Lest anyone who reads this blog should think I am perpetually happy and optimistic, let me say upfront that this was a pretty blah week.  My patience with the kids ran very thin.  I struggled with that familiar conflict between wanting to spend time with family and to spend time writing.  It was hot.  I was tired.  I didn’t sleep well.  Jay seemed overly clingy while Em seemed overly whiny, etc., etc., etc.

What place does this confession have in a post on gratitude you ask?  Namely, it’s a reminder of the importance of practicing gratitude not only when life is hunky-dory, but also when life is a little (or a lot) stinky.  Especially when life is stinky, because that’s when gratitude makes the biggest difference.  One of the most important lessons I learned when my dad died was that even on your worst day, there is always something to be thankful for.  That day, and the week following, it was the stunning autumn weather I was grateful for.  That and the loons singing on the lake in the morning.

This week was very far from my worst week – just an annoying and nuisance-y one.  It’s much easier to gush about gratitude after an idyllic vacation.  However, it’s perhaps more valuable to practice gratitude when you think your writing sucks and you might never earn another dime again, you have the yucky daily task of cleaning your dog’s infected ear, you have piles of laundry to fold and you’ve just yelled at your kids for what seems like the 100th time in one day and they’re still not listening.  Or so I’m told.

So without further adieu, here is this week’s Gratitude Sunday post, warts and all.

Quotes on Gratitude

“Count your blessings not your troubles.” — Dale Carnegie

“Now there are many, many people in the world, but relatively few with whom we interact, and even fewer who cause us problems.  So, when you come across such a chance for practicing patience and tolerance, you should treat it with gratitude.  It is rare.” — Dalai Lama

“Reflect on your present blessings – of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” — Charles Dickens

Gratitude List for the week ending July 24

  1. Corey Schwartz, fellow rhyming picture book writer and blogger, who gave me some very insightful comments on one of my manuscripts.  Check out her blog too.
  2. My husband, for keeping the kids entertained yesterday so I could get some writing done.
  3. A break in the heat = perfect weather for writing outdoors on the patio.
  4. The kids played quietly together for more than an hour to build a cabin out of Lincoln Logs.
  5. A new ice cream and sandwich shop on the main drag in our little town.
  6. The billowy white cotton nightgown I bought myself.  I’ve always wanted one just like it.
  7. Taking Em to see The Karate Kid.  Not as good as the original, but fun to go with her.
  8. Anna Maria’s Gift, by Janice Shefelman.  Em read the whole book in two days and then started from the beginning again.
  9. The Lafayette Public Library for a fantastic pirate-themed event celebrating the end of the summer reading program.
  10. The smell and feel of sheets and clothes taken down from the line outside.

What are you grateful for this week?

The kids' log cabin creation

Categories: Gratitude Sunday, Writing · Tags: ,



  1. I think we’ve had a similar week. My kids don’t sleep at night and last night was particularly brutal. I couldn’t be bothered with anything today, all I wanted to do was get my writing ready for a conference. Then a box full of dishwasher powder landed on my head and I was like a bear with a sore head, literally and metaphorically!

    So I am grateful that my husband picked up the slack for me today. Here’s to a better day tomorrow.

    • Good for your husband! I hope this week is better for you. So far, mine is. I was working on getting writing ready for a conference too. Now that it’s sent out, I feel a lot more relaxed.

  2. That’s great, good luck Julie. Things are going better here and making some great new writing friends 🙂

  3. Thanks for the shout out I am grateful for my family and my friends, both writing and non-writing. (and I’m grateful that the Bear hasn’t been back this week! 🙂

    • Corey, you should be grateful that the bear DID come. What a great excuse the next time you miss a deadline. Uh.. the bear ate it! Complete with photo evidence.

  4. Your Gratitude Sunday really makes me strive to be a better person and see the glass as always half full – thank you, Julie!!

    • Thanks Lara! It helps me to do the exact same thing – lol! It forces me to reflect on what’s good at least once a week.

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