Attitude of Gratitude

Ah, the holiday season is upon us. Next week is Thanksgiving. For the rest of you who have also been doing NaNoWriMo, there is more to this month than hitting the 50,000 mark. GASP! I know. I just found out myself. I had hoped to be writing a blog about what it felt like to have successfully completed NaNoWriMo, but alas I still have 2,777 words. Drat! And, that’s okay. I figure I can use this blog to get us in a grateful state of mind.

I have led a uniquely blessed life and been able to travel quite a lot, and to places most Americans will never see. I once lived in a refugee camp in Syria where water was scarce and indoor plumbing the luxury of a privileged few. I’ve even been blessed enough to work on a Presbyterian school in the northern jungles of Belize, where people slept in hammocks so the scorpions couldn’t crawl into bed during the night. We walked around with machetes to cut back tall grass because there were poisonous snakes everywhere. I have also served as a Rotarian for going on seven years, and try to make service a regular part of my life, to give back at least a small part of what I have been so fortunate to receive.

Even this blog, helping you guys grow in your craft, is really a way of giving back. I have been immensely blessed to meet and know people like Rosemary Clements-Moore, the talented Candy Havens, and New York Times Best-Selling Author Bob Mayer. I know my writing journey would have been years longer, but these professionals devoted time and energy to teach me about my craft, when they didn’t have to. These three authors still devote time to helping other writers, even though all of them have deadlines of their own. I also benefit immensely from others in the industry who take time to blog about writing or about publishing, and I want you guys to learn from them too. So I created the Mash-Up of Awesomeness to let them know we notice their hard work, and we are thankful.

I make it a point to begin every day with an attitude of gratitude. I think it is important, especially these days where it seems like every commercial tells us we aren’t thin enough, rich enough, successful enough, happy enough. We always need more “stuff” to be enough. I wrote a blog a couple of months ago about focusing on success, that we tend to drift where the eyes focus. Race car drivers learn that if you want to cross the finish line, never ever take your eyes off the goal line. Look at the wall and you will hit the wall. I believe everything is that way. If we focus on where we are lacking, we run the danger of being ungrateful for what we have, and that can be an extraordinarily defeating way to live.

Thanksgiving seems to be the middle child of holidays. Halloween is fun and glitzy and exciting. Christmas is cute and we adore it and look forward to seeing it…and oh yeah, there’s Thanksgiving. Hey, do we even have decorations for that? Christmas is this magical time, and we often hear how we need to keep Christmas in our hearts all year long. Well, that is a great idea, but we would be wise to keep Thanksgiving there too.

We have all kinds of ways to be thankful and many things to be grateful for that we might not even notice. The next time you go to complain, I challenge you to think of the blessing that inconvenience really is. I do this myself when I hear complaints and grumblings coming out of my mouth. I’ll show you what I mean…

I am thankful for all the laundry I have to do, because it means I have clothes to wear.

I am thankful for the dishes that need washing, because it means I didn’t go hungry.

I am thankful for the big electric bill, because it means my home has lights and heat.

I am thankful for the sheets that need to be changed, because it means I own a bed.

I am thankful for all the reading I have to do, because it means that I am literate.

I am thankful for the car that needs an oil change because it means I don’t have to take the bus.

I am thankful for that parking space waaaaayyyy out in the back, because it means I don’t have to park in a handicapped space. I can walk.

I am thankful for the garage that needs to be cleaned out, because it means I am blessed with plenty.

I am thankful for the chores to be done, because it means I have family who love me enough to travel to see me.

I am thankful for the litter-box that needs cleaning and the dog blankets that need washing because it means I have pets who love me unconditionally.

I am thankful for the split ends I have, because it means I haven’t lost all my hair to chemo.

I am thankful for the Christmas cards I need to send, because they could as easily be funeral announcements.

I am thankful for the traffic snarls that catch me, because then I can have long moments to myself to just slow down and “be.”

I am thankful for the gutters I need to clean, because it means that I have a home.

I am thankful for all the Christmas shopping I have to do, because it means I am not alone.

I am definitely thankful for all of you who bless me three times a week by giving me your time. Time is the most precious commodity we have and we never seem to have enough. So I am immensely grateful that you guys so freely give me your time.

What are you guys thankful for? I’d like to hear your comments (which I am super especially thankful to get, by the way).

See you guys on Monday for Part IV of my Structure Series. Happy writing!

Until next time…

I am super duper thankful for those of you who have purchased and enjoyed my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media.

I hope it is a blessing to you all, and if you haven’t yet purchased a copy, this is the book recommended by agents. You guys have best-selling books to write and my method is not only highly effective, but it is efficient and leaves time for you guys to do what you do best…write.

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  1. #1 by Kate Tate on November 19, 2010 - 2:44 pm

    LOVE the lists of thankful for! As always, you are an inspiration.

  2. #2 by Darcie Newton on November 19, 2010 - 3:05 pm

    What a wonderful example of grateful statements. I stumbled upon your blog because of a mutual friend that posted it on Facebook. I am fairly new two blogging and enjoy learning how to improve my writing style and effectiveness, I will be back often. Thanks again.

  3. #3 by Eric Hutchins on November 19, 2010 - 3:25 pm

    I also think the list is very powerful. Great stuff.

  4. #4 by Sharon Hamilton on November 19, 2010 - 3:28 pm

    Beautiful, inside and out. Just beautiful. Thank you.

  5. #5 by Jami Gold on November 19, 2010 - 3:56 pm

    Love this! Yes, being happy is a *choice*. Find things to be grateful for and you’ll have a much better attitude.

    Your list is already wonderful, but I’ll add that I’m grateful for meeting *you*! 🙂 You’re a great friend to have. *hugs*

  6. #6 by Caroline Clemmons on November 19, 2010 - 4:11 pm

    Great attitude, Kristen. One of my favorites of your blog.

  7. #7 by Piper Bayard on November 19, 2010 - 4:13 pm

    I’m thankful for your book.🙂 Also, odd as it may sound, I’m thankful I had cancer in my youth. It taught me to see even the grayest days in technicolor. Thanks so much for your post. All the best.

  8. #8 by CMStewart on November 19, 2010 - 4:19 pm

    Gratitude lifts your spirits and even promotes longevity, I’ve read!

    I’m thankful that there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to learn and do all I would like, because that means I’m leaning and doing all I can.

    . . and you’re super-duper welcome, BTW🙂

  9. #9 by Charles Warren on November 19, 2010 - 4:28 pm

    What a great list of ways to look in a diffeent way at many things we usually complain about. I will strive to be more grateful. Thanks for the inspiraton.

    • #10 by Author Kristen Lamb on November 19, 2010 - 4:34 pm

      Thanks! Yes, I saw a similar article years ago and I never forgot the unique perspective so that’s why I posted my own version today so that you guys could be similarly blessed. Thanks for taking the time to comment!😀

  10. #11 by Bob Mayer on November 19, 2010 - 5:33 pm

    Hard to believe we’re almost at Thanksgiving. I think having an attitude of gratitude is always a positive. It’s easy to look at what’s wrong in the world, but much more difficult to see the good unless we focus. So this is a time of focus.

  11. #12 by Melissa Marsh on November 19, 2010 - 6:10 pm

    I think Thanksgiving is often overlooked by Christmas – especially by retail stores – so I’m glad to see this post. And I love your attitude of gratitude! I’m trying to do that myself and to be thankful for the “little things” in life.🙂

  12. #13 by George Ayres on November 19, 2010 - 7:09 pm

    Thanks, Kristen! I love this post.

  13. #14 by Sherry White on November 19, 2010 - 8:34 pm

    Kristen, as I finished reading your post this morning, I found myself very moved. Your post said it all. We all should be thankful for what we’ve been blessed with. We get so busy running around, complaining and bitching about this or that. It’s so negative. Count your blessings no matter how small or big. Remember that old saying, (as you think it, so it goes.) Our thoughts are a powerful thing. Just think, if we thought more positive thoughts about our writing, we might just get published.

    Thanks again for your wonderful ‘Thanksgiving Message’ You’re a blessing to have around and are doing a super job of giving back to others.

  14. #15 by Marilag Lubag on November 20, 2010 - 7:59 am

    This is just what I needed for a pick me up. Thank you l for sharing your time with us. I am thankful for having clean water. I am thankful for my home and for my family. I am also thankful for my health. I am thankful that I am in America. There is a lot to be thankful for if you think about it.

  15. #16 by PJ Kaiser on November 20, 2010 - 6:16 pm

    Very nice sentiments, Kristen- I’d love to hear more about your adventures in Syria and Belize! Happy Thanksgiving and congrats on NaNoWriMo🙂

  16. #17 by pk Hrezo on November 20, 2010 - 6:39 pm

    That is such a fantastic list! I’m going to share it. Mostly, I’m thankful for my health and a family who is able to look past my flaws. I’m also thankful for helpful writers like you who share your wisdom so generously.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. it’s my fave holiday of the entire year!

  17. #18 by goodatlife on December 10, 2010 - 10:25 pm

    What beautiful thoughts. I’m definitley going to pick up a copy of your book. I realize I will benefit from reading it, but I also get a good sense about the person that you are from your writing on this blog and I want to support your work. You’re very talented and inspiring. Keep it up!

    I am thankful for good, kind, and compassionate people. They keep the hope alive in this world.

    Best,
    Dara

    • #19 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 10, 2010 - 10:48 pm

      Wow! Thanks That’s like one of the best compliments…EVER!😀.

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