In November 2013 there was a program called 21 Days of Gratitude. Each day I responded to the question on Facebook. Recently when FB reminded me of one of the posts I re-posted it because I liked it. The next day I did it again. Then I realized maybe I’d like to preserve the questions. So below are all 21 questions and my responses in 2013. I think the questions are good ones and worth sharing at this time of year in particular, but really they work anytime. Visit KindSpring for their current Challenge.
Gratitude Day 1: What do you have enough of?
I have enough love, friends, & health for which I am VERY grateful.
Gratitude Day 2: Who do you know that you can never repay?
My parents who were always there for us with unconditional love for which I am VERY grateful.
Gratitude Day 3: What do you take for granted?
That I’ll awake each morning ready for another day. For that I am VERY grateful.
Gratitude Day 4: What Inconvenience Are You Grateful For?
The accidents I’ve had (breaking my foot in 1991 and my hip this year) have taught me to accept every kindness and generosity offered from my friends. Thank you.
Gratitude Day 5: What Is Your Most Precious Memory?
So many thoughts come to mind. I think our wedding day may be THE most precious…and as I say that, images flash before my eyes of so many different precious moments within that day alone.
Gratitude Day 6: Which Artist Lights Your World?
Two came right to mind, my niece Shaina Hoffman is a fabulous visual artists as well as a singer/song writer/musician. So much talent in one young person. And it thrills me that she is pursuing her heart. The other is our friends’, Kellie Newton & Jeff Blank’s, daughter Zoe. She’s a kindergartner and blind. She can hear anything and replicate it. She sings and plays instruments and totally lights my world. It’s amazing watching her.
Gratitude Day 7: How Have You Changed For The Better?
I think over the years I’ve become less judgmental, more open hearted, more kind and generous and somewhat calmer, thanks mostly to my Dharma practice.
Gratitude Day 8: What Do You Know That You Never Want To Forget?
The first thing that popped into my mind is the Pali word “anicca” (meaning impermanence). When I get caught up in wanting things to be other than they are, I remind myself that “all conditioned things arise and pass away”. It helps.
Gratitude Day 9: What Is The Greatest Compliment You’ve Received or Given?
This is a tough one for me. I just spent the last two weeks updating my business website and have a whole collection of compliments posted there, yet none stand out in my mind. And in this moment nothing is coming to mind as a compliment I’ve given. What does come to mind is my dear friend Stacey in Louisville/Denver. She has the most uncanny ability to see people’s best qualities and articulate them back as a compliment. I admire that ability and seek to emulate it as best I can
Gratitude Day 10: What’s The Best Advice You’ve Received?
My Mom was a great role model. She taught me at a young age that I could be and do anything I set my mind to. That advice has served me well over the years. I have great gratitude for how my Mom, Brenda Hoffman and Dad raised me.
Gratitude Day 11: What Made You Smile Today?
I get these questions in the morning and usually answer them then. My answer this morning would’ve been waking up next to Spencer. Since then I’ve been to our Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing potluck/business meeting. There I smiled at VW (our youngest member at 10 mos.) crawling around and standing up. And I smiled at the beautiful array of healthy homemade food offerings. And at Zoe hugging me and giggling. Being part of a community offers many opportunities to smile. I’m grateful.
Gratitude Day 12: What Is The Best Mistake You Ever Made?
This one stumped me yesterday. Not that I don’t make mistakes but something that turned out to be a good thing was not coming to me. Today I realized one. We booked a cycling trip to New Zealand in 2010. The mistake I made was wondering what the impact would be on our carbon footprint! YIKES! When I found out it tripled it, we cancelled the trip and lost our deposit. But the good is that ever since, we’ve raised awareness about the impact of flying. We haven’t stopped flying, but we have cut way back and every little bit helps.
Gratitude Day 13: Who Inspires You To Be Your Best Self?
I don’t know anyone who is more kind and generous than my sweetie Spencer Beard. Every day he inspires me to be my best self. I have abundant gratitude that we found each other and continue to thrive together.
Gratitude Day 14: When Has Nature Taken Your Breath Away?
This morning it was the full moon setting over the Olympics at dawn. On our cross-country tour it was the Tetons, Needles and the Badlands, to name a few. Loving nature, I try to pay attention as much as I can, especially when it’s breath-taking.
Gratitude Day 15: Who Or What Shaped Your Inner Compass?
That’s easy. My Mom and the Girl Scouts. Mom was very active in our community in many ways. She taught me the value of community and of service. She was a Girl Scout troop leader. I went through the whole program from Brownies through Seniors and become an assistant leader. Today my inner compass is greatly shaped by the principles of Buddhism.
Gratitude Day 16: What Is The Most Cherished Gift You’ve Received?
First thought was “my life”! A human birth is the greatest gift of all. The next thought, significantly more trivial, was a pair of earrings Spencer arranged to have purchased and sent from Eugene because he saw that I loved them and didn’t buy them myself. He’s SO thoughtful!
Gratitude Day 17: Who In Your Life Are You Under Appreciating?
I think I under appreciate my brother, Ric Hoffman and his wife, Lisa Hoffman who are doing the lion’s share of physical and emotional support for our Mom. They spend lots of time visiting, bringing her special foods, picking out clothes and so on. I wish I was geographically closer so I could take the load off sometimes. THANK YOU!
Gratitude Day 18: What Skill Do You Value Most In Yourself?
I have a whole brain dominance which means I live with one foot in both worlds. I can be big-picture or detailed oriented. This has proven to be a valuable skill when creating something from nothing, like EarthSave Seattle or Evergreen Tandem Club, the NW Tandem Rally or Taste of Health. It also helps me serve my clients well in creating their websites. In community meetings I can pull way out or go way in depending on what’s missing at any given time. I’m grateful for this trait.
Gratitude Day 19: What Can You Say Thank You For In This Very Moment?
In this moment I’m grateful the room isn’t spinning (it was at 4 AM) and grateful to have the internet so I easily can stay in touch with you all.
Gratitude Day 20: What Have You Lost and Learned From?
I haven’t lost much. I guess I’ve lost my youth! From that I’ve learned to let go of the past and appreciate the present moment. There is great richness in having a history.
Series Final Gratitude Day 21: If This Were Your Last Day, How Would You Spend It?
Happy Thanksgiving & Happy Hanukkah. I will spend today telling those I love that I love them and hoping today isn’t my last day so I can do the same tomorrow. To get in the spirit of the day watch this video on Gratitude.