Giving Thanks

A few years ago, a friend gave me some excellent advice for when I was down or struggling with life.  She told me to simply start being thankful for the little things that were going well in my life.  I could write these things down or simply make a mental list of what had gone well in my day.  Spending even a few minutes a day recognizing what was positive helped me make it through some tough days.  Other times, this act serves to remind me that I am incredibly blessed with good health, family and friends.

This past winter, I heard a great news story about how gratitude and mental health are connected.  Researchers have even started using gratitude journals with soldiers that are suffering from PTSD.  You can participate in a research study by the University of California at Berkeley by heading over to  Their interactive gratitude journal is free and is designed to get you seeing the positive effects of gratitude in your life.

So, you might be asking yourself how this is all connected to running.  Here’s how:  tonight is a snowy, cold night in Northeast Ohio.  After 7.5 miles in the snow yesterday, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to tonight’s scheduled 4 miles.  I grumpily (that’s a word, right?) suited up in my layers, popped my head lamp on and got out the door.  As I headed out for 3 tours of my favorite 1.3 mile loop, I decided to fire up my gratitude list as a I ran.  I’m sharing mine below.  Feel free to leave a comment and share your list with me.  I’d love to hear it.

Tonight, I am grateful for:

-a husband who supports me and says things like “Do you need me to go with you?”  or “I’m proud of you for getting out there.”

-quiet streets where I can run safely, even when they are covered in snow and Cleveland slush

-my $15 headlamp that has not needed new batteries in a remarkable amount of time

-the big, fluffy snow flakes falling in my neighborhood.  Looks like I’m running in a real snow globe.

-the fresh smell of someone’s fabric softener drifting from a dryer vent

-and finally, the company that podcasts of This American Life provide me along my way.  I love a good story and this 1 hour radio show is full of them.  Need some motivation?  Head over to their website and download some shows that sound interesting.

7 thoughts on “Giving Thanks

  1. trueindigo February 5, 2013 / 12:02 pm

    Perfect small things to be grateful for. Did you ever think the dryer vent exhaust smelled like a specific candy? I swear it reminds me of Smarties.

    • gorunjess February 5, 2013 / 4:38 pm

      I never thought of that! I’m always grateful for the smell, especially since it balances out the car exhaust I often end up smelling. 🙂

  2. Nancy February 5, 2013 / 5:22 pm

    Got to give you thumbs up for the run. Motivated me to take my run outside this morning for 6 on the snowy Metro park trail. Laughed at your dryer smell… DO you ever notice it when you past somebody out on the trail. LOVED IT!

    • gorunjess February 5, 2013 / 5:33 pm

      Thanks Nancy! I have to say, the other smell I notice the most often is when a car passes me on the street and I can smell cologne coming out of it! Some guys just seem to layer it on a little thick. 🙂 What Metropark do you head to?

  3. thesecretlifecoachofdc February 9, 2013 / 10:41 am

    I loved this post! Whenever my friends are upset or had a bad day, I always ask them to tell me 5 good things that happened in their day. It is amazing to see how different your mood can change just by switching your focus from the bad to the good. I also can’t wait to check out the gratitude journal. Lastly–I ran in the snow the day after Christmas, and as cold as it is, there is something very peaceful about it. Great job getting out there! 🙂 I am a new follower to your blog as of today, and I’m excited to read future posts.

    • gorunjess February 9, 2013 / 11:21 am

      Thank you! Running in the snow is very peaceful and, for the most part, I enjoy it. I guess I don’t have much of choice in Cleveland! 🙂 Thanks for following!

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