I’ve started following the musings of another family who feel similarly as we do…frustrated and oh-so-tired with the North American way of life…stretching their boundaries…and taking (calculated) risks. In fact, they’re headed to Costa Rica in a few weeks for at least a year of “sabbatical.” (And we’re going to try to meet up with them while we’re there! More on Costa Rica in another post! 😀 )

Chad (aka Papa) just wrote a couple of new posts to their blog. One was about how he has conditioned himself to live a life of gratitude – and it truly is a process of conditioning and learning and INTENTION. So much of it stood out for me, but especially this line:

“I had trouble…thinking positive about the future, until I became grateful for what I had today.”

For me this also includes having trouble thinking positive about the PRESENT – if I am not grateful about TODAY, even this very moment is hard to get through. This I learned (and re-learned it over and over and over – as sometimes the concepts just did not stick) when living with Wayne…and cancer…and Wayne WITH cancer. So often I would wish for “it” to be over, especially in the deepest, darkest days before he died, that I failed to see the blessings that were showered upon us daily. Loved ones would remind me to open my eyes to see these incredible gifts of blessings…but often I was just too exhausted in my own journey to even see anything but the cancer journey, never mind the blessings in it. Yet I knew that I was being conditioned to live a life of gratitude – and DID strive to live it, even when it was not obvious to others around me.

Living a life with gratitude encourages me to be content with where I’m at. My life has been one adventure after another. When I focus solely on the future (and the “next big adventure”), I become discontent with the here-and-now. Unhappy. Unsettled. The joy escapes like air through a balloon. And then I find myself short tempered, entertaining negative thoughts, and a carrying around a hopeless attitude like an ill-fitting backpack. (Sorry to those who have witnessed or been subject to this!)

And so I do my utmost to live every moment of every day in gratitude…and not just wish for “it” (whatever “it” may be today) to be over. Now, more often than not, I lay my head down at night, thankful for the day that’s just happened, wish I could extend the hours just a bit so that I can experience more, and excitedly anticipate what the next day will hold.

Living a life of gratitude is LEARNED. It’s INTENTIONAL. And it’s POSITIVE – I really cannot think of something negative of living life this way!

I hope that my words spur thoughts in you, my readers, to perhaps think beyond your current circumstances…to grasp hold of the “live a life of gratitude” concept…and maybe, just maybe, I’ve encouraged one or two of you that today is just today. Tomorrow is a new day. Embrace every moment. And fill them with intention 🙂

PS You can read Elizabeth & Chad’s postings at