December 21, 2011

86,400 Times a Day, You Could be Missing an Opportunity to be Grateful

Have you ever met someone whose life is so wonderful that they can't help but tell you about it?

Their spouse is wonderful, their children are well-behaved and thriving. They love their job, their house, their car...their life positively rocks.

They glow with positive energy and thrum with optimism.

Doesn't that kind of person make you want to puke?


Oh, maybe it's just me.

During this holiday season, those positive people can be a bit hard to take when you are having struggles just to get through each day. When small irritations grate on your nerves - when your temper gets the best of you.

It's hard not to let loose a verbal shitstorm of why they are full of it.

Oh, maybe that's just me again.

My life is good. It's not where I want it to be, but it sure could be worse.

I started thinking that I could use an adjustment in my attitude.

Then, I ran across this quote today:

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.  Have you used one to say "thank you?"  ~William A. Ward

It was an 'aha' moment.

It takes just one second to say 'Thank you'.

Are you grateful to the salesclerk who waits on you even though she's been on her feet for nine hours and she really needs to pee, but it's not time for her break? Do you greet her warmly and thank her when you've completed your transaction?

It only takes one second out of the 86,400 you have today.

Do you thank your children for picking up their toys? Or say "thanks" when they say "please" when they ask for something?

The seconds are ticking...don't wait.

Here's the biggie. Do you thank your spouse for going to work he/she doesn't like so that there's enough money (hopefully) to keep you all afloat? How about when they help to get dinner on the table even though they had a rough day at work and a bitch of a commute?


And if you're the spouse that is working while your mate is at home watching the children and holding down the fort? Are you the least bit grateful for a clean kitchen floor or that pile of folded laundry that just appears like magic in your dresser drawers?

I figure that for every positive interaction we have each day, for every promise kept and obligation fulfilled, a thank you is in order.

Courtesy of hellojenuine, Creative Commons
Will you deliver that gift this holiday season?

Now I don't want you to go all Pollyanna on everyone - that would be disingenuous. Fake.

But try it my way, sometime during this weekend of Christmas.

You already know you should say 'Thank you', no matter how hideous the gift. Someone who cares about you went to the trouble of picking out a gift. Of course smile and you thank them...then you think about what closet it will fit in, or how soon you can re-gift it or sell it in a garage sale.

I'm talking about being grateful for the ordinary things...because they aren't that ordinary after all.

I'm talking myself into this as I write this post. 

I know I need to work on my gratitude regarding all that The Mister does for us. I get to sit on my butt and under-perform in my domestic duties because he's out of town, working. 

The bad news is that I'm much more likely to bitch about the ONE thing he didn't do (my way), rather than comment positively on any one of the FIVE things he did that were thoughtful.

I know he likes it when I compliment or thank him.

Words of Affirmation is one of his five Love Languages.

I'm much more likely to thank The Boy for every little thing he does.

It's all about expectations, methinks. I figure that The Mister is an adult, and he should know what needs to be done.

Silly me.

I'm considering this to be my social experiment.

During this holiday weekend, when I'm sure we'll have periods of joy as well as periods of stress, I'm going to remember to take one second to say 'Thank you'.

I'm betting it has positive repercussions.

No guarantees, of course.

Will you join me in this experiment?

Will you focus on the good things that happen all the time in your life, and show some gratitude? A smile, a word of thanks, a pat on the shoulder. Show that you are appreciative.

This could change the whole way we look at the phrase "it'll only take a second".

Can I count on you?

Would you let me know how it works for you? 

No pressure, honest.

I realize I'd be remiss if I didn't add my sincere thanks to all of you who read and comment on my blog.

Thank you. Without you, I'd be sitting here writing to myself and wondering if anyone cared.

Because of you, I know.

Thank you.

There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed.  If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude.  ~Robert Brault


  1. You make a very good point. Thank you. I shall work on this … Lord knows I need to.

  2. I try to say thank you to the cashiers wherever I go. It's got to be hell on them. I know I couldn't stand there like they do.

    I will take you up on your offer.

    I hope you have a truly Merry Christmas

  3. I'm in! And, will raise my personal bar by adding a self-challenge for making more eye contact.

  4. Funny you posted about this as I just had told my husband how much I appreciated him working! I'm in. And so thank you! But really, I mean that... you've shared things that have opened my eyes on matters that I was clueless about.


Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!