Day 24 Gratitude Challenge

Today is Thanksgiving. Many have the day off from work. Many will gather with friends and family to overeat, watch football, and tell stories. What a fantastic tradition to gather In gratitude with those you care about.

Today I am reminded of past Thanksgivings. Growing up we shared Thanksgiving with close family friends. I have many great memories from those gatherings. In more recent years, our family gathers at a local club for amazing food and disappointing football (my youngest is a Detroit Lions fan). We gather again with a larger group (three generations) in a couple of days.

Today, rather than blog to start the day, my faithful companion took me for a walk. During the walk, I took time to think about all the things I am grateful for. I am grateful for my family and friends. I am grateful for my health and the health of those I care about. I am grateful for my home. I am grate for the opportunities I have. I am grateful for my job, my coworkers, customers, and organization. I am grateful for so much more than listed here but this is a start.

Todays’s challenge is to make a list. Make it a long list. What are you grateful for? Include everything whether big or small.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks for reading.

Day 23 Gratitude Challenge

Short post today. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. The weather forecast where I live is very favorable. It is supposed to be clear and 10 degrees warmer than normal. When in college, I remember driving home in poor driving conditions. Few will have to deal with this today or tomorrow.

Today, I am grateful for the weather forecast for as it allows people to travel safely to spend Thanksgiving with family. if you are traveling today, please do so safely.

Day 22 Gratitude Challenge

A couple of nights ago, Michael J. Fox won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award. “The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an Oscar statuette, is given to an ‘individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.’” It isn’t surprising he won the award.

In the 80s, Fox was one of the top stars in the world. His characters in television and film were iconic. In the early 90s his life changed with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. Fox kept his diagnosis secret for many years. In 1998, he went public with his diagnosis and ever since has been advocate to find a cure for the disease. Learn more about his efforts at the Michael J Fox Foundation

I took time to watch Fox’s acceptance speech for his award. Watching the speech I became overwhelmed with emotion. I was reminded of his optimism, compassion, and humor. I reflected on his career. I wondered what career had have been. Side note: My favorite movie of his is Doc Hollywood.

Mostly, I was reminded of my mother. Like Fox, in the early 90s, my mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. I remember her optimism when Fox went public with his diagnosis. She was hopeful his money and star power would help find a cure in time for her. While the cure did not come in time for my mother, I remain hopeful that a cure will come in my lifetime. I am grateful for the attention Michael J Fox has given Parkinson’s Disease.

He ends his speech with the following words:

“Because my optimism is fueled by my gratitude. And with gratitude, optimism is sustainable.”

The challenge today is to be optimistic. We all have challenges but can we face them with the optimism of Michael J Fox? Use your gratitude to sustain your optimism for a better world.

Day 21 Gratitude Challenge

“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.”

— Randy Pausch

Today the challenge is simple. Show gratitude towards others. Be conscious of saying thank you to others. Keep track of how many times you say it today. Pay attention to how people respond to your gratitude.

Also, be gentle with Viking fans. They might be a little sensitive today.

Day 20 Gratitude Challenge

“If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

William Morris

I came across this quote yesterday and it resonated with me. We recently “remodeled” our home. Additionally, we refurnished the house. The result is what was old and aging has been revitalized. Our home looks and feels new.

As part of the remodeling process, we gave away and/or disposed of many things in our house. Furniture, clothes, papers, books, and knick-knacks were all disposed of. It was a liberating experience.

While getting rid of unnecessary things is liberating, it is also overwhelming. It is overwhelming because of the amount of stuff we have accumulated over two decades. Where do you start? What do you keep? What do you throw away? Can you repurpose it? Here is my advice, use the rule above. Is the item useful or beautiful? If not part ways.

The challenge today is to look around your living space. Notice the things that are beautiful and useful. Notice the things that are neither – and get rid of those things. Commit to getting rid of two things today. Dispose of two things tomorrow. Repeat until the above quote is a reality.

Be grateful for the beauty around you. I have included a picture of my dog on the new furniture. Beauty and usefulness in a picture!

Day 19 – Gratitude Challenge

There is a current trend on Instagram asking people to post an old picture of you. If you don’t, you will have bad luck for two years. My life changed with a picture. The picture is at the top of this post. I remember taking the picture. It was a seasonably warm November day. The semester was wrapping up and I decided to teach a class in a hoodie. More importantly, I decided to memorialize the moment with a photograph.

Those that know me, know I like to take pictures. I have three primary cameras, a Nikon Z6, Canon PowerShot G7 Mark II, and my iPhone. Two years ago, I set up the Canon on a small tripod outside, used the remote photography feature through my phone, and snapped the photo. I posted the photo on social media with the following:

I’m teaching class today in my @augievolleyball hoodie Why?
1. Because I love the coaches and players
2. Because I can!
3. It’s a great day
4. My @augietennis hoodie is worn out
5. It’s the only Augie hoodie I have
6. My mom will probably appreciate a picture of me.

The post was intended to be lighthearted and funny. It was. But later that day I looked at the picture and said “Something has to change. I can’t be like this anymore.” For two years, I have been living healthier and happier.

Today I am grateful for at least two things. First, I am grateful for my interest in and the gift of photography. Photography captures moments. I love the moment I have captured over the years. Photographs serve as a reminder of the past. While one shouldn’t dwell on the past, it is entirely appropriate to reflect on the past. Second, I am grateful for the ability to change. One has the power to change. You just have to decide and act.

The challenge today, in addition to no complaining (remember day 1), is to ponder your hobbies or passions. Be grateful for those hobbies or passions. I love the stories pictures tell. So today, find an old photo of you and post it…or you might have two years of bad luck!

Day 18 – Gratitude Challenge

I have to admit that yesterday was one of those days that got away from me. Not sure exactly what happened but I didn’t get everything thing I wanted done. I lost focus and a bit of motivation. While I was grateful, I didn’t do as well I hoped in keeping the list. Today I will do yesterday’s challenge again.

In addition, I will do the challenge scheduled for today which is to focus on the gift of life. So often we forget that merely being alive is a great gift.

Each day I get to spend with family, friends, and coworkers is an opportunity to live, laugh, and love. So today, take moments to live. Be grateful with each breath. Listen to your heart beat and be grateful. To live is the great adventure of all.

Day 17 Gratitude Challenge

I was looking at the gratitude challenge post for this day from last year. Apparently the weather was extremely nice and I was able to take an hour long nature walk. Presently, it is 30° outside and falling. It is unlikely there will be a long nature walk today.

I cannot control the weather. Nor can I control most things that go on around me. I can control my response to things. Today I choose gratitude.

I am grateful for the gifts I have been given. I won’t list all of the gifts here. Throughout the day, I will keep a notebook handy and write things down for which I am grateful. At the end of the day, I will take a few minutes review the list and add to it. Then I will have a gratitude list that I can look at when I need to be reminded all that I have. I challenge you to do the same.

Day 16 – Gratitude Challenge

In recent days, I had several conversations about people going through health challenges. Some of the issues are significant while others are relatively minor. These conversations are reminder of how delicate life can be.

I have a pretty good life health wise. I have relatively few major health issues. Some is due to luck. But over the last few years I have made health a priority. I am in reasonably good shape (though I hope to get in better shape). I try to walk at least 10,000 steps (about 5 miles) every day. Current streak is at 990 days. I eat fairly well. So, overall good health.

Today I am grateful for my health. Especially, this good health I presently enjoy. After I write this blog post, I am going to take my dog for a short walk outside. It’s 21 degrees but feels like 0 and is dark. I’ll try to be grateful that I can do this. maybe you can do something healthy today too. Take a walk. Eat a vegetable. Workout. Drink more water.

Day 15 – Gratitude Challenge

Few will remember that he would have been a year older today. I am sad he no longer with us. But I am grateful for the 59+ years he was on earth. His life and his death have impacted my life beyond measure. My brother was special. Happy Birthday, Jeff! Thanks for letting blow out the candles.

Take time today to notice the people around you. Don’t just float through the day and mindlessly interact. Go out of your way to give compliments to people. Often, we have no idea what people may be going through. Maybe someone just lost a family member. Maybe someone just lost a job. Maybe they just ended a relationship. Your compliment may make all the difference today.

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