my 10 catalysts of gratitude

Tough and stressful times make us step back and take stock of the goodness in our lives. So this week, in the spirit of World Gratitude Day on September 21st, I’m recirculating this post to help focus on the important and small things alike that bring us happiness and for which we should be grateful—despite the challenges we are all facing these days.

10 things I am grateful for

1. The love and support of the people in my bubble. I feel so blessed to have terrific friends (many of whom have been with me through almost every stage of my life) and neighbours who love and support me.


2. A terrific cat that makes me smile every day. Those of you who know me well know that Jimmy is the light of my life.

3. A safe and comfortable home with terrific tasting clean water. It’s not elaborate or extravagant, but my home is cozy, safe, and comfortable and we have the BEST water! I don’t know about you, but every day after my shower, I thank God for it. I’m not a religious person, but somehow having access to good, clean water is a truly spiritual experience to me and something for which I am extremely grateful.

4. The ability and opportunity to travel frequently. My life has been so enriched, and my own world so expanded from the experiences I have gained through travel. I realize that right now due to COVID-19, we cannot travel freely. But hopefully, in the short term, you will enjoy travel experiences in your own communities, and in the long term, we will once again be able to broaden our lives and experiences through the joys of safe, international travel.

5. Work that I love. Being able to combine my passions for interesting people, travel, and writing into a viable career is the best gift ever. This year I admit that I have struggled, as I cannot travel, and I cannot hold in-person chocolate events due to the pandemic. But hope springs eternal that the veil limiting our activities will soon be lifted and our freedoms will be reinstated.

6. Enough intelligence to enable me to engage in conversation in most circles. Nothing fuels my soul more than talking to others and seeing what makes them tick. In-person gatherings may currently be limited, but I have found joy in being able to connect with people via Zoom and other online platforms. Make the most of the opportunities before you.

7. A reasonably healthy body and mind. My small aches or discomforts are nothing compared to those of others. I learn that more each year as I age gracefully and am inspired by those around me facing much greater challenges.

8. A good example to follow from my parents. My mother shone with her finesse in being social and loving people, and my father possessed an incredible level of confidence and determination. I feel blessed in having learned from both of them to make me the person I am today and am infinitely grateful for their inspiration.

9. An adventurous spirit. I love life to the fullest and am grateful for every opportunity to learn and experience something new, meaningful, or exciting.

10.  A developed palate that enables me to appreciate flavours. I admit to being a lover of fine food, wine, and chocolate! I am an insatiable foodie, a wine enthusiast, and a lover of fine artisanal chocolate. Each has added great ‘flavour’ to my life experiences.

I am eternally grateful for all the great food, wine, and chocolate I have had the opportunity to savour.

How about you? Have you taken the time to reflect on the things that bring you happiness and help you feel gratitude? 
I’ll close with this inspirational quote from Anthony Robbins: “When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.”

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

49 Responses

  1. Bev Phillips says:

    What a wonderful post, Doreen! You completely updated your points to reflect the current pandemic situation, and that shows your dedication to your readers. While we may not be able to do much to change our circumstances right now, we can certainly lift our spirits each day by remembering what we’re grateful for. An instant boost to mental health! I am grateful that I got to see you and Jimmy on my recent visit to Gimli. And how lucky are we to have that little treasure of a town so nearby? Take good care, Doreen.

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Bev. And thanks for being one of my subscribers! It really helps and encourages me when readers write in with comments or feedback on my posts. The pandemic has affected my desire to write. But it has not affected my ability to feel and appreciate the importance of gratitude. Thanks again for your visit this month. Stay well and safe!

  2. Nothing like listing what we’re grateful for to make us realize how much we have to be grateful for! I am grateful to know you!

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks so much, RoseMary! I, too, am grateful that we met thru the Bloggers Helping Bloggers group. It’s great that we’ve become such good friends. Hopefully, we will soon meet in person. Fingers crossed that the world soon opens up again.
      Doreen recently posted…my 10 catalysts of gratitudeMy Profile

  3. Janet says:

    I’m grateful for you as a friend Doreen. Your list is brilliant and appreciated.

    • Thanks so much, Janet! And I’m SO grateful that you re-entered my life 5 years ago. It’s been such an amazing experience building on the shared memories of our youth and connecting as middle-aged women to cement that friendship in so many ways.

  4. Linda says:

    A timely review of a great post. As you know, right now it is very difficult for American’s to feel much in the way of gratitude. However, reading about a handful of newly naturalized citizens made me pause and reflect that even when it feels our county is coming apart at the seams, many people across the globe are born into even worse situations.

    • For sure, Linda. There is always someone who is worse off than we are. That’s why we need to be grateful for the simple things that make us smile and give us pleasure. I think much of the world is praying g for America in view of the natural disasters you have been facing, as well as the man-made ones. Here’s hoping the end of the year brings relief on all fronts.

  5. This week I’m happy because I’ve learned that my new novel will be released on October 13, 2020.

  6. Beverly says:

    Those who know you are truly blessed. Hero and I wish you many continued blessings.

  7. Beautifully written. Got a calming effect on me and I appreciate all the simple blessings of life you mentioned. Being grateful is something that we should all practice everyday. Thanks for sharing.
    self confidence recently posted…Trust in Yourself and Gain the ConfidenceMy Profile

  8. As a child who was horribly abused when I was young, I was most grateful for anyone who would say a kind word, smile at me in passing, or give me a safe place to go. We often forget how desperate the person on the street may be and the tiny bit of muscle you use to give them a smile and a nod may make the difference in whether or not they wake up tomorrow.
    Peggy M McAloon recently posted…Help for DepressionMy Profile

    • Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and experience with us, Peggy. I think you hit the nail on the head when you say that people who may have suffered past abuse may need that extra bit of encouragement in order to trust, because I think that for the most part, they are most likely to be hesitant to trust others after what may have happened to them in a relationship of trust.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of trustMy Profile

    • Hi Peggy. Sorry. I saw your first comment and assumed it was in reply to the post on trust, but see it was intended for the post on gratitude. Both equally important virtues!

      Thank you for making the point about how something as simple as a smile can give folks the encouragement to carry on when life seems all but dark.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of trustMy Profile

  9. Thanks for the reminder to count our blessings every day Doreen. I have a lot to be grateful for too. Every day I am grateful for the health and safety of my loved ones, family and friends. We are both truly blessed.
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  10. Stacey says:

    Doreen, I loved reading your gratitude list! I especially liked #3 and 5, clean water and work you love. Clean, drinkable water is not available to everyone and work that you love, like you say, is a gift! To find it and then be able to work at something you love everyday makes for a fulfilling and happy life! You have inspired me to write my own top 10 gratitude list! This is a great exercise for the new year and to focus on what’s positive in life and abundant.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Stacey. I love it when you drop by the blog. We have such a great community here who is willing to open up and share insights into what makes them tick. That’s what I’ve tried to achieve on this blog, and it just occurred to me that it’s been 6 years in the making!
      WizardOfWords recently posted…my 10 catalysts of gratitudeMy Profile

  11. Mark Kearney says:

    Nice reading for a winter afternoon, Doreen. I liked that number 3 about clean water. That is something I’m always grateful for and don’t take for granted. As Suzanne mentioned above, it’s so great to live in Canada and have all these wonderful things. You’ve pretty much won the lottery just by being born here or to live here. I’ve travelled all over the world and I’m always grateful to be back in Canada when I get home.

    • Hi Mark, and thanks so much for your comment. It’s always great to hear the male perspective on the various things we discuss on the blog. I wish you’d subscribe, or visit more often.

      Yes, aren’t we Canadians lucky, to have such a wonderful standard of living, and clean and safe environment in which to live. As much as I love to travel abroad, I love to come home to this great land.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…my 10 catalysts of gratitudeMy Profile

  12. Thx to everyone for engaging in such a great conversation about gratitude. I suddenly realized that I’d neglected to include “access to fresh, clean water” in my list of things to be grateful for. I guess it falls under having a ‘safe and comfortable home,’ so I’ll add reference to fresh water in with #3 in my list, but just wanted to make mention of it here for any of you who are subscribed to the comments thread. Thanks again for contributing to a great discussion. 🙂
    WizardOfWords recently posted…finding your happy placeMy Profile

  13. Tim says:

    It is important to remember those things that we are grateful for and your list is a reminder of that. I have always felt very fortunate to be able to travel so I understand that one a lot.
    Tim recently posted…Oasis of the DesertMy Profile

  14. What a fantastic list Doreen. There are times , especially when it’s cold and raining that I feell SO grateful to live in a warm safe house with a loving partner who supports me in all my ventures. Sometimes it takes adversity in some form or other to take the time to be thankful for what we have. And I’m also thankful for the wonderful online friends such as yourself that I have made over the past couple of years. Always a source of support an inspiration. Thanks Doreen:-)
    A.K. Andrew recently posted…To Kill a Mockingbird – Do you want to read the sequel?My Profile

  15. Doreen — thanks for reminding me of all the things I’m grateful for. Most of all I am grateful for my loving, wonderful, and enduring circle of friends and family. Everything else is far down the list.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Social Media as a Tool for Character AssassinationMy Profile

  16. It’s good to be reminded that we need to focus on being grateful. We hear that a lot lately. I think it’s a good thing to keep top of mind.

    I’ve been thinking that, despite a blustery winter, I am grateful to live in London, Ontario. Canada is the best place in the world, IMHO. The people are great. I have money to keep my life comfortable and food and all the necessities of life, and more. I have a wonderful family, two sweet cats and lots of friends.

    Thank you for reminding me to remember this. 🙂
    Suzanne Boles recently posted…BlogMy Profile

    • You’re welcome, Suzanne, and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I do think we need to be reminded to be grateful on an ongoing basis. It’s so easy to feel sorry for ourselves. To complain about the weather. To want more. But when we reflect on what we do have, as you have done, it makes us realize that things are really pretty darn good! 🙂
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  17. Thanks Doreen for the reminder about gratitude. I have way more things to be thankful for than to complain about. List is pretty similar to yours. I would also add that I am grateful for the person my daughter has grown up to be.
    Donna Janke recently posted…Going Gypsy: A Review and an InterviewMy Profile

    • That’s awesome, Donna. Not being a parent, I haven’t had the privilege of raising a child. But I am always inspired by friends who have great kids as I know how proud they are of them. What does your daughter do?
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      • My daughter hasn’t settled on a particular career yet, but has and does work very hard at a number of jobs. She is interested in the healing arts and planning for upcoming training in that. She is certified as a yoga instructor. The more important thing is that she is a kind, caring and responsible person with a great sense of humour and a willingness to learn. And she writes too.
        Donna Janke recently posted…Going Gypsy: A Review and an InterviewMy Profile

        • Wonderful, Donna! I think it’s really cool how young people nowadays are taking their time in figuring out what/who they want to be. When we were young, we were encouraged to choose and pursue a career (or in some people’s cases … stay home and raise children.) What a different world it is today, with so many more opportunities.

  18. I feel so lucky …and those are great reminders to remember the things that ground us. And by the way, Jimmy is adorable!
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  19. Pets change our life! And Jimmy is so handsome and cute!
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  20. Ken Dowell says:

    I will now head out to shovel my car out of the driveway with a smile on my face.

  21. Harry Hobbs says:

    Thanks for this Doreen. It is important that we focus on the good things in life rather than the bad. Negativity seems so afloat today and people can’t wait to tell you some bad news or things about others.

    If everyone focused on the good things as you have done this world would be a much better place to live.

    • Thx, Harry. The motivation for my post was all the complaints about the weather that I was hearing. Believe me. I hate winter. But it can always be worse, right??? We think we’ve got it bad in MB right now b/c of the cold. But look at the poor folks on the East Coast! They’ve got so much snow they can’t open the doors to their houses!
      WizardOfWords recently posted…finding your happy placeMy Profile

  22. Linda says:

    You are so wise to focus on the thanks. You have a great list, quite similar to my own. Above all other things, though, I’m most grateful for my good health. It’s certainly not because I’ve worked at it or sacrificed for it. Quite the contrary, I’m not getting enough exercise and my eating/drinking habits have gotten really awful. I am blessed with some good genes. I appreciate every single day that I wake up sound and healthy. I’ve been so very lucky so far to have dodged the myriad troubles that afflict so many souls.

    Have a lovely evening, Doreen. Cheers.
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  23. I feel all warm inside after reading your blog. At times we do not appreciate our blessings.

    I agree that travelling really does broaden your horizon. You are left with great memories!
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  24. All of the above my friend. It’s hard to add anymore to that. I do feel very lucky. Hugs.
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