This week has brought joys so high I’ve felt like I was riding on a cloud, and then moments so painful I felt I might never stop crying. The Chicago Cubs broke a 108-year dry spell to win the World Series on November 2nd, then six days later, a contentious election rocked the nation.
I’ve shed many tears of both joy and sadness over the last week. A year ago today, I lost my father to cancer. But instead of sulking or turning to my old friend, chardonnay, I’ve decided to give gratitude a try.
Almost every night before I switch out the light, I jot down a short gratitude list. Usually it’s a list of names--the people for whom I am grateful that day. These are the people who walk through life with us, making the good times even better, and the painful times easier to bear.
It’s easy to be grateful when things are going smoothly. But the peace of mind that gratitude brings when I hurt—when the pain really stings—has been a great gift. It doesn't come easily some days, but it never fails to shift my focus from the negative to the positive.
Yesterday was my wedding anniversary, so I am also grateful for my husband of 9 years who is a great partner in life. Today on Veteran’s Day, I am grateful for the men and women who gave their life for our great country. I am also missing my dad on the anniversary of his death but I'm thankful for the memories. The man gave bear hugs that could break your spine and delivered the most touching and hilarious wedding toast imaginable. He also inspired me to build a company that I believe in, one that specializes in documenting memories of what else? Gratitude.
Nora Kerr is the owner of Memoir for Me, offering writing and layout services to capture a life story.