365 Days of Gratitude

By Elizabeth Todd

 

In late 2016 after the Thanksgiving holiday, I reflected on how that year I had personally worked at being thankful even outside of that wonderful holiday.  However, I wanted to be more habitual about practicing gratitude.  I decided to post a thankfulness post on Facebook over the course of the next 365 days. On my post, I encouraged people to think about what they were thankful for that day, post, or share. 

 

One of the great lessons I learned over the course of those 365 days is that thankfulness is most beneficial in hard times.  Three months after starting my posts, my husband had a heart attack which he (thankfully!) survived.  The thankfulness that I practiced daily to that point, including the responses I had received from friends, had already filled my heart with love and gratitude that carried me through a very trying year.

 

The whole process was a lot of fun.  Part of my method was to try to never post about the same thing twice. Sure, much was the same e.g. thankfulness for the various forms of weather or one of our five senses. Toward the end of the 365 days it at times bordered on the absurd as I tried not to repeat (“Well mom, that one was reaching”). But some were very novel and even included gratitude for the past. 

 

One of my favorites was posting about people who were kind to me as a child or young adult. In my case, my mom’s friend Rita used to make me bologna and mustard sandwiches after my dance class on Saturdays and spend hours talking with me while my mom was working.  I thought they were the best sandwiches in the world, but I am sure it was her company I really loved, and I cherish her kindness to this day.  This post sparked a lot of memories for others.  The lesson in this? We can be thankful for the past when the present is not so perfect.  It gives us hope for the future and fills us for the day.

 

Gratitude, like anything else, must be practiced to become a habit.  I recently realized that I have fallen out of this daily habit.  So, I am back at it this November.  We need thankfulness in our lives now more than ever.  So, what are you thankful for today? Think to yourself, post or share over the next 365 days.

 

ABOUT ELIZABETH TODD

Elizabeth Todd has practiced law for over 28 years and is available to mediate all matters, whether mandatory or voluntary. In her law practice, Elizabeth has served as both plaintiff’s and defense counsel. Having worked “both sides of the table” for many years, she understands matters from all points of view. Elizabeth is a certified mediator in SC working civil cases for York and Lancaster Counties.