It’s easy to feel grateful, given my charmed life. Excellent COVID-free health, a successful law firm, a loving life partner. End of day entries in the gratitude journal flow:

            Morning dancing

            Incredible coworkers

            Bills paid

Even at the end of a challenging day, there’s plenty.

What doesn’t make the list:

            Wind chill of twenty below

            Power outage to start the day

            Double booked appointments

I fail to feel grateful for the events and circumstances that invite me to look at the ways I’m being, that I’d rather not see. Like these:

            Entitled: “I should have electricity without interruption 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.”

            Critical: “I hate the sound of howling wind.”

            Impatient: “I’ve texted her repeatedly with no response. Come on—check your phone!”   

I may not speak the words, but I think the thoughts. Weather beyond my control, a single hour of inconvenience, embarrassment for my mistakes—all unappreciated moments.

My memory is short and my learning slow.

            I forget how an early unhappy marriage taught me to not blame others for my unhappiness and to examine my own flaws first.

            I forget how feedback that once evoked tears of shame made me a better lawyer, coach, and human.

            I forget how watching my brother on his deathbed taught me that life is 10,000 sorrows and 10,000 joys and everything is impermanent.   

When it’s time for my bedtime ritual tonight, I hope I can remember the gifts of my least favorite moments in a day along with my delicious dinner of pad Thai. By shining a little night light on the other side of all I can be grateful for, I can see better and hopefully sleep better.

One more blessing to add to the list.

                                                                                    Coach Koenig

Do you have a gratitude practice?

What have been the gifts of your past hardship, failure, or disappointment?

How can one learn to be grateful for all of life’s experiences?

  1. February 22, 2021

    I have a gratitude journal I write in every day. It helps me set a positive intention for the day.

    Divorce Gift: Learning my self worth and that true happiness comes from within.

    Job Loss: That I deserve to work someplace where I am valued and happy. A place where I can have fun most days.

    When I find myself being ungrateful I search for the positive in the situation.

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