, and I wouldn't be able to do most of what I do without it.
F – I am grateful for Fall.
G – I am grateful for my Grandparents, who are no longer physically in my life, but who were a big part of my childhood, teaching me to appreciate the outdoors, and who loved me and supported me in a way different from my parents.
H – I am grateful for my Health. While I have issues, I am able-bodied and generally healthy.
I – I am grateful for Ice Cream. I enjoy its cool, smooth texture, and its melting deliciousness.
J – I am grateful for Junk. I am starting to be able to get rid of the junk I have accumulated in my life, and that is a good thing.
K – I am grateful for my Kitchen. I love to cook, to create wonderful flavors and to provide for my needs and those of my family.
L – I am grateful for Love. It is a gift to both give and receive love, and to be able to love myself whole heartedly.
M – I am grateful for my Mother. With her aging, she is teaching me to accept the now, rather than wishing for what was.
O – I am grateful for Others. Life would be easier without them, but it would also be infinitely more boring.
P – I am grateful for Podcasting. Doing the podcast has deepened my recovery and my appreciation of life. It has also brought some amazing people into my life, who I would never have met otherwise.
Q – I am grateful for Questions. As long as there are things I do not know, or do not understand, I continue to grow. When I have no more questions, I will be dead.
R – I am grateful for the color Red. It is bright and cheerful.
S – I am grateful for Silence. In the silence, I can hear that still, small voice within. In the silence, I can calm my “monkey mind”.
T – I am grateful for Transitions. Change is life, and life is change. Transition can be uncomfortable, but is also inevitable. I can reject it and be miserable, or accept it, live into it, and revel in it as I move into a new phase of living.
U – I am grateful for Underwear. It makes my life more comfortable.
V – I am grateful for Vision, both literal and figurative. My vision enables me to enjoy the lovely sunrise this Thanksgiving morning. My vision enables me to look ahead and to envision a new future.
W – I am grateful for Water. Water to drink is a necessity of life. Water as stream, river, lake, or ocean connects me to something larger than myself.
X – I am grateful for Xerography. Without it, there would be no copy machine, no laser printer. It also reminds me of a family friend who worked for Xerox, and who was a model for me in my professional life.
Y – I am grateful for Yams. We will enjoy this sweet, orange vegetable as part of our Thanksgiving dinner.
Z – I am grateful for Zest. A bit of lemon zest adds sparkle to a dish or a drink. A bit of zest adds sparkle to my life.