An 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 almost 18,000 words to go. Yeah, not looking good. And, that’s okay. I figure I can use this blog to get us in a grateful state of mind.

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 last year 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 walk miles and miles to get what I need.

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 the body the firemen pulled out of the fatality accident could have been me.

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 thankful for my less than perfect thighs. It means I didn’t lose my legs in a car accident or to an IED.

I am thankful that I sometimes have doubts and confusion about my future and my purpose when I think of the lives cut short before they ever had a future.

I am thankful for the government I like to gripe about, because I don’t fear going to prison or being shot if I disagree with my country’s leadership.

I am thankful for my freedom and the amazing men and women who put their lives on the line to protect it.

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. And I am WAY thankful for my amazing #MyWANA community and the WANA711 and WANA1011 teams. You guys are the bright spot to each and every day and it is such an honor to serve all of you.

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

And to prove it and show my love, for the month of November, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of November I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!

I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . Both books are ON SALE for $4.99!!!! And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in th biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books!

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  1. #1 by K.B. Owen on November 23, 2011 - 9:40 am

    LOL, Kristen! You and I just used the same cartoon in our posts today. Wonder Twin powers, activate!

    P.S. – I’m grateful for YOU.🙂

  2. #2 by K.B. Owen on November 23, 2011 - 9:43 am

    P.P.S. – Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

    -Kathy

  3. #3 by Debra Burroughs on November 23, 2011 - 9:44 am

    Great post. I guess great minds think alike. My new blog post is called A Thankful Heart. It must be the time of year. Thanks so much for this wonderful post, Kristen.

  4. #4 by educlaytion on November 23, 2011 - 9:45 am

    No doubt about the importance of perspective. Good post Kristen and have a great Thanksgiving!

  5. #5 by Diane Capri (@DianeCapri) on November 23, 2011 - 10:04 am

    Soooooooo true! It’s so easy to focus on the lack instead of the plenty. Thanks for reminding us how great our lives really are!

  6. #6 by Emma Burcart on November 23, 2011 - 10:06 am

    That’s a good reminder at this time of year. Thanksgiving is actually my favorite holiday because it’s all about family and food. You remind me to be thankful for the day job that pays my mortgage. That is the hardest one for me, and probably the most important one. How can I expect to recieve something more or different while I am not grateful for what I already have? Thanks.

  7. #7 by Sara Grambusch on November 23, 2011 - 10:08 am

    This post is like anti-first world problems. Love it. Happy Thanksgiving.

  8. #8 by manatheist on November 23, 2011 - 10:18 am

    I am thankful for reading this post. We don’t do TG in the UK and we really should! This reminded me just how much I have to be thankful for. TY Kristen. Have a great weekend😀

  9. #9 by tamikaeason on November 23, 2011 - 10:29 am

    Thanksgiving is treated like the step child of the holiday season! In my opinion it ushers in the joy of Jesus birth. I start counting the blessings with turkey day and then Christmas boils over with appreciation and awe.

    Love this list, Kristen!

  10. #10 by Leanne Shirtliffe on November 23, 2011 - 10:39 am

    Nicely said, Kristen.

    I’m thankful for all the grading I have to do because it means I have a reliable job.
    I’m thankful we have Thanksgiving in early October.

    Hugs from Canada!

  11. #11 by Prue on November 23, 2011 - 10:42 am

    Bless you for this Kristen🙂
    I’d done a number of the chore sort of things on that list. It made me chuckle to think of ways of feeling grateful for them because I was not feeling at all that way!😀
    And that bit about media focusing on what we don’t have – I’d never quite seen that before. Thanks!

    As my gran used to say, ‘Count your blessings’. I try to. You’ve shown me how to include a whole lot more things as blessings. Yay!

  12. #12 by Pj Schott on November 23, 2011 - 10:43 am

    Wise words.

  13. #13 by Prue on November 23, 2011 - 10:45 am

    PS I’ll link to this on both my blogs.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

  14. #14 by Jan Morrill on November 23, 2011 - 10:48 am

    This is wonderful, Kristen. It just goes to show us, blessings are all a matter of how you look at things. And I KNOW you’re thankful for the 32,000 words you’ve written, because that’s 32,000 more words than I got written this month.🙂

    I’m thankful for all the writing time I haven’t had in the last month, because now I have a backlog of ideas banging on the door of my mind. (Ah, there! See how you helped me change my perspective?)

    Thank you, and I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  15. #15 by Joseph M Kurtenbach on November 23, 2011 - 10:50 am

    An attitude of gratitude. I love that saying and also try to live it every day. Thank you, Kristen, for your terrific blog, which helps me, and I’m sure a great many others, more than you will ever know.

  16. #16 by Jodi Aman on November 23, 2011 - 10:56 am

    My blog post today almost had the same title as yours. Mine is: “Your Attitude on Gratitude.” http://www.healnowandforever.net. Made me feel “less alone”.:) I love your list and so updated my blog to link to yours! Thank you!
    Love,
    Jodi Aman

  17. #17 by Alicia Street on November 23, 2011 - 11:05 am

    I’m thankful I discovered Kristen Lamb and for my WANA1011 teammates.

  18. #18 by August McLaughlin on November 23, 2011 - 11:15 am

    Fantastic post, Kristen! I love that you start your days on a grateful note… A grateful attitude makes such a difference in how we feel and function, right?? Also seems to brighten others’ days, which then brightens ours further…a grateful snowball of goodness.😉

    At the moment I’m grateful for you, your books and blog, the friends I’ve made in MyWANA & WANA1011, my loved ones’ and my health, getting to do what I love a living, seeing my extended family soon, sunny S. CA weather, the holidays, my dog, books, reading, chocolate, plane rides and hitting up Target before the crowds arrive.

    Wishing you & all MyWANA-folk a marvelous Turkey Day!

  19. #19 by Marion Spicher on November 23, 2011 - 11:16 am

    Who could add to such a great list? Thanks, Kristen. I’ll try ….

    I am thankful in addition to all that you mentioned … with a few changes and additions. I am thankful for handicapped parking and handicapped bathrooms! Woo hoo! And I am thankful for the medical folks who have taken care of my family and myself. Thankful for growing up in Canada in a community with many displaced persons after WWII … and being able to partake in the rich lives of people from all over Europe, hearing some of their stories … but mostly for my Italian friends. I have seen up close and personal the courage of the folks whose work daily placed them in danger in order to provide for families and keep the rest of us supplied … as in coal miners. I am thankful that my brain can pull up memories of warmth and love. I am thankful that change comes easily to me, carrying with it the promise of adventure. And family, including 3 awesome daughters, one great husband, two brothers, nieces & nephews. And love. Wherever it is found beyond the regions of my own heart. And last, the belief that brings peace, when I trust that somewhere in the chaos swirling in the world, there is purpose and order. Wishing you all the best.

  20. #20 by Catherine Johnson on November 23, 2011 - 11:20 am

    Great lesson in gratitude Kristen and wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  21. #21 by Marcy Kennedy on November 23, 2011 - 11:36 am

    Even though my husband and I get to celebrate both the Canadian Thanksgiving in October and the US Thanksgiving in November, it’s still so easy for us to forget to be thankful. You’d think with two chances we’d be better at it🙂

    I’m thankful for so many things this year (including my husband’s new job since he’s been unemployed for almost a year now due to immigration). Like you, I’m also thankful for the WANA groups. I’ve learned so much from being in the WANA1011 class, and have met so many wonderful people.

  22. #22 by Sue on November 23, 2011 - 11:38 am

    I’m thankful for the snow storm we’re having, because I’m still alive to see it. I’m thankful for having to shovel the snow tomorrow, on Thanksgiving Day, because it means that my arms and legs still work. I’m thankful for hauling in the wood, because it means we can have the wonderful warmth of the wood stove. 😀

    • #23 by Author Kristen Lamb on November 23, 2011 - 11:54 am

      Awesome. That’t the spirit😀.

  23. #24 by Julie Glover on November 23, 2011 - 11:56 am

    I love your attitude! There’s a preacher who has said, “Gratitude is the attitude that sets the altitude for living.” I think that’s true. I am thankful every day for so much. I’m even thankful for not having a book contract right now because I don’t want to publish something that isn’t ready for primetime, and I’m still working on my game. I’m also thankful to the amazing writing community through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, conferences, groups, etc. who understand word counts, character arcs, plot techniques, and all the rest – not to mention that they are a big scoop of F-U-N. Thanks for your blog, Kristen!

  24. #25 by Darlene Steelman on November 23, 2011 - 12:01 pm

    Kristen.. I love this post for a couple reasons!

    1) I have a copy of the turkey cartoon you used under my desk mat here at work (I’ve had it there since the summer!)

    2) I also did a gratitude blog.🙂

    You listed some fantastic reasons to be thankful..😀 The litter box one and the thighs one jumped out at me.

    I hope you have a terrific Turkey Day tomorrow…

    Darlene

  25. #26 by Tameri Etherton on November 23, 2011 - 12:09 pm

    Yep, I’m crazy grateful to you and the WANAsistas and bro I’ve made through you. This community of writers I’m not associated with has changed my life in so many ways!

    I love the way you turn everything into a positive. Much healthier that way! Thanks for being such an amazing role model and mentor. You give so much back to us and ask for very little in return (commenting on your blog is about all you ever want).

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  26. #27 by Laney on November 23, 2011 - 12:11 pm

    Love this post Kristen. You could not be more on target. Have a great and safe holiday;)

  27. #28 by Myndi Shafer...one stray sock away from insanity. on November 23, 2011 - 12:18 pm

    I’m thankful for this rapidly expanding body that is quickly outgrowing everything I have to wear, because it means I have a healthy baby girl on the way!

    Happy Thanksgiving, sweet girl. I love, love, love your gift of putting things into perspective.

  28. #29 by Anne R. Allen on November 23, 2011 - 12:36 pm

    I’m thankful for really great blogs like this one that have taken the mystery out of publishing and helped so many of us to reach for our dreams!

  29. #30 by coleen patrick on November 23, 2011 - 1:19 pm

    Okay, so you just made me cry. It’s so true I need to be thankful even for the doubt over what I’m doing with my life, because others are no longer here to have that luxury. Thank You Kristen.
    And I am thankful and excited i have family to spend time with this long weekend!🙂
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  30. #31 by Angela Orlowski-Peart on November 23, 2011 - 2:04 pm

    Kristen, I couldn’t help but to keep my hand over my heart while reading your post. You are so right — we have to be grateful for ALL we have, no matter how insignificant or even annoying, because everything in life matters. And it’s so easy to forget how blessed we are.

  31. #32 by MaLinda Johnson on November 23, 2011 - 2:29 pm

    Frankly, I am thankful I found you. I am better connected, better educated and happier since I first discovered you among the Freshly Pressed posts last year.🙂

  32. #33 by Karen McFarland on November 23, 2011 - 2:30 pm

    You just showed us what a huge difference it can make when we flip that great big switch of negativity. But instead of just being thankful or grateful at one specific time of the year, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could feel like this every day? Just a thought.🙂

  33. #34 by Ken Morselander on November 23, 2011 - 2:31 pm

    Ah…the queen of gracious…as always. I share your humility and applaud your comments. A while back I did a training program and defined success as being able to say that you made someone else’s life better than if they had not been exposed to you. You do that on an almost daily basis for me and countless others. Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving and continued presence.

    • #35 by Author Kristen Lamb on November 23, 2011 - 3:06 pm

      Awwww….you guys are all making me cry. Thanks for the awesome comments.

  34. #36 by authorleannedyck on November 23, 2011 - 3:51 pm

    I enjoyed reading your “I am thankful for…” list. You asked if I had anything to add–I do. I’m thankful for many of the things you mentioned, but here’s one you didn’t. I’m thankful for you and the wealth of knowledge you share.

  35. #37 by patriciasands on November 23, 2011 - 5:09 pm

    An attitude of gratitude – love that! Waking up each day is a gift for which to be grateful and we can build from there. Thanks for all you give us Kristen and how you guide us to give back in return. Happy Thanksgiving – today, tomorrow and every day.

  36. #38 by Ted Henkle on November 23, 2011 - 5:47 pm

    A very touching post. Thank you for reminding me of some of the things I should be thankful for. Best wishes to you and your family this Thanksgiving.

  37. #39 by Piper Bayard on November 23, 2011 - 5:53 pm

    Well said, Kristen.

    I am thankful for my teens’ arguments. If they are fussing with each other, it means they are both healthy. I’m going to have to write that down and pin it around the house, though.

    And I am so grateful for my editor/mentor/friend who cared enough to tell me I was full of crap.🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving, Kristen.

  38. #40 by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson on November 23, 2011 - 8:02 pm

    Kristen, I never cry when I read people’s posts. Even sad ones, where I’m supposed to. But you have just written what I have been trying to figure out. I have been having a little trouble knowing what to do with myself lately.

    I know so many people who are suffering. Some are friends who have lost their homes, their children, their parents, their spouses. And I feel too blessed. Too fortunate. I have too much.

    I am grateful for all these daily things, the minutia, the pain in the ass laundry laundry that is second only to the endless piles of dishes in my sink.

    I am grateful for you. You have been a blessing. Your presence in my life as a writer has been a blessing, and I don’t know what I did to deserve all this goodness.

    But I’m just going to be grateful.

  39. #41 by Louise Behiel on November 23, 2011 - 8:24 pm

    beautiful post, Kristen. Thanks so much. Enjoy your thanksgiving – you have much to be grateful for

  40. #42 by Marilag Lubag on November 24, 2011 - 1:05 am

    Wow! No wonder you’re blessed.🙂 It’s easier to bless people that are grateful for their blessings than for those that aren’t. May God bless you and be with you always.🙂

  41. #43 by Reetta Raitanen (@ReettaRaitanen) on November 24, 2011 - 7:21 am

    That was so beautiful, Kristen. I’m greatful to you for all the help you are giving to your readers and for creating the WANA communities. And kudos to all the WANA1011 classmates who put so much effort into helping each others.

    Today I’m greatful for my kids and my family’s health, my supportive husband and our great local library that allows me to read much more than I otherwise could.

  42. #44 by Nathan J. Anderson (@NathanAndersonJ) on November 24, 2011 - 7:12 pm

    Great list! Tks for the perspective.

  43. #45 by Lynette on November 24, 2011 - 9:35 pm

    What a terrific way to approach life!

    I am thankful that my niece has juvenile onset diabetes; she can live with this.
    I am thankful I can hear the irritating thump, thump, thump of the woofers in the teen-aged next door neighbor’s car, because it means I can hear.
    I am thankful for every one of the television commercials because I can see and hear and I have the intelligence to not buy into most of it.🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving, Kristen and thanks for sharing this uplifting post.

  44. #46 by Yolande Pienaar on November 25, 2011 - 8:59 am

    What an insightful post. Yes, we often forget to be thankful for what we have and not complain about what we want – and probably don’t need. Thanks for the invaluable advise you put on your blog.

  45. #47 by Elena Aitken on November 25, 2011 - 10:26 am

    Awesome. Excellent list. It is all about perspective. Today and everyday, I am thankful.🙂

  46. #48 by Joe Lerner on November 25, 2011 - 11:29 am

    I’m grateful for lots of things, but especially for completing NANOWRIMO this year.

  47. #49 by Team Oyeniyi on November 25, 2011 - 5:45 pm

    As we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving and I’m not part of NaNoWriMo, all I can say is HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

  48. #50 by melissasobo on November 26, 2011 - 7:20 am

    This was truly one of the nicest blogs I have read! I myself have been posting my thankfuls all month long on fb. Here is one that was hard for me to write, but it needed to be said. I am sad that I only had twenty-six years with you, BUT I am thankful that I had twenty-six years with my nephew Joey. I also am thankful for the messes my son leaves around the house because that means he is still with me =D

  49. #51 by Colleen Jones (@acolleenjones) on November 28, 2011 - 8:36 am

    I am grateful that in spite of all the pain I have in my guts most days, that there’s nothing seriously wrong with me. It’s my body telling me to slow down and relax and stop worrying about everything so much. Thanks body for communicating so strongly!

  50. #52 by Karen A Einsel on November 29, 2011 - 11:29 am

    I am just getting to my emails. Love your blog. This was great! I loved how you explained the reasons you were thankful. It is something that everyone should read.
    Hope you are having an Awesome week!
    Karen

  51. #53 by Marianne on November 29, 2011 - 11:36 am

    Truly an amazing way to look at gratitude. Thanks.

  52. #54 by Cory on December 22, 2011 - 10:52 pm

    I am curious if you have heard about the new Law of Attraction movie The Gratitude Experiment, featuring many of the cast from The Secret. (Bob Proctor, John Demartini, Marie Diamond and others.) Considering gratitude is such an important part of the law of attraction, I thought this might be a movie of interest to you. Here is the Website: http://www.TheGratitudeexperiment.com 

  53. #55 by kadja1 on January 6, 2012 - 4:26 am

    I didn’t post a response yet, but I want to say that this is spot on. Gratitude is something we should really never great the day without! Thank you for this post. I’m sharing the link…😉 Have a great week!

  54. #56 by Diana Beebe on November 23, 2015 - 11:07 pm

    Gratitude is so important. I try to find something everyday to be grateful for, including my WANA1012 class and all my amazing WANA friends. Words can’t express how thankful I am for the friendships and support I’ve gained through WANA connections. This is a wonderful post!

  1. Link to Kristen Lamb’s blog « Prudence Tremayne's
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