The Power of Gratitude


The Power of Gratitude | Jennifer Diaz | Photo by Kelsey Cherry

November is one of my favorite months, and it's not just due to the fact I was born in it, or would be thrilled to live the rest of my days in a perpetual state of autumn (although both of those are true). I love this month because it begins a season in which we are urged to be more mindful, and reflect on the things in our lives that we are thankful for. Sounds simple, right? But speaking for myself, it can be all too easy for me to move through my days casually, taking for granted the little blessings I have in my life.

This past year, gratitude has been one of the words I have focused on. I've wanted to make it a habit to appreciate where I am and all I have at this time in my life. It's easy to get caught up in the lie that once I have ______ I'll be happy and satisfied. But the thing is, there's always bigger, better, newer, more, etc. And if I don't get off of that treadmill now, I'll become exhausted, run down, and cynical. And that's not how I want to live my one and only life. 

I have a lot of hopes and dreams for my future: a home I'd love to buy one day, new places I want to explore, and things I'd like to accomplish. Believe me, I highly value creating visions and moving forward, especially given my chosen profession. But if we neglect to savor where we are now, it's going to be a lot more difficult to appreciate the things to come. 

Gratitude is powerful. Being thankful in the present moment will not only improve your life satisfaction in the here and now, it will also amplify your ability to enjoy your future accomplishments and blessings. 

So this month, I'm doing a character check. I'm going to practice being grateful for who I am and where I am in life. I'm going to be thankful for the many wonderful blessings I have, both big and small. I'm choosing to be grateful for the struggles and blessings of today, for these are the days I will eventually look back and reminisce on. 

This month, at the end of each day, I'm going to write down at least 5 things that I'm grateful for. I'd love for you to join me if you like! Today, my 5 are:

  • My mother, for giving birth to me 28 years ago on this very day, and putting up with me with love and grace ever since. She is strong, stubborn, and kind. All the things I hope to be.
  • My dad, for his guidance, always showing up and making things way more fun than they normally would be, and also for his discomfort with sweet and sappy sentiments like this.
  • My husband, for his relentless support and belief in me. And also for proof reading everything I write (now you know who to blame for any grammatical errors).
  • My brother, for simply being awesome and giving me someone to lovingly make fun of and be proud of at the same time. Also, I would've been the worst kind of only child. 
  • My community. I can't possibly say enough about the importance of the kind of people you surround yourself with. They can either build you up or tear you down and I am beyond thankful to have an abundance of builders.

What are you thankful for today?