I think a post on gratitude is well warranted, as it is Thanksgiving and the one month anniversary of Dads, Dollars, and Debts. I have a lot to be grateful for in life and am appreciating it more and more each day. Taking the time to be grateful daily can lead to happiness and improved health so we might as well find ways to do it.
How to be grateful
1) Start simple
I would recommend starting with something as simple as writing down one or two things you are grateful for daily in a journal. It should be a different thing every day and can be as simple as being grateful for the food on the table. In fact my wife and I started writing in a gratitude journal every morning. We wake up, go down stairs, and at some point before leaving for the day we write down what we are grateful for. It is a good way to get some positive thoughts out there and also reminds each other what we are appreciative of. We write it in the same journal so that we can both read it.
2) Try telling one co-worker thanks and that you appreciate their help
We all live in an interconnected world and progress does not happen in a vacuum. This is particularly true in medicine. So just get out there and thank someone in person every day. Whether it is a nurse, the custodian cleaning the patient’s room, or the floor assistant transferring your call to a nurse. Everyone is trying to do their best and by thanking them it will make you and them happier and likely lead to a better work environment.
3) Donate to a cause
It is the holiday season and there are lots of reminders for donating to charity currently. If you have not had the time to donate a portion of your wealth to charity, take the time now before the end of the year to do so. You will remind yourself how fortunate you are while helping others in need. Plus you get a tax deduction for it if you are itemizing your deductions. Mr. Money Mustache (and Physician on Fire this week) did it recently and felt good about it.
4) Call your mom or dad
Just pick up the phone and call them. They love you, raised you, and are always happy when you call and you probably do not call enough. So go ahead and raise the phone and call them. Especially today since it is Thanksgiving.
So what do I have to be grateful for…well in no particular order:
1) A great family
This goes from my wife, to my son (who we definitely could not have imagined and was not guaranteed to us in this life), my parents, brother and his family, in-laws, cousins, and aunts and uncles. I definitely have a big and fun family that makes my life more fulfilled.
2) My profession
Getting to medicine was never a decision. It always seem preordained and while some days are frustrating, I am still very grateful for this job., I am able to help people every day while also earning a good living for my family. I have written about Ten Reasons this is an awesome career unlike any other.
3) Dads Dollars Debts
This blog is only 1 month old. This is my 11th post. I have 0 followers and few page views, (Thanks to White Coat Investor and Physician on Fire I know have a few followers and more page view!) but I have been wanting to write a blog for a long time and am happy to finally have started it. Maybe one day it will pick up traction. For now I continue to write twice a week and see where it goes. Subscribe here!
4) Living in beautiful California
Life leads us down funny and unpredictable roads. I had no idea I would end up on the West Coast one day but am glad to be here. I have found a great practice in a nice part of the country and despite the high state income taxes I am enjoying my life.
5) My health
I am 36 without any major medical problems. I am not overweight, I do not take medicines, and other than some prescription glasses I have no need for regular care. Despite this I still practice preventative care and hopefully next year will be more active.
A social network is an important thing. Therefore I appreciate that I have a small but strong group of core friends. I still talk to my high school friends, see some of my college friends yearly and have good friends from residency, fellowship, and my first job. These people have known me through different parts of my life and show me where I am from and how much I have grown.
It is nice to write down some of these things I am grateful for. It does make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. So give it a shot. Write to me in the comments section some things you are grateful for.