How it all began:
One day, I noticed a friend's Facebook post. Every day in her classroom for an entire school year, she found one thing that "made her day" and posted about it in a personal blog. I couldn't stop thinking about it. I kept thinking that I would like to do something similar, so I decided to write for one year about one thing that I was thankful for per day. I started on a random December night. The first post went something like this:
Maybe you wonder what drives me the most crazy as a high school teacher. Without hesitation, I can tell you that the sense of entitlement that most teenagers bring with them to class is the most disturbing thing to me about our young people.
What do these kids think? Seriously, you haven't turned in over 50% of your homework assignments and you wonder why you aren't passing the class? Really, I should provide you with a pencil if you don't come to class prepared? Are you actually accusing me of losing your homework? I get the feeling that if it was up to them, they could just show up to class and get an A. Come to think of it, they probably would rather not even come to class. Maybe just check in via text.
Today, I ran across a blog that belonged to an old friend of mine. She made a resolution to post a blog every day for a year about something she was grateful for. I read it and was amazed and inspired for this attitude she had cultivated in her own life. The concept of intentionally looking for things to be thankful for seemed like such a simple idea. That's when it hit me like a slap in the face: the entitlement I so loathed to see in my high school students had its nasty tentacles around my own thoughts, actions, and perspectives. I was a fraud. A hypocrite.
After all, my life is flooded with so many things to be thankful for that I do not deserve. I have not and could not do anything to earn what I have. Yet day after day, instead of displaying an attitude of gratitude, I focus on all of the negative, pain-in-the-butt experiences, people, and situations I encounter.
One of my husband's favorite financial guru's claims that he never wants to be normal, because "normal is broke". I'd like to extend the statement to include that normal is also ungrateful and entitled. I don't want to considered normal according to either of these definitions.
So, I will blatantly and brazenly copy this friend. I will post a blog every day for the next 365 days describing one thing that I am thankful for, specific to that day in my life. I hope that stealing this idea is not too pathetic. Being original has never been one of my strengths.
Let me be clear about my motivations, here.
I do not have an agenda to entertain the masses. I am not a talented writer and do not hope to nor expect to impress any of you out there with my quick wit, my sassy humor, or my beautiful prose. I feel that I was very clearly led by God to do this, as it will be an exercise in becoming more like Him. Instead of griping about everything that goes wrong, I will spend some of that time on the lookout for things to be thankful for, and I expect that I will get better at this as time goes by. I believe that this will have a huge impact on my life and I am very excited to see how it all plays out. I'm also extremely nervous that I won't follow through. So, those of you reading this can help keep me accountable by letting me know you're out there.
Tomorrow, day 1. Here we go.
"And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."
When one year was up, I felt personally challenged to continue. I made a goal to go 1000 days, and so far, it's been a huge blessing. This is the result of that challenge.