Sometimes I’m that kid in the photo: I go outside and twirl with my arms outstretched, in awe, and gratitude of a particular gorgeous day. It always raises a smile from my wife, Gina, so – job done.

Sometimes I express my gratitude into a Gratitude Journal. It prompts: “What are you grateful for today?” and “What are you grateful for in your life?” To the first, the responses vary, though there are definite themes: the birds singing; the author who wrote this excellent book I’m reading; being semi-retired; a glass of chardonnay; a delivery of groceries, and the income to buy them.

The responses to the second are more stable and predictable – to me at least, as I jot them down several days a week: partnership with Gina; food in our fridge and pantry; enough income; four walls and a roof; access to ambient and instrumental music.

Gina and I exchange a Daily Gratitude Note to each other. These aren’t always deep, or terrifically insightful. Often, they are recounting the mundane experiences of that day, seen through the lens of gratitude. Sometimes we vent in these missives, but they always come around to something like, “I am grateful that I have you in my life to help me make it through this, and to get me to laugh instead of cry!”

For as long as most people have known me, I have signed every email and every letter with “Gratefully, Ned Andrew.” It’s not embedded in my automatic email “signature”; I choose to write or type it fresh every time, because it gives me a moment to be grateful – for support, help, needed information, an invitation, or simply the person I’m conversing with.

It takes virtually nothing to demonstrate gratitude, or to feel grateful, though I would not say it’s common place, or ingrained somehow. If my journal didn’t ask me those prompts, or if Gina and I didn’t exchange notes, would I even touch gratitude? I’d love to think I would stop – for even a few minutes – amidst the tasks to be completed and ponder what was making me happy about this day, or this life. But I don’t know.

I do know that when I’m writing in my Gratitude Journal, or writing a Daily Gratitude Note to my wife, or signing an email, or even twirling with my arms stretched outward, that I am grateful.


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