Favorite Things, Life, Pets, Soul Homework, Universe, Writing


The word gratitude comes from the Latin root gratus, meaning “pleasing; welcome; agreeable.” Gratus is also the root of related terms such as grace, gratuity and gratis, all signifying positive moods, actions and ideas. This is because of its Proto-Indo-European root, gwere, meaning “to praise, to celebrate; to be in contact with the Divine.” In other words, being grateful is equivalent to feeling the presence of the Divine in our lives. It is the same as being in a state of bliss. It allows us to see value, virtue and benefit in everything. In this regard, gratitude can be considered the antidote to many forms of suffering. Therefore, it might also be, in its own right, an actual form of spirituality.


I don’t always appreciate posts that talk about feeling grateful because sometimes they come off as toxic positive or emotionally invalidating. I try not to also come off as preachy because I know how it feels to sit in a dark place in life and not want to hear yet another platitude from someone telling me, “if you just journaled your thoughts you would feel so much better.”

I am sharing this for a few reasons.

In September 2021, I began keeping a daily “grateful” notebook and noticed a difference in my life. It wasn’t immediate or profound, but my point of view did shift in a positive way.

I also noticed a blogging friend had been sharing her “joys” each week, and reading them made me so happy that I began to look forward to them. That made me think that perhaps someone reading a post about my joys, my little grateful moments, would be able to see the little joys in their own lives as well.

Life is in the small details, so maybe you can think about your little joys this week to help you climb your way to the next week.

Some days, I can only think of one or two. Other days, I have a lot.

Maybe it will become a regular series. Maybe it won’t.

Here are a few things I’ve been grateful for.

-a snow day

–the cardinal who looked right into the bird camera before flying away

-a spectacular sunset on a really shitty day

-finding a wonderful new breakfast place

-getting a venti water without asking for it at Starbucks

-the joyful crossing guard who smiled and waved when he saw me.

-the sensation of being able to let go of something that has been bothering me.

-a friendly cashier at the grocery store

-my father’s joy after cataract surgery and no longer needing to wear glasses

-getting a new book from a friend

-solving a Wordle in three guesses

-when my dogs sense that something is bothering me and cuddle up with me

-remembering an old memory

-finding a new song I love and listening to it over and over again

What little things have you been grateful for lately?

54 thoughts on “Gratus”

  1. I love this post. I have tried to keep a gratitude journal a fee times and have quickly abandoned it. I’m not good with articulating my thoughts and it feels dull and repetitive.

    My husband and I discovered a new love song on Valentine’s and I cried because of how magical it felt in that moment.

    A bird camera !? 🤯 That’s a thing? Googling now

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The thing (for me) about practicing gratitude is it teaches me to live in and appreciate the present moment. Instead of living in my head (and all of its anxieties, regrets and grievances), if I stop to look around my present there are amazing moments happening all around me all the time. As you have articulated so well!

    Great post, Kari!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! In my vent journal, I also write down what bothers me. That allows me to look at them on paper and realize they aren’t as bad or scary as they were in my head. But my gratitude journal is now so much fun to look at because it contains pages and pages of my life’s greatest hits. I wish for everyone to have something like this.

      Thank you, Deb. 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, we’ve all read those posts that lecture us to journal or as you say include toxic positivity . . . this is not that. A lovely post. And yes, it does help me in thinking about my own life and how I’ve been blessed and how I’m fortunate and how I might be able to attack those things that aren’t so rosy. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m grateful for wordle. My mom and I started sending each other our wordle each day (most days), and we always include what’s going on in our day. I supposed we could just have easily decided to start a daily email check-in, but I don’t think we would have, or would do it as faithfully.

    Thanks for acknowledging toxic positivity and that there are multiple ways a person can practice gratitude. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with the daily check-in. My mom and I send TikToks to each other on a daily basis, which feels very similar to this.

      It straddles a very fine line, so I feel compelled to acknowledge it whenever I share something like this.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I love how you both highlight things to be grateful for that are supposedly small: not world peace and end to world hunger, more of the type in The Sound of Music’s My Favorite Things. I think sometimes we expect those enormous, earth-shattering moments to be happy or grateful and forget to enjoy the everyday stuff. Here’s to the Wordles, the bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, and the brown paper packages tied up with strings!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. These are wonderful things to be thankful for. I have been so grateful that we had two really warm sunny days last week where I was even able to open my sunroof– In February?!! That brought so much joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I do a gratitude prayer before I go to sleep each night. I thank God for things like my flannel sheets, my pillow that actually fits my head (I know, I’m weird), comfy jammies, whatever comes to mind. I swear to you, I’m able to go to sleep much quicker since I’ve practiced this. I think focusing on small, tangible things is helpful to me and doesn’t make my mind wonder.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do this most nights, too. I also offer up prayers for whoever comes to mind that night…usually a family member or friend who is ill or suffering in some way. You’re right, it is soothing and helps me fall asleep rather quickly. And no, you’re not weird for being grateful for a pillow that fits your head – I love my pillow, too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It feels very much in line with mindfulness and not worrying about all of the problems in the world or in your own life before going to bed.

      I used to do this when we were under lockdown, but I eventually got away from it. You’ve inspired me to give it another try. ❤️


  7. I got Wordle in three today. Also I’m grateful for our nice weather and hiking trails. I read a book by Martin Seligman with an exercise of writing three things you’re grateful for each evening. Then you’re supposed to explain why those things happened. He’s a professor at U Penn and said he found that exercise was as effective as prescription meds in treating anxiety and depression after sticking with it for a number of months.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kari, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post for so many reasons! You’re right about toxic positive or emotionally invalidating. It’s almost like being in La la land 100% and not actually embracing those moments of darkness, which we all have. And for me, those dark times are what make me appreciate all the things I have in my life TO be grateful for. I believe that focusing on gratitude not only produces more things to be grateful for, but also clears my mind to see what the dark moments are teaching me.

    A lot of people I know (friends, family and coworkers) think that I’m ALWAYS happy. Which I’m not. What I am is JOYFUL because I know how blessed I am. In so many ways.

    Many things you listed here on your grateful list are mine as well —

    -a snow day!
    -a spectacular sunset!
    -letting go of something that has been bothering me!
    -finding a new song and listening to it over and over again!

    I think the biggest thing I feel grateful for (and have always felt my whole life) is that I never feel alone and always feel loved and protected.

    Fabulous post, my friend! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, those dark moments that make you appreciate the light. That is so true, Ron.

      I recently read a quote that I will share in my next tater tot post, but it is relevant to your comment. This woman was asked why she was always so joyful, and replied that she cried a lot. 💕

      Those are lovely things to be thankful for, my friend.

      Sending you love. 😘


  9. Ever since you mentioned that gratitude journal, I started keeping one. I don’t know if I ever told you that. Admittedly, I haven’t used it in awhile. And it’s right next to my two regular journals that I write in every night. (One’s more of a quick date book – I just write little things in it; the other is a “real” journal.) I think it’s because I wait too late at night to start writing and I’m too tired so I just want to be done with it. OK, mindset change: I’m going to start journaling earlier in the evening and include my gratitude journal, too!

    Like you, there are some days where I could write a list of things I’m grateful for and other days, I’m lucky if I can come up with one thing. There have been times I’ve opened that journal and sat there and tried to think of something and just couldn’t. So I let it be.

    I play Wordle every morning and send my results to my mom. And vice-versa. Same with me and Brian. Though if he’s home, we play together, at the same time. BTW, today I was super lucky with my starting word, so was able to get the word on the 2nd guess! 😉

    Today, I am grateful for…

    ~ Meeting up with YOU!
    ~ A long overdue walk around my neighborhood + bonus: sunshine.
    ~ My sweet kitty who is still hanging in there, despite having stage 4 kidney disease.
    ~ My patient hubby who spent over an hour on the phone with AT&T, trying to get our bill lowered after an increase.
    ~ The feral cat (whom I’ve named Blanco) that comes to my door every night for dinner.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy you now keep a gratitude journal! I use mine every morning, but when I tried to do one at night a few weeks ago, I discovered that there aren’t actually that many things for which I should be grateful. 😂😂

      I play Wordle with Sarah, who blogs at Yoga Cowgirl. She is very good about sending hers to me first thing in the morning, and I look forward to it every day. It’s funny because as soon as I published this post yesterday, I didn’t guess yesterday’s Wordle and I had three of the letters the entire time.

      I added meeting with you yesterday to my gratitude journal this morning. It filled my cup all day yesterday, last night, and this morning. I am so grateful for our friendship.

      I am so grateful that Clementine is still with you. Give her a hug from me. XOXO

      Liked by 1 person

      1. For writing in my gratitude journal at night, I use it to list those things I’m grateful for that day. I find it’s a peaceful way to end my night. Though like I said, there’s some nights where I have the attitude, “I can’t think of one single thing I’m grateful for today.” I’m grateful there’s not many of those nights! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  10. This is lovely Kari, thank you 🙂

    A recent joy was attending my grandson’s birthday party, sharing the day with people I love, catching up with his other grandparents who I haven’t seen since before Covid, seeing his joy as he opened his presents (when you’re 2, you don’t know how to pretend), but most of all playing volleyball with his wonderful selection of balloons which were even more fun than his new toys, and having my granddaughter climb up into my lap of her own accord for a cuddle.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Life IS in the details. I love having little bits of joy throughout my day. We might take it for granted if we get it all at once.
    So happy about your dad and his new eyes!

    I was able to see both of my girls for a few hours on Sunday and it filled my heart to the brim; so grateful that they love visiting with their parents.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You are so right. Finding joy is key. Oh how I love it when a great song comes up on the radio – especially when I’m driving. Having a great weekend with Ed over the weekend was a heck of a lot of joy for me. I’ve also been loving the feeling I have when I get to go for a run when the weather warms up just enough after being confinded to inside during the winter months.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I kept a gratitude journal many years ago, which completely changed my way of thinking. I don’t keep it daily anymore, but I still make gratitude lists, especially when feeling down. I love your list!
    Today is a cold, windy, miserable day, and I’m grateful to be inside a warm house and that I don’t have to go anywhere!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re also having a bad weather day (an ice storm), and I just heard sirens in the distance. Because I drive my youngest daughter to school every day, I called her out because my instincts told me not to drive in this weather. I’m grateful that I can do that and be at home, so I’m happy that we have the same thing to be thankful for today! ❤️


  14. I understand your reluctance to be *too grateful* lest some people think you’re bragging. It’s a fine line between sincere gratitude and aren’t I the luckiest girl ever! I don’t keep a formal gratitude journal but I do take time each night to think of three things I’m particularly grateful for. Often they are mundane, like ‘comfortable shoes’ or ‘a cold beer’ but occasionally I surprise myself with some depth.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Wordle! ❤️ I didn’t know you Wordled! Me too! A friend introduced me. So frustrating at first. I just made up swear words. Then I got hooked. Then my friend stopped playing but I continue bc I am deeply uncool like that lol. Srsly thought I was last person on earth to still play. Warms my heart to know I am not! 😊

    My fav answer so far: BEEFY. I got it pretty fast (for me) and I did not think it would be the answer! Totally entered it as a joke!

    Similarly with POLKA the other day.

    Those are my favs. When you enter a word on a lark and it proves true! Something to be grateful for 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It IS initially frustrating. And it still frustrates me at times. But I look forward to it every day. I’m glad you enjoy it as well! I’ll keep in mind that you play it every day now whenever I play! ❤️

      I will now always begin with BEEFY. 🤣

      Likewise, POLKA. 🤣



      1. Awww… I will think of you too now when I play!

        Oooo POLKA or BEEFY as start word…

        I usually begin with ADIEU and then make patterns with any green-lit vowel(s) and random likely letters… Soooo not how u r supposed to play. But it works for me & it is so much fun making patterns from letters and realizing, yes! BEEFY is a word!

        But before I uncovered my odd play style… ohhhh frustration!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s a fantastic way to keep our brains from turning to mush, which seems to be a daily occurrence lately. I took a week off from Wordle because my friend was on a retreat (horse riding!) and I went on a mini vacation (post to come), and I really missed it.


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