The Gratitude Challenge

If you have ever read the book ‘The Shack’, the main character suffers a very traumatic loss.   The author describes the period of time following this event as The Great Sadness and described what it felt like for the character.  I sobbed as I read this part of the book.  It resonated with me and I understand exactly what the author was describing.  I, and I am certain many, many others, understand The Great Sadness.

Last night I was texting two friends, telling them about my Great Sadness and how much it has engulfed me, rendering me unable to feel…….anything.  I expressed my frustration and fear that I would always remain in this state of numbness and sadness, that I had exhausted all the things I could think of, to shed this heavy, emotional weight.

Both friends suggested I try a gratitude challenge.  While each friend had slightly different ideas how to approach it, how to document it, how long, or how detailed the challenge, both believed this is the key to conquering The Great Sadness.  Individually, they challenged me to express gratitude daily.  Especially in those dark moments when I am lost in my head and engulfed in melancholy and depression.

I accepted the challenge, not really caring, not believing in its ability to help me.

So, remaining true to my commitment, I start this challenge in this blog post.  The rules are:

I can’t repeat a gratitude

I must do it daily

The challenge lasts a minimum of 6 months (that is approximately 180 individual    items of gratitude)

So today…….I am grateful for:


There are obvious things like my job or health or kids, but…….it doesn’t seem right to start this challenge with a broad and generic gratitude.

Today…..I am grateful for:

(more crickets)

I don’t know what to put or what I want to say.  Maybe I just need to say the generic.

I have one and at this moment it is genuine and sincere.

Today….I am grateful for my duvet.  It is comfortable and warm and always has been.  It has never failed me in that regard.

There!  Challenge met.  Phew!!



Stupid Subtitle….

The subtitle for this blog is:

Starting over….one less thing at a time.

When I came up with that oh-so-witty subtitle, I had just gone through a divorce and had purchased my little townhouse.  I was thinking I would document my new, cute little life in a smaller space with slightly fewer possessions.  I was going to document my new, cute little start-over in life after a 16 year marriage but with goals for my new career and hopes and dreams for a new love.

But……starting over isn’t cute.

It has been gut-wrenching, devastating, hard, hopeless, scary, and so painfully sad at times, that I wondered if I would make it.

I still wonder if I will make it.

In the past two years I have started over several times due to divorce, death, change, mistakes, and very bad choices.

I have lost friends because I pushed them away in my grief.  I made new friends, but lost them when they couldn’t give me the answers I am searching for.

I lost the love of my life and fiancé to suicide.  I lost a future and a lot of hope.

I lost a shot at a new career due to bad choices, grief, and fear.

I have lost of lot of closeness to my children because I work so much and got lost in my head with my sadness for so long.

Minimalism isn’t always cute and blissful…..freeing…. and isn’t always a choice.

Starting over isn’t always hopeful and promising…..exciting and isn’t always a choice.

I hate my stupid subtitle.