I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Practicing Gratitude


I was so inspired a year or more ago when the blog would post a list of things she was grateful for each week. I began to do it myself on my personal journal (livejournal, Oh  I have so abandoned you) and enjoyed the process. It was for myself, after all, and so I kept at it like something to check off my to-do list. I started out very mindful, but ended up blowing it off. Bummer. So I wanted to talk about practicing gratitude not just in list form (though I’ll do one), but how we can incorporate this in our daily lives, too.

One thing my husband and I do, and have since day one, is to say “Thank You” to each other for little things and big things. When he holds the door for me I thank him. When I do the dishes, he thanks me. When we have sex, I always thank him! Ha-ha! It’s that simple. And it sounds like a no-impact thing, but I can assure you, when you’re out in the world practicing this, it makes an impact! We’re all so jaded going about our daily lives that when we do interact with strangers we forget to step outside of ourselves and to simply be polite and kind. When you say Thank You and smile at a stranger? You might just make their entire day! Because You know, sometimes, you don’t get that kind of nicety from anyone for weeks on end, ya know?

I also have a notebook at the cafe for daily gratitude. People can write in it at their leisure. Some sign their entry and date it, others simply leave their sentiments anonymously. I love this because of the sheer variety! Some get deeply religious in their gratitude entries. Some wax poetically about the fabulous weather or the many privileges they live with. And then there are the ones from kids which can be everything from “I love my mommy & daddy” to them being ever so grateful for their cat and their friend Jessica to some more creative stuff. There are lists and poems and all sorts of unique creativity.

And seriously? Just a note from all of us hard working service industry professionals: Say thank you and tip your barista/server/etc! We work so fucking hard and get little if any thanks. Retail folks, too! So much work! I cannot even tell ya! Just a smile and a thank you can go a very long way! If you leave a giant mess at your table? Please leave at least a 15% tip. I have found that it’s the rudest, most demanding and above all messiest of customers that leave ZERO tip! Thanks, I now have to spend the next fifteen minutes scraping up unidentifiable substances from the table and surrounding areas rather than serving other customers. Ahem. Sorry, rant.

Gratitude doesn’t have to be for things or people. I am most grateful for my health! Seriously! If I had a health problem, not only would I be sick, I’d also be homeless right now. While I acknowledge my privilege and health and all of that, I think it is important to keep these positive things in mind no matter what is going on in your life. I’m a firm believer in putting your highest hopes and wishes out into the universe. No matter what you believe, I think it helps keep some sanity, if nothing else.

Here is what I am grateful for right now:
My health. The air I breathe. My body and it’s various parts.
My husband. My friends. My companion animals.
My apartment. Food in the fridge. Access to more.
Being able to own/operate a cafe even though I gain no personal income.
The people I meet everyday at the cafe.
A reliable car. The security that a cell phone brings me.
The fat community all over the world and the amazing people I get to interact with.

What are you grateful for? How do you practice gratitude?

9 Comments to

“Practicing Gratitude”

  1. On June 17th, 2011 at 9:26 pm Kath Says:

    I have practiced gratitude for a long, long time. I think I picked it up back in my church going days. Simply being thankful for things that you have been blessed with. It is something that gets me through the dark days and shows me just how blessed I am.

    A good place to start is with – a kind of diary website that sends you an email every day to remind you. All you have to do is reply to it. An easy way to diarise your gratitude.

  2. On June 18th, 2011 at 8:54 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Oh how lovely! Thank you, Kath!

  3. On June 18th, 2011 at 8:46 am Twistie Says:

    Hee! Mr. Twistie and I thank one another often and say ‘I love you’ nearly constantly.

    And having worked both retail and food service in my time, THANK YOU for the section on that. Even a smile can go a long way with people who work in the service industries. Way too many people treat them with contempt every day.

    Grateful for: my husband and my cat; good friends; good health; my sense of humor; a roof over my head… a lot of stuff.

  4. On June 18th, 2011 at 8:56 am Not Blue at All Says:

    I personally think every single able bodied person should be required to work at least one full year of retail before college, including x-mas season! I think it builds character and people need to see the ugliness of the behaviors out there before going out into that world on their own. Glad you get it! You two sound like such an incredible couple. So grateful to have you in my life, even if it’s just online (for now)!

  5. On June 18th, 2011 at 9:36 am Shieldmaiden1196 Says:

    I’m grateful for:
    … finding, at age 41, a true vocation.
    …a husband with a twisted sense of humor and a great compassion for others, someone who talks to people and draws them in to the group….he drives me nuts sometimes but has so many good qualitites.
    …the Internet, and the way it brings the fat community together, so we can encourage one another and enrich each others lives

  6. On June 18th, 2011 at 10:01 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. <3

  7. On June 23rd, 2011 at 11:35 pm Joolie Says:

    I’m late to the party, but I’m in a beyond-foul mood and I could definitely benefit by expressing some gratitude.

    -My husband. My best friend, my partner through the bullshit, my sometimes-caretaker, my ally, my lover, my champion of Logic and Reason.
    -My friends. Not a damn one of them is perfect, but I love them all.
    -My loafcats. Love. Companionship. Comfort. Amusement. Squishy, purring goodness.
    -My car. Reliable. Safe. BLUE.
    -My house. 3k sq ft of crazy additions that’s ample space for the hubs and I, plus two friends in need. My refuge.
    -My family. They stuck by me even when they didn’t understand me one bit because my lifestyle and beliefs are so different, and love me enough to work towards understanding.
    -My health. Sounds odd coming from a chronic pain patient, but other than the fibro/cfs/chronic migraines, everything else is in good working order. I can’t even imagine my life if I had more serious issues at play. So here’s to the health I have. I’ll fucking take it!
    -My doctor. He listens, he gives a shit, he makes me an active part of my treatment, and has never once said an unkind word about my size. Also, he asks to see any new tattoos every time I come in.
    -My therapist. He’s more like a friend I see every couple weeks that I can bitch to, cry in front of, and become completely vulnerable and know it never leaves those four walls. He’s amazing.
    -My business partners. I didn’t know these guys very well going into all of this, but I’ve gained a special appreciation for every last one of them. We’re friends who know when to STFU and talk about business, and I can’t wait to open our store.
    -My talents. I’m a Jill of all Trades. I can sew, crochet, draw (just enough!), write, cut and dye my own hair, make jewelry, sing, cook, and I can make hilarious fart noises.

    Wow. That’s a hell of a list. Now I’m gonna go smoke myself into a better mood, lol. <3

  8. On June 24th, 2011 at 8:01 am Not Blue at All Says:

    I love you, Julie! You amaze me! (I love that you put that your car is blue! Ha-ha!) Seriously? One fine day, I wanna party with you, gurl! <3

  9. On August 16th, 2016 at 1:44 pm NotBlueAtAll » Blog Archive » Step 9: Show Your Gratitude Says:

    […] on mine, so I went to my LiveJournal personal blog and did it there for awhile. Then I began to talk about it more openly and soon posted my own list of things I am grateful for. Listing what I’m grateful for was […]

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