Gratitude: A Habit Worth Having

Last week I wrote this blog on gratitude.
(click on the pic)

And now, a tale of two women…


She’s kinda sad, all the time.
She has a good life.
She knows this.
She knows she should be nothing BUT grateful.
But she’s got a chemical thing going on in her brain.
Baby Blues, some people call it.
Overwhelmed too.
It’s not a good combination.
She is messing up a lot of things in her good life.
She wallows for a while, in her self-pity.
She sits in the muck.
Until one day she reached out.
She asked for help.
And someone heard.
Even though her asking for help was a small,
almost unheard whimper.
Someone heard.

One day she decided to try to get out of the muck.
She found a woman online, Ann, who had a challenge.
Joy Dare
Every day, list 3 gifts you are grateful for.
Ann even had prompts for the gifts to look for.
You don’t have to follow the prompts.
The idea is to just list 3 things every day.
JUST 3 things.
I can do this, she thought.
It should be easy.

It was not. She struggled. Even WITH the prompts.
“Why is this so hard? I have a good life.
I have a family that loves me.
I know that God loves me.
I am ahead of the game really.
Why is this so hard?”
She struggled for a long time.
There were days she didn’t have anything written down.
There were days when all she could write down was:
“my family”
And then she would think:
“I am so lame”
She really was thankful for her family,
but she knew she should be able to list more.

She stuck with it.
Because she was stubborn.
She was determined.
She knew she was loved.
She knew her family deserved more.
3 things, every day.
That first year she ended up with
736 gratefuls listed.
In case you are wondering,
The joy dare goal is 1000.
3 a day would be 1095.
Either way she was short,
but this was a marathon, not a sprint.
And her last grateful?
“I am grateful for having listed out 735 gratefuls for the year.”


A wife and mom who is sometimes overwhelmed.
She has been really trying to take care of herself.
She strives to see improvement in her own behavior,
to MAKE more improvement.
She knows she is loved.
She has worked hard to also know she deserves to be loved.
She is grateful, always.
She knows we can always be more grateful.

One day she decides to put her money where her mouth is.
Can she go a year listing her gratefuls?
She heard someone send out a challenge.
NEVER go to bed without listing ONE thing you are grateful for.
Just ONE, every day.
She knows how. She’s done it.
Still. Sometimes there are just those days.
January 1 – 15.
Time to check in.
How many things?
54 items I am grateful for.
54 nuggets of joy.
54 listed.
I have made it a “deal” with myself to count them again.
So I have made it important that I list them on my planner.
Which is in front of me or near me always.
by the space I have allowed myself so this does not become
one more thing to stress about.
Quick, easy.
Surprising, even to me.

It’s blurry on purpose. Funny how your whole life can be in a planner huh?
The colored writing are my “preplanning” – stuff I write in ahead of time.
The black ink – those are my gratefuls or gifts.
I literally fit them in. Quick and easy.

MMB – Maxine Marie Before
MMA – Maxine Marie After
It’s me, both women are me.
But I am not the same woman I was then.
I have gone from struggling to write down 3 things a day,
to limiting myself to the space on my calendar.
Because I know myself.
I know I can easily do things that make me more overwhelmed
then is necessary.
I know that I can make a goal in good faith,
and turn it into the thing that makes my life more difficult.

And my point???
I challenged you to write down 1 thing every night before you go to bed.
I have given you links to the Joy Dare with prompts for three things.
I have shown you ideas.
And right about now,
you might be struggling.
if you stick with it,
your heart starts to seek out those things to write down,
without effort,
without struggling.
It’s a habit you must train yourself for,
but it is worth it.
Because, when your heart is open to things to be grateful for,
you will find that there is less room
for negativity.

I promise.

Stick with it.

Leave a comment: tell me what you are grateful for right now.
Join me on my Facebook page:
MaxineMarie: finding happy

On a side note. I’ve been playing with branding. Things will change now and then as I play and learn more. I thank you for your patience while I get it figured out.


About ~Me~ Hello, my name is Maxine. I am: Catholic and a stubborn child of God a wife (to my highschool sweetheart) a mom (to six wonderful kids that span 20 years in age) a daughter a sister a business owner an artist and a writer Like most women with a list like that, I'm also busy and sometimes overwhelmed. I'm on a journey to be happy despite the chaos, maybe even because of it.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. I am grateful for you and your stubbornness. I am grateful for your sister and her ambitions. I’ll be grateful if this posts.

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