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Gratitude is a Way of Life

I’m thankful for so much. November is typically the “Month of Gratitude” where everyone posts lists of things they’re grateful for. I used to do the whole “post one thing each day that you’re grateful for” when I had a personal blog (long before Facebook and even Myspace!). This post was supposed to see the light of day before November was over but, life happened and I got super busy. You all can relate, right?!

This Season of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I have cooked Thanksgiving dinner nearly every single year since 2001 – and that was before I had kids and a family of my own. In 2001 I was celebrating being thankful for sobriety. I used to have a blog online where I chronicled my journey into and through sobriety but, it’s been long gone from the internet so I’ll give you a quick recap. Party Girl

My teens and early twenties were spent being everyone’s favorite party girl. I started going to clubs at 15 and because my crew knew the door guy, the DJ, and the bartenders I also was being served alcohol underage. The party life was mesmerizing. I was in the DJ booth, all over the dance floor and having what seemed like the time of my life. 

Eventually it got to a point where I was drinking every day of the week, going out to bars or clubs alone, and sometimes waking up in places that weren’t familiar with people I didn’t recognize. Yikes! Then, I was in a car accident.  I was on my way to work and a lady slammed into me. After going to the hospital and calling my attorney I started physical therapy. To get started, a full physical was ordered first which included blood work. That’s when my “secret” started to unravel. 

I officially got sober on June 2, 2001; I was 25.

That seems like a lifetime ago and I guess it kind of is.

During my early sobriety my sponsor encouraged me to write and keep a Gratitude List. This was supposed to be carried with me and then in moments of self-doubt I was supposed to pull it out and read over all of the good things in my life that I had gratitude for. It really was a useful tool and I kept up with it for a long time. I would update the Gratitude List occasionally as new things needed to be added or things became irrelevant. The list would change just how life changes.

I found this great article on How to Write a Gratitude List in case you want to start your own and you’re not sure where to begin:

…positive psychology research outlined in Harvard Health Publications shows that “gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.”

We’re all only human, though…

I fell back into drinking and partying for a short time and then I got pregnant – and that saved my life. It’s been seventeen and a half years since I first gave up the party girl lifestyle. I don’t use the term “sober” to describe myself any longer. I don’t attend meetings although I once did. But, I am grateful that I now have a new perspective on life and a different set of priorities.

This year my gratitude list has changed a bit. I’m still grateful for that sobriety that I found in 2001 that showed me another way of living. Of course I’m still grateful for that baby that made me a mom and now I have a second baby, too. I’m grateful for growing older because with age comes wisdom – I know that is a cliche saying but, it is TRUE! I’d like to stop actually aging now and just be able to keep gaining wisdom. HAHA. I’m grateful for my family and my true friends. I’m grateful for my individuality, my talents and my creative thinking. The hard life lessons I’ve learned along the way are also on my Gratitude List.

So, tell me – what are YOU most grateful for? What’s on the top of your Gratitude List?

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