The first step is admitting you have a problem.

cart before

I admit it. I like to find things in other people’s trash.  Not deep in the trash under banana peels or dirty diapers or anything, mind you (I am still a germaphobe), but trash that’s visible from my car as I drive by.

I like to think of it as high-end dumpster diving. Or re-purposing of perfectly salvageable items on their way to the dump via the neighborhood trash truck. Items for which it causes me physical pain to think about them being hoisted up and over the back of the garbage truck cab and tossed into that teetering back heap in pieces.

These dumpster dive treasures call my name and wave me down as I drive by, shouting out to me “Hey, hey you…  Here I am… Yes, me! Isn’t this a shame?  You can’t let this happen, can you?”  They wait for me to slowly turn my car around to take a closer look and that’s when if they had a tail it would certainly start wagging … and in the car they go.

This is why my kids and MacGyver don’t even flinch when once every few months they see a new piece of very questionable looking furniture in the garage.  They know the drill.

Maybe I’m a hoarder, It may be genetic.  But I like to think of it as being a rescuer.

So, when I was driving through my neighborhood a couple of weeks ago and saw this old tea cart out on the curb by someone’s trash cans, I had to stop and perform a rescue mission. Yes, I was already cutting it close for my appointment, but I could hear the roar of the trash truck getting closer and her demise was imminent.

She had badly chipped veneer (under a perfectly quaint and in-tact wood framed glass tray) and she was missing wheels (which the owner was kind enough to set out for the likely rescuer) and she was was scratched, crooked and unsteady as hell.  In the back of my 4Runner she went.   

cart wheel

MacGyver grinned and shook his head as I later pleaded this poor little tea cart’s case and asked for his help in attaching the wheels and leveling her out.  ‘She can make it,’ I explained.

And so it was.  Here are the steps of this ‘little cart-that-could’s rebirth:

1. MacGyver reattached the little wheels under the cart. cart level

2. She was still unsteady due to the odd wheel configuration, so MacGyver worked to level her by adding spacers above her smaller wheels.  I was the assisting nurse, keeping watch on her vitals by watching for the little bubble in the little window of the metal level.

3. Then came the spray paint.  Oh, the glorious spray paint.  I can change the world with a few cans of spray paint.

cart paint

4. I taped and sanded her tray and on the front lawn where I still had good sunlight (my neighbors think I’m nuts) I gave it a few shots of a brilliant, deep red to test out the color.  She started to smile instantly.

5. Then the next day after the glue dried on the little wheels, this little cart got a thorough sanding and a coat of all-over red, except for her big, center wheels which I spray painted black as if they were the black patent shoes she needed for her new, red dress.cart red

6. Her makeover was complete.  She turned out so beautiful in the end that we decided to let her live with us on a permanent basis.  She has found a home in my dining room.

Despite her questionable background,  this little tea cart has made a lovely addition to our family and she seems to be working through her abandonment issues.

It turns out that you just never know what you might find on someone else’s curb on trash day.  And what it could become.  And that, my friends, is the fun of it.

Have you ever dumpster-dived?

How to Recognize a Close Encounter of the Personal Kind.

space invader

You know who I’m talking about.

Those people who get so close to you that you almost feel their breath on your neck as you stand in line at the grocery store, post office or drug store.  Anywhere there is a line with people who think that you’re too slow and they’re more important,  or who were seriously raised by parents who did not teach them about respecting the personal space of others.

This often takes place as I am paying and I want to offer them a piece of gum out of my purse since they can see inside it so well.

A grown man in the next line over at the store yesterday was so up in this lady’s business and being such a spaz about it that I could feel the energy in the next lane over. (This photo does not do the situation justice and I was trying to be discreet.)  I wanted to ask him if he had to use the restroom or something since he seemed in such a hurry.

Often these space invaders have one hand on their hip, their arms crossed or even their legs crossed like this guy.  And some sighs and heavy breathing might take place. Sometimes body odor.

Naively, I always think that making some dramatic eye contact with a semi-sneer will make it clear to them that they are invading my space and they need to back off.

Or sometimes I think that if I just hold my ground and not move a single inch until I’m good and ready, they’ll get the message.

I’ve even tried slightly backing up to throw them off, to no avail.

I always want to say something like “You seem like you’re in a hurry since you’re up so close and personal with me right now, want to go ahead of me?  Or do you just want to get to know me better?”  Or “You seem like you need a hug … is that why you’re getting so close?”   But I worry that I would start something that I’m physically unable to carry through.

Any attempts I make to help space invaders realize that they are bucking  this social norm are futile.  I’m baffled.  Or maybe I’m delusional to think that I can really change another human being’s behavior? ( Logically I know this to be the answer but I still love to analyze it.)

How do you handle Close Encounters of the Personal Kind?  Any tips?

Code Blue: Gratitude Withdrawal! (Next Challenge is ON, Baby.)

As the holidays approach, I’m embarrassed to admit that this week has been entirely sucky. I’ve felt overwhelmed by life in general, by my only-child parent care-taking guilt and worries, my kid obligations and stress, and my work, which continues to dramatically uninspire me as I cram on deadlines until midnight only to write more editions of corporate gruel.  And the fact that I already received my first Christmas card in the mail a few days ago – WHILE IT’S STILL NOVEMBER FOR GOD’S SAKE, PEOPLE – sure as hell didn’t  help. (No, it wasn’t a Thanksgiving card, which would have been fine. Doesn’t everyone know that most citizens ceremoniously TORCH cards that come that early in November only to stress us the hell out about how behind we are?)

I seriously think the main reason for my crappy mindset this past week is due to my lack of gratitude blogging, which I had been doing religiously for 100 days.  I should have been celebrating this 100-day success all week, but instead I was busy being irritated and overwhelmed by everyone and everything.  I think the diagnosis is full-on gratitude withdrawal. Either that or everyone and everything is getting on my nerves on purpose, which you never know.

So here’s the deal:  My next challenge will be to blog about Grasping for Gratitude – One Day at a Time –  for a minimum of three days per week for as long as I feel like it. But I can’t stop until I proclaim another challenge (that way the procrastinator beast within me is held somewhat accountable).

Thank God I took exercise out of this next challenge.  I am grateful for my openness to try it and for my ability to see that it wasn’t going to fly. I really don’t need anything else to feel guilty about.  So let’s pretend like that never happened. (I’ll exercise anyway as much as I can, but it won’t be part of my blog.)

This Grasping for Gratitude idea will also be the focus of some other writing I am working on. I have talked to so many friends lately who have hard stuff (crap) going on in our lives right now — as we all do (if not now, then at some point).  And, frankly, the only way we’re going to make it to the other side of whatever we’re dealing with — without turning into resentful, grumpy or bitchy people — is by grasping for gratitude as if our life depends on it.  And I’m determined that when we make it to the other side (or onto our next chapter), we become stronger human beings who are more compassionate, more self-aware and more centered.  This is my goal.

So …  I’ll take a shot of gratitude, with a little salt and lime on the side.  This will help me get past the gaudy, overboard, unmatching lights that went up in my neighborhood several days BEFORE Thanksgiving (Bah Humbug) that make me insane.  (And that I find so particularly ironic considering I live in such a crunchy energy-conserving state.)  …. Along with many other things that make me nuts. (Thank goodness my friends and family enjoy nuts.)

Whew, I feel better.  Thanks for your patience with my little rant. And thanks – ever so much – for your support on this journey.

I challenge YOU to jot something down that you are grateful for every time you read one of my Grasping for Gratitude posts. Grab a notebook or pad of paper (nothing fancy – that’s just a procrastination technique), or start a running document on your computer’s desktop – and start a simple list of what you’re grateful for – one day at a time. You’ll thank me later.

What are you grateful for today?

Top 10 Reasons Not To Have Petite Friends If You’re Not Petite. Gratitude Experiment: Day 48

I will preface this post with a note that I am not of Amazonian proportions. In fact,  I am an average sized person if not a tad less bulky than average.  But growing up in my family, 5’7″ actually was Amazonian.    I towered over my mother and sister for much of my life.  Yes, they were short, cute, petite little buggers and I heard quite a few wisecracks from them over the years (although it was advantageous to be taller than your older sister).

As an adult,  I have formed wonderful friendships with a few petite, some might even say tiny, friends. But I’ve realized this doesn’t do my vain ego any favors.  Too late to change direction on those friendships for sure, but I can apply these findings to potential petite pals in the future.

At any rate, here’s why:

1. There is no way I can be in a photo with these petite pals and not look like I am a giant who is getting ready to eat them.

2. I’m destined to have a “big eater” complex at restaurants with them whenever I reach for the breadbasket (let alone the New York Strip and loaded mashed potatoes).

3. My large head,  especially next to them, looks freakishly out of proportion in photos — especially if, heaven forbid, I end up in the foreground of the photo.

4 . There’s not any clothes swapping or borrowing going on with these mini mates.

5.  If I was to try on their jewelry – their rings would barely fit my pinky finger I’m pretty sure.  Not an ego booster.

6. There’s not any shoe swapping going on with these bite size buddies either.  And I’m convinced that shoe manufacturers either produce less attractive shoes in size 9, or they just look far less attractive when that long.

7. Sometimes aforementioned photos end up on Facebook and I wonder if it’s because I make them look great by size comparison.

8 .  There is the distinct possibility of jail time for me after violent reactions to any one of them complaining about feeling too big or fat (even though I know it’s all relative).

9. Few clothing items that look good on my pint size pals will look good on me when found in my size.  Let’s face it, clothing designers like the way their clothes look on small framed people and they design them that way.

10. When in photos with these friends, I usually have to lean or kneel down a bit so that I don’t tower over them or end up out of the picture frame.  This usually ends up creating an even more awkward looking photo — like I have a hunchback or spinal curvature condition.  Super sexy.

That Randy Newman Short People song kept going through my head as I was writing this post.  I wondered what his motivation was for the lyrics and thought about how controversial and mean it would sound today.  After a little research, it turns out that he was referring to people with short tempers who are small-minded.   Or that’s his story and he’s sticking to it.

Today, despite my whining, I am very grateful for all of my friends, large and small.  And for my readers, short and tall.

National “Think Before You Reply-All” Day. Gratitude Experiment: Day 44

I hereby declare today as National “Think Before You Reply-All to Emails”  Day.

It tends to happen a lot on kids sports team emails for some reason.  And a lot of work emails.

Pass the word.  If it’s not necessary to reply to an entire group on an email, please resist the urge.  And only reply to the person who actually needs to know that Johnny has an eye doctor appointment because his stye has been oozing for two and a half days, so he’ll have to miss practice today.

You get the idea.  This will save me from poking my eyes out repeatedly.  And most likely many others.

Today I am grateful that everyone I come across in the blogosphere seems pretty smart and they probably already know this.

Happy Friday.

If you aren’t registered to vote, quit reading my blog and register. Gratitude Experiment: Day 42

While more countries than ever around the world are fighting for the right to vote, the United States has one of the lowest voter turnouts of any comparable wealthy countries.

According to Pew Center Research, 51 million people are eligible to vote but are not registered.

Of those polled by CNN, 26% said they were too busy to get themselves on the voter rolls. Twelve percent said their vote wouldn’t count anyway, and 10% said they just didn’t want to get registered.

Even more sobering are estimates that only 75 percent of registered voters will actually cast a ballot this fall.

In a USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll of people in the United States who are eligible to vote, eight in 10 say the government plays an important role in their lives. Yet these same people say that the odds are 50-50 that they will even vote.

The main reasons cited are that they are too busy, they just aren’t excited about either candidate, they think their vote doesn’t really matter, or my favorite – nothing ever gets done anyway.

However a look back at history not very long ago shows just how many have fought and sacrificed to establish the right for all citizens in our country to vote.  And it makes this lack of concern distressing, to say the least.

When the US was founded, only white men with property could vote. By 1869, the 15th Amendment guaranteed the right to vote to black men (but it wasn’t until 1965, after much suffering and violence, that literacy tests, as well as many other tactics to dissuade voters of certain races or colors, including violence, were banned).

And it wasn’t until 1920 – less than 100 years ago — when all women in the U.S. could vote, after 50 years of suffragists being beaten, jailed and treated like traitors for wanting the right to vote.

So when I hear that the top reasons given by unregistered voters and by registered voters not planning to vote is that they are too busy or they don’t think it matters, it gets me a little hot under the collar.

Today, on national register to vote day –  as voter registration deadlines loom –  I am grateful for my right to vote and the fact that I realize it does matter.

(For information on voter registration and where candidates stand on various issues, see For your state’s voter registration deadline visit:

Better Luck Next Time Pinterest. Gratitude Experiment: Day 41

Okay, so I’m trying to figure out this Pinterest thing.  I’ve got an account and a few bulletin boards.  I don’t use it much at all, but I look around on it every now and then.

I did create a board for how I want my funeral to play out.  Can’t decide if that’s too weird.  I’ve got the perfect song to be played, and poem to be read and flowers for my attendee’s viewing pleasure.  It’s possibly a little darker than your average Pinterest board about decorating or cooking, but you’d be surprised how many “repins” I’ve gotten on that board.

And after a few months of minimal use I start to notice that, just as with most social networking these days, the site was clearly harvesting my user habits for a profit somehow.

So I wasn’t surprised the other day I got an email addressed to me by name from Pinterest. The subject line read “Hi, Pinterest has some great boards that would be of interest to you!” Cool, I think. My ADD personality doesn’t want to really meet my deadlines today, so I’ll open the email and check out these boards they picked out just for me.

First suggested board — “Tattoos.” Uh, nothing against them, but I’m much too fickle to be able to commit to any one tattoo image for a whole week, much less a lifetime.  And the thought of having one stretched over my eighty year old skin someday makes me throw up in my mouth a little. So I really don’t want to spend time looking at pictures of  tattoos people have gotten of their dogs, girlfriends and photography equipment. Who knew camera tattoos were so popular?

Next up –“Birds.”  If you’ve read my post that talked about birds, you know that I am pretty much terrified of them.  I’ll never forget being dive bombed by a family of cackling Blue Jays years ago.  Barely made it out with both eyes. So  looking at pictures of birds with sharp, grimy claws up close and personal wants to make me run for the hills. Even though learning how to make a bird house out of a cowboy boot would be pretty awesome procrastination material next time I’m avoiding a work project.

And lastly — “Fun Crafts with the Bible.”  Hmmm. Not sure how to put this, but I really don’t want to learn how to make crafts based on Bible characters.  Although next time I need to know how to carve Noah’s ark out of a watermelon, I’ll know where to look.  And the twelve disciples do appear to fit nicely into an egg carton.

Better luck next time, Pinterest. I can’t wait to see what you come up with for me next time.

Today I am grateful that online data mining doesn’t always work.  Because it’s pretty entertaining when it doesn’t.

Update on keep your shirt on. Gratitude Experiment: Day 38

This post is from yesterday.

On weekdays my husband and I get so busy that sometimes we’re lucky if we just exchange an email or two.

So when I heard his telltale footsteps downstairs at the end of the day, I knew he was home. When I went to find him to say hello, I ended up in the garage looking for him. And there he was, at the workbench, pretending like he was working on something, shirtless.

Apparently he read my ‘put your shirt on’ post. If only there had been a Bud Light by his side instead of a Stranahan’s.

I’m grateful that my husband has a sense of humor, along with most people in my life. Life would be all too boring otherwise.

I’m no prude, but put your shirt on. Gratitude Experiment: Day 37

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I live right by a beautiful state park. And I live in the number one state to make you feel like a lazy pathetic slug.  Seriously, the ninety-nine-year-olds run uphill marathons here. I’m doing good to take the stairs at a fast clip.

So every day when I drive through my neighborhood there are easily four dog walkers and two or three runners in my line of sight. Today, two men were running without their shirts on.  I had to do a double take in my rear view window on one of them because for a second I thought it was a woman running topless.

Now I have never been called a prude. And frankly, I’m known to occasionally blurt out some purely shocking and crude stuff just to mix things up. But come on guys, put your damn shirt on and leave your nipples for your girlfriend’s viewing pleasure. I don’t want to see them. Or anything else under your shirt, sorry.

Women don’t walk around without any pants on just because they don’t have an extra piece of equipment.  So why should you just because most of you don’t have boobs?

Even if you are some hot hunk or you have fabulously cut muscles, no thanks. I’m sure there are some circumstance where it might be okay in public like at the beach, but I find it pretty skeevy most of the time.  And it immediately makes me think you’re not very smart. And even if you’re just mowing your own lawn, it still makes you look like a tool.

And you know that saying about how women who leave a little to the imagination tend to be a little more classy? It applies to you too, jogging hairy boob chest man, sorry.

Today I am grateful that my handsome husband doesn’t jog, bike or mow without a shirt on and because the thought of doing so really doesn’t go through his mind at all.

There’s an Alien in the Coffee Shop. Gratitude Experiment: Day 36

Okay since I used up my Kleenex writing my last post, let’s get some things clear.  This post is not going to be a) heavy, b) depressing or c) lengthy.   Okay maybe a little lengthy because I can’t figure out how to get my posts to be shorter.  Thanks for your patience.

So early this morning I went to get my hair colored because this new getting gray hair thing just plain pisses me off.  Along with needing reading glasses.   No one told me that my body would start immediately deteriorating at warp speed the minute I turned 43. This isn’t funny.

So I’m in the salon waiting the allotted 20 minutes as my color processes and I check my email.  Two emails are friends letting me know that the Denver Post printed my letter to the editor in today’s paper.  Crap, I forgot to check my paper before I left because I was running late.  Not surprising for me.  And before I left I had a client sending me messages with RED FLAGS of importance for matters far from urgent.

I clicked on the email link to the paper.  Cool, they really printed it.  But it just looked like a blog post.  I wanted to see it in real life because that’s the closest thing I’ve had to a byline in years.  Since they don’t let me add bylines to my data sheet copy selling underground fuel storage tank monitoring equipment.  (Yes, my work is Sexy.) I wanted a paper.

I looked at the timer that my stylist had set next to me and then I looked in the mirror.  I have never had so much dye and so many crazy looking foils all over my head in my lifetime.  I’ve gotten highlights before but this time I was switching things up with my color, so she had to empty the store room of color product in order to apply it all over my graying head.  And all the foils where gathered and gooped together into a column pointing up and out the back of my head.  I looked like that creature from Alien, but without all the spit.  I was looking hot.

But I wanted a paper, damn it.  I looked at the lady in the chair next to me.  I asked her if she thought I would frighten people if I walked over to Dazbog Coffee to ask if they sell papers.  Her eyebrows raised and she suggested I have one of the receptionists at the salon go get a paper for me.  But I was perfectly able.  And I’m sure Dazbog would be nearly empty at this time in the morning.

So I grabbed my purse and headed out.  I now had 14 minutes and I wanted a newspaper.  And I didn’t want to wait.

I walked down the sidewalk past people having coffee and got some stares. No biggie.  Then I walk in, with my sassy salon smock and Alien-shaped-hair-color- foiled head.  The place is packed.  With business people. Really? I made a joking comment to the lady in front of me in line so she wouldn’t be frightened if she turned around and wasn’t prepared.  I looked across to my left and at least four or five men were motioning toward me and staring, among plenty others there.  Maybe guys really have no idea what we go through to look so freaking fabulous? Good grief.

Another lady walked up and totally got it.  Time is money.  Gotta get stuff done.  Next, Dazbog girl points me in the direction of the newspapers in the middle of the cafe loungey area.

The clock was ticking.  I was over it. I grabbed a stack of papers, pulled over at a table near the line and started looking through the sections to find my letter. Then I get the feeling that someone close is watching me even more closely.  I turn my head slowly and see that there is a little three-year-old girl who is squeezing her Mom’s hand and staring at me with her jaw dropped.  Just like the kid  in the  Monsters, Inc. movie.  I think she may have wet herself, I’m not sure.  She was scared to death. I apologized to her Mom and told her I was worried this might happen.  She told me it wasn’t a problem and she does the same thing sometimes.  Yeah right.

The Dazbog gal told me I could keep the paper so I sprinted back to the salon, passing more tables of people staring.  I was over it by now and wanted to pull a foil out, hand it to them and keep on walking.

Mission was complete: hair turned out okay, I looked a little less mommish and I had a pretty good time freaking people out, except for the little girl who may have wet herself.

Plus I got my paper and saw my name in print.  Oh, and helped my cause. For all this, I am grateful.

When I grow up. Gratitude Experiment: Day 26

I want to be like my neighbor when I grow up. He lives across the street from me. He and his wife raised all of their children in that house.  Their kids now live in various states, with children of their own.  I think he is very close to 90 years old.

He yells ‘Hi neighbor!’ to me from across the street every time he sees me. He calls me by the wrong name sometimes but that just makes me smile all the more. I have never seen him unhappy.

I have to speak  loudly when we chat because he is very hard of hearing and has Meniere’s diseasean inner ear disorder that affects balance and hearing. Many afternoons you can see him jogging or riding his bike around our neighborhood. He tells me that he thinks if he just keeps active maybe he can jiggle things around enough up there in his head enough that it will work itself out.  He also just quit skiing black runs about four years ago. For real. (I’m doing good to ski blue runs.)

When we have big snows, he uses his snow blower to remove snow from our entire cul-de-sac’s sidewalks. And sometimes he does all of our driveways too (we live in a small cul-de-sac thank goodness).

He has a killer old red sports car that he drives every clear day.  I can hear its engine rumble as he zooms off each morning with his hat on that reminds me of the one Gilligan wore on Gilligan’s island.

On trash pickup days if I’m gone after the truck as come, he returns my trashcan to the back of my driveway for me.  And he does this for all of us. He also brings us all a jar of home-made jelly from his church sale during the holidays.

He has a compliment for me every single time I talk with him.  And he calls me when he needs to know how to do something on his computer, always ever so thankful for my help.

Today I am grateful that I get to live by this great guy who provides me with a wonderful example of how to live life. I hope I can be like him when I grow up.

Breakfast Club Flashback. Gratitude Experiment: Day 25

Today as I sat waiting in the high school parking lot to drop off my son’s tennis equipment before he left for a tennis match, I was transported to another world.  Actually back to my world back in high school.  And the world according to the Breakfast Club movie in 1985.

This movie has been hailed as one of the greatest high school films of all time, by John Hughes (God rest his fantastic movie making soul).  And the song – “Don’t You Forget About Me,” that instantly reminds my generation of scenes from the movie that have stayed with us since.

The movie follows  five students—Allison Reynold (Ally Sheedy),  Andrew Clark (Emilio Estevez), John Bender (Judd Nelson), Brian Johnson (my favorite Anthony Michael Hall),  and Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald) as they surprisingly find common ground with each other throughout a single day of detention on a Saturday.  Each student represented a different clique or stereotype within the school.  If you haven’t seen it, rent it.

Watching the disbursement of high schoolers on a Friday after school took me right there. I watched each stereotype pass the front of my car. During a phase when I am feeling a little old and thinking things are so very different, I suddenly realized things really didn’t seem that different. Had nothing really changed except for the fact that they each had a cell phone and ATM card in their pocket?

The ‘Jock’s (although in this case both male and female) were gathered on the sidewalk high-fiveing each other.  The ‘punk’ hard edge type kids were all walking alone with a jolted gate, looking very guarded. I even saw one bump into a jock, then the jock got upset and held his hands out just like in the movies (if only he had been wearing a letter jacket), then the punker extended his hand and they shook hands and did a “bro” hug.  I should have been filming as it was stereotypical perfection.

Then I also watched as the many ‘princesses’ dialed for their rides exhaustedly while flipping their hair in frustration and simultaneously watching peripherally to see who was checking them out.  Then came the ‘brainiacs’/nerds as I watched them attempt to talk to the cute girl jocks while the huge guy jocks with gelled hair stood to the side fanning their feathers.  They didn’t stand a chance but I was rooting for them.  And I sadly watched a ‘misfit’ walk out to her car alone.

Maybe they will all be in detention together one day and bond over their similarities, but I doubt it.  More likely, they will all find themselves in different cubicles of the same corporate world and bond over the lack of sunlight.  Sorry, that was dark.

Today I am just grateful that the world isn’t really racing ahead as fast as I thought.  And that makes me happy.

Coming Clean. Gratitude Experiment: Day 9.

Okay I have to come clean on something.  I’m starting to get a complex that every day I need to have something profound to write about on my blog.  However, I’m finding that it’s not always that easy.  And I have enough self imposed guilt trips that I am not going to feel guilty about this too.

So, some days I will just list a few things that I am grateful for while ideas for more profound posts percolate in my head (I promise some good ones are forming up there).

– I am grateful today that my family is safe and healthy – I have heard lots of stories this week in our community of those not as fortunate and they are in my thoughts.

-Also thankful that I have a career that is flexible with nice clients (although I really need to quit procrastinating on my work projects – this blog is way too good of a procrastination tool.)

-And grateful for my dear husband, who puts up with all my bad habits and neuroses, making him  the most patient and kind human being on the planet.  For real.

***Can you think of one or two things that you are grateful for right now?  Think about writing just one to three things down each night before you go to sleep on a notepad you keep under your bed.  Nothing fancy required.  Keep a pen by your clock to remind you.

Studies show that those who practice daily gratitude feel better about their lives overall, are more optimistic about the future, and report fewer health problems. Studies have also shown that those using daily gratitude  get more sleep.  With less time spent awake before falling asleep, they end up feeling more refreshed in the morning — and who couldn’t use that?  Other studies show that gratitude can even have a protective effect against heart attacks.

And… it’s cheaper than therapy by a long shot.  Try it tonight. You will thank me later, I promise.

Kids survive first day back to school unscathed. Gratitude Experiment: Day 7

I am grateful that my kids had a seemingly great first day back to school with no complaints.  Instead they told some pretty funny stories on the ride home.  And even mentioned a few teachers they thought they were going to really like.  I’ll take that, plus a bag of chips, any day.

It was hard to get up at 5:45 am after a lazy summer, but we conquered.  For that I am thankful!