When I got sober over twenty years ago, one of the most important lessons I learned was the value of gratitude. I have been blessed in my life in countless ways, and when my course is rocky I try to remember those blessings. In the selfish tedium of everyday life, I often forget where I came from, what I struggled through, and those who helped me survive. In times of crises, even more so. Often, counting my blessings is a chore and I must school myself to remember. Nonetheless, I still carry the ritual of gratitude with me even though I’ve not attended an AA meeting in many years.
A few years ago, I read Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance. Despite what I think is an excessive focus on consumption (know your true self through shopping!) and its hyper-commercialization, its basic message about valuing gratitude remains important. Breathnach encourages her readers to write a gratitude journal, a practice I started on my personal blog several years ago.
During a bout of insomnia, I decided to see what sorts of gratitude blogs existed out there. I noticed a disturbing pattern where nearly every site I encountered was a commercial for someone’s life coaching, leadership training, self-help books and accessories, and so on. Certainly I don’t want to begrudge people their livelihood. I do think, however, that it would be nice to have a commercial-free, politics-free “gratitude blog” that is not devoted to a specific religion. Inspired lack of sleep and by websites such as 43 Things, PostSecret, and OneSentence (True Stories Told in One Sentence), I decided to build this site. Perhaps others will find it useful and inspiring.
As for me? Well, you already know I’m a recovering alcoholic. I’m also a survivor of severe childhood trauma (aren’t we all?). After flunking out of graduate school due to excessive drinking, I went through a treatment program, and eventually got a PhD in Communication Studies. Currently, I’m a professor at Baton Rouge Community College, where I’m reminded every day of the advantages and privileges I’ve had in my life despite the chaos of my dysfunctional childhood. I have been married for ten years and though I have no children, I have raised my niece on and off for much of her life.
As the saying goes, “Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.” I am grateful for the following people whose designs and code I have stolen from liberally to create this site. Thus, the link love below:
I am grateful to the prior owner of mygratitudes.com who gave me the domain name for free and who then put up with some annoying bureaucratic snafus to get the domain transferred into my name.
I am particularly grateful for Kitty at Full Moon Graphics. I am glad I finally found a way to use her graphics page set, which she calls “Each Day a New Beginning.” I have admired her work and this set in particular for nearly a decade.
The WordPress code was hacked from Brian Purkiss’s Whiteboard, which consists of the bare bones of WordPress without any CSS styling. I also muddled my way through this code as well.
The site is hosted by Hostrocket.com. I have used their services for five years for my personal website. I have always found them to be extremely helpful and I cannot praise their customer service enough.
Praise the bridge that carried you over.
--George Coleman (British playwright, 1762-1836)
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
--Albert Einstein (physicist, 1879-1955)