grief, Uncategorized

How To Not Be The Same Person 2 Months From Now

Now that all the pies are baked and the turkey is ready for the oven, it is time to give thanks.  However, some of you may believe you have nothing for which to be grateful.

I know some of you are working your way through the grief of:

  • loss of loved one
  • unemployment
  • the holiday season
  • all of the above

Gratitude still has a place even in those awful circumstances. I know it is tough as I have gone through all of the above separately and at the same time.

Not Home Alone

For those of you going through unemployment, you are not alone.  I am right there with you as I am unemployed once again.

On November 13th, my job as a loan officer, teller and collector ended.


The credit union and I were simply no longer a fit for one another and fit is the number one thing potential employers look at in a candidate.  Seeing you working at their company is more important than your ability or experience.

So while I am not thankful for being unemployed, I am thankful for the opportunity unemployment brings, along with the blessings bestowed upon me since unemployment began.


One of the ways I am working on keeping my mood up is a gratitude journal.  No matter what the cause of your grief, a gratitude journal will help you shift your focus. Your journal does not have to be anything fancy.  It can be something as simple as a legal pad.  This is something I wish I had done during my first year of widowhood.

“For Your Eyes Only”

Grab a cup of tea or coffee and write down 5 things you are thankful for every morning.  It is alright to write the same thing for different days. There does not need to be any rhyme or reason for that which you are thankful.  This journal is for your eyes only.

Doing your writing first thing in the morning will help you face the day with the right mindset.  Keep writing and you will slowly but surely beat back the grief monster. You will be taking a little chunk out of him with every gratitude statement. The grief monster does not want you grateful he wants you wallowing in self-pity.

There does not need to be any rhyme or reason for that which you are thankful.  This journal is for your eyes only.

Two Months From Now

My friend Lisa Ryan’s favorite quote is:

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

I understand why it is Lisa’s favorite quote. Sarah is right.  You will not be the same person when you consciously give thanks every day because your mind is focusing on gratitude and not grief.

Michele’s Gratitude Journal

Here is a page from my journal.

I am grateful for:

  •  My friend Lisa Ryan
  • God’s Faithfulness
  • Chocolate
  • Rommie
  • My Car

 Your Turn

 So write in a gratitude journal as a way to work through this holiday season no matter what is causing you grief and continue through the cold bleak month of January.

Who knows, by keeping a journal you just might find that Spring comes early.


One Way For Widows (and others) To Get Through The Christmas Season

Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl.  But it warmed more than your body.  It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with melody that would last forever. 

~Bess Streeter Aldrich

Three months from today is Christmas Eve.  Have you started your shopping yet?  If you are a widow and this is your first Christmas without your spouse, have you started making plans for how to survive the Christmas season?

Write It Down

One of the best ways to get through the season is to start a gratitude journal.  It will help you focus on the blessings in your life.  It may not feel like it but there are numerous blessings even though you are feeling pain and sorrow. 

Start it now so you are well into the habit when the Christmas season gets into full swing.

Encourage everyone in your family to have their own journal and sit down once a week to compare notes.  Each journal will be different and no one’s journal will be better than the rest.  You are all unique individuals so what you are thankful for will be unique to each of you.

The grief monster does not like gratitude.  He wants to keep you miserable, depressed and seeing only the bad things in life.  So lay the smackdown on him by being grateful.

Bad Moments

Yes, even though you keep a gratitude journal you will still have bad moments.  But hopefully that is all they will be – moments.  It is in those moments you most need to get out the gratitude journal and start writing.

Not Just For The Grieving

By the way, you do not have to be in the midst of a grief journey to do a gratitude journal.  The Christmas season is a chaotic and hectic time.  What better way to calm your mind than to take some time writing in your gratitude journal while sipping on a cup of hot chocolate.

Your Minimum Daily Requirement

Get our your journal, steno pad, or legal pad and start writing – just 5 a day.  You do not have to stop at 5 so feel free to write as many as your heart desires. Then carry your new habit over into 2014.

Today I am grateful for everyone starting a gratitude journal, especially the widows who are using this as a tool to work through their grief. 

P.S. I have added a contact form so you can send me a private message if you wish or leave your thoughts in the “Express Yourself” section.