jump to navigation

Changing Our Gratitude Baseline August 11, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Less IS More, Mindfulness.

grumpy_thinkingI read a story about a young man suffering with CFS ~ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

And when I say suffering, I mean S~U~F~F~E~R~I~N~G!!!

He can’t talk, text, or type to communicate.  Noise and light drains him ~ he wears headphones to drown out sound and a baseball cap pulled over his eyes to keep out light.

He can’t eat due to digestive problems.
He’s on a feeding tube.

And he’s exhausted and in pain All The Time.

I imagined spending a single day in “his world” before returning to my own life the next day.


All the little things so easily taken for granted became cause for celebration because my gratitude baseline shifted:

I can open my eyes and see sunny skies.

I can listen to the insistent M~E~O~W~S of the cat . . . urging me to do his bidding N~O~W!

I can type, text, and talk . . . and enjoy the replies.

I can sit down to a hearty and delicious meal without fear of setting off a tsunami in my gut.

Tigger-BouncingThat’s the wonderful thing about imagination.

I didn’t have to live in his world for a single minute before changing my gratitude baseline.

So today I’m grateful that . . .

I didn’t have to deal with an earthquake or trekking across frozen tundra in a blizzard.

I didn’t have to eat monkey’s brains, bull’s balls, or any other Andrew Zimmern oddity.

There are no bombs bursting in air overhead and not a single snake slithering around in our shower.

Tiggers-R-UsLife seems sunnier in an instant when I acknowledge a few of the “clouds” that are nowhere in sight.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What a wonderful life I’ve had!  I only wish I’d realized it sooner. ~ Colette



1. Jill Weatherholt - August 11, 2016

As you know, I’ve experienced health challenges, so I’m grateful for each day that I’m able to get out of bed and go to work. There will always be those drifting clouds, but we have to intentionally keep our eyes peel for the sun. Great post, Nancy!

nrhatch - August 11, 2016

Thanks, Jill!

As I “hop” out of bed in the morning (to “skip” down the hallway for coffee), I pay attention to how good it feels to be able to M~O~V~E, how balanced I feel as my feet make contact with the cool tile, and how delicious the aroma of coffee is as it brews.

2. suzicate - August 11, 2016

We tend to forget how blessed we are until we see what others go through.
It’s early yet but so far I haven’t had any of those things you’re thankful for not happening happen, and I’m thankful!

nrhatch - August 11, 2016

I’ve been dropping slips of paper in our “Gratitude Basket” for 3 years, but my focus is usually on the stuff ABOVE and beyond the baseline ~ a good meal, a hearty laugh, a fun outing.

Reading about this young man and the extreme challenges he faces every day reminded me to be thankful for the absence of “negatives” as well as for the “positives.”

P.S. Glad you weren’t greeted by frozen tundra or snakes when you woke up this morning.

3. Under the Oaks - August 11, 2016

I hear you, Nancy. I just need a little reset once and awhile and something like your post today helps me realize how lucky I am.

nrhatch - August 11, 2016

I’m the same, Pix. If we compare ourselves with those who have “more” than us, we feel “poorer.” If we compare ourselves with those who have so much less . . . we fell RICH!

4. Val Boyko - August 11, 2016

It’s always a good reminder Nancy! Thank you for bringing it home today with your story of the young man.
We slept in this morning …. and rather than worry about getting behind, we were grateful that we could have the delicious moments.
Right now, as I sit at my computer, I’m hearing the squeaky basement door and the clink of a spoon on metal dog bowls. I can imagine all 3 dogs sitting patiently with tails wagging. Don taking his time in taking care of them.
It warms my heart. 💛

nrhatch - August 11, 2016

Being mindful of the “mundane” moments increases my sense of peace, contentment, and gratitude ~ even if I’m just peeling carrots and potatoes for tattie soup.

Glad you and Don had a chance to share a few delicious moments this morning before facing the day.

Val Boyko - August 11, 2016

Tattie soup … my all time favorite! There is deliciousness in the mundane 😊

nrhatch - August 11, 2016

Yes! I made some tattie soup last week when my stomach was “unsettled” . . . just what the doctor ordered!

5. Kate Crimmins - August 11, 2016

Yes! Even when I’m elbow deep in cleaning cat litter, I’m so grateful the little buggers are healthy, that I can bend to clean the litter and walk upright to take it to the trash. I am also grateful I can enjoy a Starbucks mocha every day. Life is good.

nrhatch - August 11, 2016

Yes! Exactly. When I have a “migraine” . . . all I want is for the pain to go away. But once it does, out of sight, out of mind.

Today, I am happy NOT to have a migraine or any other debilitating pain. I am delighted that I could get on my bike and ride under a blue sky to enjoy fresh air, exercise, and sunshine.

And I enjoyed my coffee too!

6. Tippy Gnu - August 11, 2016

I’m grateful that while I was taking my blessings for granted, they did not disappear.

nrhatch - August 11, 2016

Yes! If we close our eyes and imagine that everything we love about our life has disappeared, we feel far more grateful and grounded when we open them and see we are still on “terra firma.”

Tippy Gnu - August 11, 2016

Sounds like a good exercise in gratitude.

7. William D'Andrea - August 11, 2016

Last Wednesday was my birthday. I am now 71 years old and am in very good shape for a man my age. I know I’m in much better shape than my father was at this age. I think that’s a good way for someone to measure himself or herself, when it comes matters of health.
I’ve never smoked. I only drink alcohol on special occasions, and then it’s a limited amount. I walk about an hour a day, every day. I’m on a high fiber diet, and taking probiotic tablets, which contain 20 billion somethings. Imagine 20 billion of anything in a single capsule?
It’s ‘The good germs vs the bad germs” all helping to take care of a certain problem of which I will avoid all revolting descriptions.
I also have memory problems for which I’m taking another nutritional supplement called Focus Formula, (Smarter Pills?) which has helped more than my memory. It not only effects my consciousness, it also helps the parts of the brain which control all my bodily functions. This has been a major part of keeping me in shape.
About two months ago, I began taking One A Day Mens 50+ which has improved my energy, stamina and general health. I was thinking that when this batch runs out I’d get myself Men’s 65+. Then who knows how healthy I’d be? “Muy mucho macho hombre!”?
The first batch ran out about a week ago. A few days before that I went looking but couldn’t find the 65+. I did however find Mega Mens 50+ which not only contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals, it also contains other supplements which help nourish all the vital organs. Put that all together, I’m not only in very good shape. I may be the healthiest I’ve been in my entire life.
Will taking Mega Men 50+ turn me into Mega Man?
Seriously, I consider all these healthy activities and nutritional supplements to be blessings from God; to Who I am constantly grateful.
If anyone reading this would also like to improve their health, I suggest you also engage in healthy activities; including taking nutritional supplements, as prescribed; along with consulting your doctor and/or pharmacist. Then you too will also be blessed.
Thank you all.

nrhatch - August 12, 2016

Glad you’re feeling fit, hale, and hearty. Happy Birthday!

William D'Andrea - August 13, 2016

Thank you.
I think I should warn everyone who’s read my original reply, to stay away from using Mega Men 50+. It’s caused me problems. I started taking it on Monday morning. After a few days it seemed to have neutralized the effects of the probiotics and high fiber diet, and the other beneficial effects of the One A Day tablets. I’ve stopped using it. So should anyone else.
I’m going to be returning the tablets to the GNC store where I bought the them, to get a full refund; and to also let the people there know about the problems it’s caused me. Then hopefully they’ll inform the manufacturer.
I’ve returned to taking the One A Day Mens 50+ which does work properly and keeps improving my health, energy and stamina.
I apologize to anyone who might have followed my mistaken advice.

nrhatch - August 13, 2016

Thanks for the heads up. OTC medicines, vitamins, and supplements are chemical compounds that can cause complications and unexpected interactions.

8. JOriginal Muse - August 11, 2016

Slap, slap, slap… Ouch…! That smarts…!
And THAT’s SMART… Thank you for the reminder, Nancy… I REALLY needed that right now. I have some writing to do in my gratitude journal 🙏🏽😏

nrhatch - August 11, 2016

Write on!

9. anotherday2paradise - August 11, 2016

We do need to remember to count our blessings each and every day, Nancy. Like yourself, I have so much to be thankful for. 🙂

nrhatch - August 11, 2016

It’s A Wonderful Life!

10. judithhb - August 11, 2016

Thanks Nancy. We all need reminding from time to time.

nrhatch - August 11, 2016

Yes! Here’s to all the good things in our lives.

11. Barb - August 11, 2016

I’m so glad to read this. Sometimes at night when I can’t sleep because the stars are too bright, or the moon is full, or my brain wants to clean out its inner closets, I simply pull the covers higher and relish the moment, telling myself that no one is kicking down the door, pulling me out, and marching me to prison camp, or shooting bullets through the windows, or unlike the refugees, at least I have a place to sleep. I thought I was silly to take comfort in such wildly fortunate thoughts, but it is a blessing to be safe. Let the stars, moon, and brain shine on!!!
Thanks always for putting hope into our world.

nrhatch - August 11, 2016

Yes! I do the same thing when I’m not falling asleep as fast as I would like ~> I relish the moment and relax, thankful to be in my comfy bed & not stuck on a nasty cot in some gnarly place.

Shine on!

12. Eileen - August 11, 2016

One of my sons has had a normal share of challenges and disappointments, but has a great attitude. He just says, “This is a first world problem. Celebrate that.”

nrhatch - August 11, 2016

Great mantra and attitude! Thanks for sharing.

13. L. Marie - August 12, 2016

I needed this post today, since I have a tendency to complain about what I don’t have. Thank you for the reminder to be intentionally grateful.

nrhatch - August 12, 2016

When I act like #CrabbyGabby . . . I know I need an attitude adjustment.

Playing the “It Could Be Worse (So Much Worse)” game allows me to regain a more elevated altitude.

14. Carol Ferenc - August 12, 2016

Wonderful post, Nancy! Staying positive is the only way to go!

nrhatch - August 12, 2016

Including feeling positive . . . about the absence of negatives!

15. Behind the Story - August 13, 2016

I like your reset. We tend to take the basics for granted.

After my husband died, I started praying, “Thank you for life,” not because I had no particulars to be grateful for, but because I was grateful for being alive and everything that went with it. Being a writer and a former artist, I like to be aware of the details I experience. Noticing life, rather than letting it pass by unnoticed and unremarked, is a form of love and gratitude.

nrhatch - August 13, 2016

Well said, Nicki. Here’s to noticing all that life offers.

16. Debra - August 13, 2016

Isn’t that Collette quote just wonderful! When I was younger I was a bit resentful that my grandmother and mother would NEVER let me complain about a thing without going into quite a story about how other people have it so much worse. It really did annoy me. LOL! But as it worked out, after years and years of taking that perspective, I suppose it created a fairly easy path towards gratitude. Occasionally now I complain just because I can. Ha! But seriously, if we have good health and live without great conflict, we are truly rich! Lovely reminder, Nancy.

nrhatch - August 13, 2016

Yes! It takes practice to change our perspective ~ it helps to have encouragement from others. Sounds like your mother and grandmother pointed out the “right path” for you. You’re LUCKY!

Many people grow accustomed to attracting attention by complaining about life’s little annoyances, adding “embellishments” to make even trivial upsets seem noteworthy.

17. brickhousechick - August 15, 2016

I can relate somewhat to the ill man, but feel grateful for what I have!! Love this post, great reminder to all! 😎

nrhatch - August 15, 2016

Thanks, Maria. I know you’ve faced real challenges . . . glad you can still sip Sangria when friends stop by for Happy Hour.

18. Tammy - August 21, 2016

I like this post Nancy – but for the grace of God. Thanks for sharing a reminder that we all need to be mindful of our blessings.

nrhatch - August 21, 2016

An attitude of gratitude is uplifting!

What Say YOU?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: