Gratitude in the Blues

Yesterday I read a post from Deb of The Monster in Your Closet, Sixty Things o’ Grateful. This post got me thinking, surely despite my rather long period of blues this year I have much to be grateful for. That my gratitude didn’t just belong in this year but truly extended. I determined I would play by the rules, if I couldn’t come up with at least fifty things to be grateful for, happy about in the allotted time I would sit back and meditate my reasoning, otherwise I would post.

What I found? I have much that I am truly grateful for, much I am consistently happy about, many small things that are a part of my life right now that are making me grow and become more me. Some things are simply a part of my world, I need to remind myself how much these things mean, how much they are of value and how very much they make me happy. Other things, well they are new and vital to my being. I recognize how much I need to tell people I love them, value them and appreciate their presence in my life. How important they are and how much they make my life better simply by being there. I don’t do this often enough.

To join us for this project: 1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste the instructions from this post, into yours) 2) Click on the Blue Frog at Tales From The Motherland. 3) That will take you to another window, where you can past the URL to your post. 4) Follow the prompts, and your post will be added to the Blog Party List. Please note: the InLinkz will expire on January 15, 2015. After that date, no blogs can be added.

Please note that only blog posts that include a list of 50 (or an attempt to write 50) things that made you feel Happy or 50 things that you are Grateful for, will be included. Please don’t add a link to a post that isn’t part of this exercise; I will remove it. Aside from that one caveat, there is no such thing as too much positivity. Share your happy thoughts, your gratitude; help us flood the blogosphere with both!

Without further ado, my list of fiftish things I am grateful for in 2015 and more. After I made the list and put it up I added pictures and in some cases an explanation.

  1. Finding love, repeatedly in odd and unexpected places, creating new friendships where I never expected.
  2. A contract that has kept me busy, paid the bills and where the client isn’t entirely crazy as is so often the case with my clients. I expect there is an element with contracting, we always see the worst.
  3. My sons, their wives and children. I am so fortunate to share their lives, things could have turned out so differently when their father and I divorced. But instead, my step-sons and their mother (wife-in-law) have remained a central part of my life.
  4. My latest sister and getting to know her. She appeared out of nowhere, another one of my biological father’s children. Born just after me, also put up for adoption but now we found each other and are getting to know each other, I am both grateful and happy. Makes me wonder how many more there are out there.
  5. Remaining mostly without pain all year.
  6. Letting myself enjoy my introversion without guilt, I think this is the first year since I was a teenager I have simply sunk in and allowed myself this freedom.
  7. Learning to say no without guilt.
  8. Traveling to my nieces wedding in Seattle.One Brother
  9. Seeing my brother more than once this year!
  10. Learning to sleep further in the middle of the bed, as if I own it. Three years of singledom and still I slept on ‘my side’ of the bed, finally I almost sleep in the middle.
  11. Getting rid of fat clothes as if I won’t grow back into them. It isn’t that I am dieting, it is simply I have been doing better about eating healthy and taking better care of myself.
  12. Letting my poetry be read again, without embarrassment.
  13. My friends, reconnecting.
  14. Sunrises on the lake.
  15. Rain, though usually I hate it all the lakes have refilled now.
  16. Gap insurance. Having had a bad car accident this year where my car was totaled, Gap Insurance saved me!
  17. Christmas gift bags, what a great solution. All the Christmas gifts would have been delivered unwrapped this year without Gift Bags, I simply ran out of time!
  18. Extended families and the oddities of hundreds. With somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty-three siblings, their families and now third generations; yes, it extends to over one hundred. It is hard but wonderful to watch all the oddballs, geniuses and lovers make their way through this world.
  19. Victim Impact and extending my participation this year to new avenues that have forced me to face my own demons even while allowing me to let them go.
  20. Only one seizure all year.
  21. My tattoo artist James!
  22. My wife-in-law and our friendship of thirty plus years. The mother of my sons has been a member of my tribe for longer than damned near anyone else, she is friend, family and partner in raising our Sons.
  23. Coming home every night from work. After more than twenty years on the road, this is one of the greatest blessing ever.
  24. Dinner with friends during the week.
  25. Fresh flowers on the dining room table. I buy them for myself and they make me happy every single day.
  26. Peace, I finally understand how critical peace in my home is.
  27. My blogging family who have sometimes kept me sane.
  28. Long drives with no destination at all.
  29. Quiet, true and simple quiet when I want it.
  30. Books, stacked to read without interruption.
  31. Growing my hair without anyone telling me they hate it.
  32. Made beds, clean sheets.
  33. Lavender bushes filling the air from early spring to late fall with rich scents.DSC_0152
  34. Kind strangers.
  35. Naps on Saturday because I can. Because I am not traveling Saturday is now a day of rest if I wish it.
  36. Taking myself on a date.
  37. Going on a real date with someone other than myself.
  38. Hugs, just that hugs.
  39. Long hot baths without interruptions.
  40. Criminal Minds marathons.
  41. Butterfly gardens.
  42. The dog warming my feet.
  43. The cats fighting for a place on my lap.
  44. New jeans in a smaller size and feeling good about it.
  45. Having my hair brushed by my grandson.
  46. Hearing ‘I Love You’ and knowing it is true.
  47. Removing drama from my world, even when it hurts.
  48. Becoming more me, finding my center.
  49. Laughter, the big huge from the heart kind of laughter that brings tears to your eyes and causes hiccups.
  50. Good deeds from the spirit, done from genuine love.
  51. Messes, because it is fine if things aren’t perfect all the time.
  52. Finishing a project, any project and knowing it is off my plate; permanently.
  53. Letting go of some of the old hurts.
  54. Sometimes, to clear the heart just a good cry is what is needed. I no longer try to hold back.
  55. Raising my arms above my head to brush my own hair! Years ago I couldn’t do this and I cut all my hair off. Now I can, I am growing it back.
  56. Letting my personal demons dance without interruption or fear.RayL
  57. Choosing life. I am grateful I no longer feel dead inside, just walking through the world with nothing to offer, nothing to give and no hope. I am hopeful.


  1. singleworkingmomswm says:

    This is wonderful, Val. You look amazing, and I am so happy you are gaining health and happiness. We have grown a lot over these last few years, haven’t we? Love you! XXOO, Kasey

    • It is an exercise Kasey, I am glad I took it on as it forced me to truly consider all I have been given. Yes, we have grown and learned. It has been and continues to be a fascinating journey, one I am sure many of us will stumble on more times than we would wish but will continue to jump back up and dance.

      Love you too.

  2. Hi Val. I soooooo need to talk to you in 2016. I’ve been walking around hardly feeling this year. Coming off of an unexpected drug addiction followed by a separation has upended me this year. I’m learning to be alone after 25 years of marriage & it’s a really hard adjustment, as you well know. Thinking of you.

  3. “Sunrises on the lake” I love the sound of that 😉

  4. Oh, my, this is the happiest of posts! It is so good to see you happy, Val. Sometimes we just have to look at the small things that we can be grateful for. 2015 brought unexpected challenges for me with a loved one close to me and there will be more to come. As always you are an inspiration to me! Hugs to you my blogger friend!!!

    • I am so glad this brings out happy in you and others. When I first decided to take up the challenge I thought to myself, there is no way I will arrive at 50 things, it has been such a hard year. When I started typing I could have continued but the timer went off and I had to stop!

      It is funny, it is the small things. We have so many in our lives and if we simply stop and smell the roses sometimes we might just find ourselves being both more grateful and happier.

      I hope the coming year finds you with blessings.

  5. And may next year bring this list to 107. 🙂

  6. Some items made me laugh because they were so you … which means well done. Merry Christmas, and enjoy the day with your family.

  7. Thank you SO much for joining the gratitude party! I love this list, with its wonderfully honest mix of challenging and fulfilling! I could have stolen several of them, but #56 is just brilliant! I love the wording and that image, just fabulous! I’m so glad you took the time to do this; it’s hard to not feel good, when we sit down and write these things down. I’m having a hard year, in many respects, but writing down the things I’m grateful for really helped me feel grateful for all the good I have too! Reading all of the other lists? Icing on the cake! Thanks for participating!

    • LIke you, I am having a very difficult year, thus ‘in the blues’. Finding this challenge and doing it was simply one more thing to be truly grateful for. Thank you for offering it up.

      I am making my way through the other lists, which make me smile and cheer.

      • It’s hard to not feel good when you’re reading these lists! I have found every one of them inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your gratitude, despite a hard year. I think it helps everyone to remember that even when things are challenging, there are things to be grateful for.

  8. What a wonderful list, Val. I am grateful to have invisible friends like you to shake my head with at the craziness of the world, and to let me know that not everybody is crazy (even in Texas!)

    Merry Christmas Val. Happy Holidays. Feliz Navidas. Etc!

    • Elyse, even in the midst of the blues I found more than 50 things to be grateful for and happy about. I felt truly blessed. I bet if I had more than 10 minutes I could have kept typing.

      I am also, grateful I have so many wonderful friends, like you.

      Merry Christmas!

  9. I loved this post; merriest of Christmases to you

  10. It’s your little one’s left leg that distorts the skirt into pants. Great photo all around that will make one count their many blessings.

  11. If I may, try this for #58 – those paisley pants in the first big smiles all around photo.

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