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“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” ― Epicurus

It’s that time of year again – time for my New Year’s Resolution.

In 2016, my resolution was about saying NO. I made a vow of “no more stuff.” It was a good experience. I found happiness with the things I already had and I didn’t buy a single clothing item for a full year.

Now, in 2017, I’m going in a different direction. This year, I will focus on the two big magic words, THANK YOU.

I’ll say “Thank You” for the people and memories in my life – some old, some new – for filling me up each day. I’ll say thanks for all the gifts that come my way. I’ll say thanks with my words, with my smiles, and with my acts of kindnesses.

In the Old Testament, the Book of Isaiah tells me about seven gifts: wisdom, understanding, judgement, courage, knowledge, reverence, and wonder. These gifts often arrive in disguise, I’ll need to be mindful so I don’t miss them. Then, when I recognized them in my day, I’ll remember to say, Thank You.

My new 2017 journal will be electronic, not the old school paper model. I will be able to share, add images and maps, and make it a permanent part of my history.

In 2017 – Saying “Thank You” will be formal. I’ll spend time writing in a permanent journal devoted only to my resolution of thankfulness. I want gratitude to become a habit, an attitude, so I’m giving myself a full year to firmly implant this new behavior.

I may write something everyday, or every other day, or once a week, but at the end of the year there’ll be a full collection of details, of names, of moments, that I can reflect on with one big shout out, “Thank You.”

I will share some entries with you as the year unfolds, but others will be private. I will focus more on people than things, and I will include thoughts on what my life would be like without that person. For me, thinking about not having someone makes me even more grateful for them today.

How do you feel about gratitude, do you say, Thank You enough? Do you say Thank You even when receiving something unexpected and unwanted?

Can you give me examples of gifts you didn’t appreciate at the time, but later found to be exactly what you needed?

As always, the conversation starts here.

“In the ordinary choices of every day we begin to change the direction of our lives.” – Eknath Easwaran

Epilogue

Enjoy Christopher Stefanick telling us what it’s like to “Count Our Blessings.”