“Don’t let your attitude affect your gratitude!” That’s me talking.
“Dad! Shut up! You sound like a stupid kids’ TV show.” This is Eli, he’s eleven. Is he allowed to tell me to shut up? I guess so—when I’m being obnoxious.
I’ve been saying the attitude/gratitude thing over and over. I say it like this: “Don’t let your at.ti.tude… affect your gra.ti.tude.” This has been going on since Tuesday.
The down-side of repeating this phrase, besides bugging the bejesus out of my family, is that it reminds me of a Jimmy Buffett song: “changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes, nothing remains quite the same…” I can’t stand Jimmy Buffett. In college, my roommate Tom was a huge Buffett fan. Mercifully, this was before they started calling themselves Parrot Heads. That would have pushed me over the edge. Bad enough that they listen to crappy music, but stealing their naming convention from the Dead Heads—another group of ‘fans’ that sets me off—that’s just plain stupid.
Tom listened to the Grateful Dead as well. Me? I only listened to punk rock. The Clash, the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, the… wait, that’s all… Clash, Pistols, Ramones. Ours was a bipolar stereo.
Every Tuesday morning, I talk with Molly. She’s my life-coach. Before you roll your eyes and write me off as an over-privileged, over-indulged sort of guy with money to burn, let me point out that this coaching is free. It’s a service provided by my medical insurance company. And they don’t call it life-coaching, I do. They call her my ‘guide’ which seems far more ridiculous than life-coach.
This week, Molly suggested I keep a Gratitude Journal. Have you heard of this before? It’s a book where you write about the good stuff that happens in your life. It’s a way to ensure that you’re reflecting on the positive. Taking time to really think about what’s right in your world.
I’m a glass half empty sort of person. I’m always looking for the downside. I found a new job… ugh, now I need to buy new clothes. Molly thought some focus away from the negative might straighten me out a bit.
An interesting thing about my attitude/gratitude saying is I’m not certain about my motivation. It could be that I enjoy pushing Eli’s buttons. Maybe I like how it sounds. Possibly I say it because I have Tourette Syndrome. A few years ago, my family drove to Niagara Falls. On the way, we saw a road sign that said Future 99. For the next week (constantly) and the next six-months (randomly), the phrase Future 99 popped out of my mouth. Tourette Syndrome!
Don’t let your attitude affect your gratitude.
The most important part about gratitude journaling is getting a cool book to write in. Susan has a thing for blank books. Every time we walk through T.J. Max, she pokes through the journals and often buys one. While I was talking to Molly, I was envisioning a composition book. One of those string-bound books you buy at Walmart for $1.97. Susan had none of that. She pulled out four books, spiral-bound, glue-bound, lined, unlined, large and small. I took my pick. I grabbed a spiral-bound book, the largest of the group. It has whales on the cover. It might be sort of girly, but I’m the only one who sees it. And I saved $1.97… plus gas.
Today was my first day of journaling. So much good stuff is going on in my life right now that I had trouble picking a topic. Today was my last day of work at my company. Monday, I start my new job. The WordPress editors recently picked one of my posts to be featured in Discover. I just added 800 followers on my blog. That’s 800 potential new friends.
This morning, I wrote about appreciation. I can’t remember another time when I’ve felt so appreciated. My wife and kids (who baked me a new job cake), my old co-workers, my future boss, and anyone reading this post right now. For all of your attention, I am grateful.