Friday, October 14

Posted by Laurel Garver on Friday, October 14, 2011 12 comments
I've been reading this book about gratitude called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It talks a lot about thankfulness as a key to living more fully with joy in the difficult now.

I also lost a colleage this week. She'd been ill for a year and I know near the end got to hear at last all the gratitude people had for her. And it struck me, why wait until someone's dying to express how you're thankful for them?

So, yesterday I wrote a brief note on Facebook to an old high school buddy, just a quick thanks for one of the many positive influences she had on me. And you know what? That small bit of thanks opened up something. Not only a mutual warmness between my friend and me, but also a whole well of good stuff that I haven't been able to access in a long time. The kooky, fun geek girl I once was started to resurface. Now I realize where that joyful version of me had gone. She'd become imprisoned by ingratitude. The key to unlocking her was merely to say "thanks."

So I challenge you, reader, to tell someone in your life thanks. Be specific: their kind words at the right moment, a book they recommended, some life event you shared that shaped you. Gratitude is light in the darkness, friends. It is a powerful weapon against despair, a powerful creator of joy.

And speaking of joyful things, if you're in the Philly area, you don't want to miss the Harry Potter Festival in Chestnut Hill. Germantown Ave. will become a mini Hogsmeade. A muggle quidditch tournament will be held. Gotta love this awesome promo video!

Who are you thankful for today? Did you tell them? What joy did it unlock for you?


  1. Oh this is so good, so wise. I am going to thank someone today... too often we worry about minor things and forget about gratitude... In gratitude, joy awakens. :)

    You're my first-- thank you for this idea!

  2. This is such a lovely blog post. Being grateful is something that's easy to forget. But counting my blessings and giving thanks always makes me feel happier.

  3. oh, so sorry you lost your friend. You're right, it's so important to be grateful for the time you have. I'm remembering the loss of a good friend ten years ago this week. ((hugs)) all around~

  4. Thank YOU Laurel, for making me remember what it means to be thankful.

  5. A heartfelt post, Laurel. I try to appreciate the people in my life. Thanking them when the opportunity arises.

    WE all get so caught up in the daily dramas of our lives, but it is important to give thanks.

    That is why we all need to really focus on Thanksgiving Day. Lately it seems to get steam rolled over by Christmas.

    WOW that HP weekend sounds AWESOME. I wish I lived back east again.

    At least I will be at Wizarding World again soon. I'm meeting Jen Daiker. SUCH FUN

  6. What a wonderful post. I'm sorry to hear about your loss.
    I will definitely be thanking someone today.

  7. Yes! Gratitude is something I work VERY hard to practice in my daily life. I find that it helps me to be more positive and, overall, more happy.

  8. You're right, it does feel good to express gratitude, because I like letting people know that they've impacted me positively. :)

    That Harry Potter Festival looks awesome! I'm not terribly far from Philly, but I can't make it. Too bad.

  9. Jade: Thanks. It's been too rich a discovery to not share. Being thankful lets us enjoy the same good things over and over.

    Angela: I've realized that grumbling has a way of souring my perception of everything, while little moments of thankfulness brightens my view.

  10. Leigh: Thank you. It seems strange for her to really be gone. Wishing you grateful memories of your lost friend.

    Anne: You're most welcome!

  11. Michael: I couldn't agree more. Thanksgiving is probably my very favorite holiday. It's just about being together, sharing food and gratitude. Simple things that make our lives feel full to the brim. Have a great time and Wizarding World!

    Christine: You'll be glad you did! Gratitude tend to beget more gratitude.

  12. Shannon: some days gratitude feels like a discipline, but the rewards are so great.

    Shelley: There's no better gift to give a friend than your thanks for their loving support. Sorry you couldn't make the festival. It was really fun!