Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thoughts on gratitude and inspiration...

Last year, I was inspired to take on the 365 Days of Gratitude challenge. I thought this was something I could easily handle and it keeps you in a positive frame of mind, ending each day with a list of five things you were grateful for each day. I started out strong, then stumbled and missed a day…then a couple of days…then a week. It quickly changed from being what I was grateful for each day to feeling like a forced chore. I was resenting the fact that I had to justify, to myself, what I was grateful for. I quit the challenge way before 365 days, obviously. It isn’t that I don’t think that is a worthy challenge, I just couldn’t structure myself to do it and felt that I was struggling to come up with something new each day to post.

However I did learn a lesson and this is it – I am grateful every single day for the fact that I am alive and have an opportunity to live and learn. I am grateful for my family and my friends. I am grateful for the beauty that surrounds me. I am grateful for inspiration in its many forms. I am grateful to be me.

As I have been thinking about the direction I wanted to take my blog, I knew that in some way I wanted to keep the gratitude in there, even if it wasn’t going to be done on a daily basis. And the biggest thing I am grateful is inspiration. With that in mind I looked around at those that inspire me and wondered what exactly inspired them, what they were thankful for. And bazinga, there was my way to keep the gratitude flowing. I am going to ask someone different each week to answer two questions for me – What are you most thankful for and what inspires you? Then I will share with you all what they answer. So be prepared, I will be coming to each of you at some point and asking you those two questions.

Last night I asked Shelley to be my guinea pig and test this out. She graciously agreed to go first. So without further ado, let’s get down to it….

Let me offer some insight into my friend, Shelley, and the impact she has had on my life. I met her when she flew to Arizona to spend the weekend with a mutual friend of ours, Karen. I think that the friendship was born immediately and has definitely grown and blossomed over the years. The first thing you will find out about Shell is the fact that she always has your back in a very quiet, laid back way. She keeps it calm and real. I love that. I am hot and cold. Most of the time I am just as laid back, but when I blow up, I blow up. Her talent...oh my, her talent is amazing! She does beautiful scrapbooks and takes amazing pictures. But where she inspires me is the magnitude of her giving. The charity work, the assistance to her family, and all she does for her friends. After talking to her, you will find yourself lifted up because she gives so much of herself to you. I love you and am so thankful that you are my friend, Shelley!

What are you most grateful for?
My friends and family because they keep be grounded, support me and accept me for who I am. Without them, I couldn't make it through each day. Also thankful for my health and for the things that God has blessed me with.

What inspires you?

Michael J Fox ~ Even though he battles MS each and every day, he doesn't let it get him down. While others in his situation, would just give up, the MS gives him a reason to live each day to the fullest. My favorite quote of his is "Happiness is contagious, you can give it out like newspapers and feel it in everything you do".

My Grandpa Keller - He has been dead for close to 10 years but I will never forget how much love and support he always gave me. He worked hard all of his life and never took anything for granted. He always did for others but never asked for anything in return. To know he helped those that needed it was enough thanks for him. He always told me to "Live life to the fullest and have no regrets". I remember that quote every day and try to stick to it.

My friends - they inspire me each day with their friendship and support.

(Shelley can be found at Shellcapades. And a big thank you to you, Shell, for being my guinea pig and the first one to answer my questions! xoxo)


Leslie said...

I love this!

Michelle said...

Glad ya love it, sweet friend o' mine, you are going to be asked those questions shortly!

Lesli said...

I stumbled & fell on my gratitude blogging as well.

I still ilke the idea of taking the time every night to list a few things mentally I am grateful for, like before I fall asleep.
But you are right, it became a huge blogging chore! Kind of like my no shopping resolution! A chore and a pain in my butt and something hard to live up to!

Let me know if you need another guinea pig--I volunteer!

Lesli said...

P.S. I wanted to say that Michael J Fox actually has Parkinson's Disease.

Sorry, I hate to be a nitpicker

Don't hate me!!

Michelle said...

I'm glad you volunteer Lesli! Because you are on my list of people that I am going to be asking! :)

And hate you? Never!

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