Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Capturing Gratitude

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating a place to share our Slice of Life. Read more slices or add you own here.

A little while back Terje at Just for a Month, sent me a tweet challenging me to capture gratitude by listing 100 things I am grateful for.  I kept putting it off until I read a tweet Sunday.  This tweet intrigued me.  I followed the link to the story of Brittany Maynard. Brittany was a young woman who had a terminal brain tumor and chose to end her life on her own terms before the cancer did it for her.  This story grabbed my heart and did not let go.

This post is not about what she did.  It is about what she said.  I am sure being face to face with one's mortality would be the catalyst to change and the inspiration to very deep thinking.  As I read her obituary, I was mesmerized by her profound words.

It is people who pause to appreciate life and give thanks who are happiest.  If we change our thoughts, we change our world!  Love and peace to you all." ~ Brittany Maynard

Her words made me question whether I am pausing or am I racing through this one life I have.  Am I assuming the people in my life know I am thankful, or am I letting them know before it is too late.  I like to think I am a grateful person, but I know there are many times when I do not pause.

Reading Brittany's words gave me a nudge.  She knew her days were numbered.  I know my days in this life are numbered too.  The only difference is she made the best of those days she had left.  She chose to change her world by changing her thoughts.  

Today, I pause.  

                        Today, I thank.  

Today, I reflect.

                        Today, I challenge you to do the same.

Here is my list of 100 things I am grateful for...in no particular order.
  1. my husband of almost 25 years
  2. my daughter
  3. my son
  4. my sisters
  5. my brother
  6. my niece
  7. my nephew
  8. my mom
  9. my grandma
  10. my grandma's noodles
  11. the time I had with my mother and father-in-law
  12. my log cabin-like house
  13. sunny days
  14. blue skies
  15. pool days
  16. the four seasons
  17. comfy pants
  18. books
  19. reading glasses
  20. flannel sheets
  21. silent snowfalls
  22. smiles
  23. fresh peaches
  24. a clean house
  25. writing days
  26. reading days
  27. Slice of Life
  28. fellow bloggers
  29. my students
  30. my principal
  31. my teacher-friends
  32. falling leaves
  33. the smell of freshly cut grass
  34. Twitter
  35. bubble baths
  36. EJDs (my high school friends)
  37. new notebooks
  38. technology
  39. sticky notes
  40. yellow highlighters
  41. uni-ball pens
  42. porches
  43. quilts
  44. rocking chairs
  45. vacation days
  46. vegetable soup
  47. pillows (I sleep with three)
  48. country music
  49. book stores
  50. first fire of the season
  51. snow days
  52. khakis
  53. my PLN
  54. sunsets
  55. sunrises
  56. cold drinks 
  57. sleeping in
  58. black-eyed susans
  59. God's grace
  60. my health
  61. the beach
  62. sunscreen
  63. freedom
  64. my spiritual journey
  65. hot showers
  66. our local produce market
  67. comfy shoes
  68. holidays
  69. laughter
  70. electric blankets
  71. doctors
  72. medicine
  73. our middle school Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  74. Next Chapter Book Club
  75. people with disabilities
  76. life lessons
  77. people who can sing
  78. homegrown sweet corn
  79. homegrown strawberries
  80. my teacher's bible study group
  81. sweatshirts
  82. freshly baked bread
  83. the smell of coffee
  84. mentors
  85. McDonald's french fries
  86. celebrations
  87. watching my daughter coach basketball
  88. watching my son play his guitar
  89. cleansing rains
  90. passion
  91. the color green
  92. family dinners
  93. the smell of Christmas trees
  94. opportunities
  95. conservative values
  96. giggles
  97. sprinklers
  98. my ability to cook
  99. memories
  100. words
This month I have joined fellow bloggers and @teachthought for a November challenge - Teaching Through an Attitude of Gratitude.  This month is a wonderful time for reflective thankfulness, but after reading Brittany's story, I want to have an attitude of gratitude not just for this month, but every day.


  1. Wow! Sometimes when we least expect it, something hits us in a way that make us stop and take notice.Brittany Maynard's story is one that will always stay with me. I grew up during the time of Karen Ann Quinlan who was kept alive despite her parents wishes.Your post inspires me to come up with 100 things I am grateful for. Thank you.

  2. We have so much to be grateful for. Creating this list made me look deeply for those things many people find mundane, but yet make our life rich. Love the comfy pants!

  3. I'm glad your list includes the big things and the little ones. Leigh Anne. Brittany Maynard would be pleased that her words made an impact on you, and others, too.

  4. Love these diverse sources of inspirations! Comfy pants and shoes are a must! God's grace is essential! So many more things I want to add to my list...Wonderful to keep the gratitude going!

  5. An all-encompassing list, Leigh Anne - so much to be grateful for.

  6. Big and little. consequential and not. all add to a rich life and even more so when gratitude is there. Thanks, Leigh Anne. I love this post.

  7. Well written, Leigh Anne! I've followed her story and her words mean so much more than what she is being remembered by. I love your list. Certainly puts things in perspective!

  8. Thank you for passing on Brittany's words and your list. A wonderful exercise as well as the promise daily gratitude.

  9. Thank you for sharing Brittany's story and your list. It is impossible to read a long list like this without smiling.

  10. What a wonderful list. Your grandma's noodles made me smile. :) I'm off to check the challenge. Thank you Leigh Ann.

  11. Enjoying your list and the answers to the questions!