A basket full of vegetables and pumpkins on a wooden table.

I have so very much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I am healthy, safe and warm in a beautiful environment, surrounded by people who love and care for me. There is absolutely nothing I need in my life right now. But there are times when it’s hard to be grateful – when someone I love is hurting, when the world seems to be on fire or I just don’t feel good, – when for whatever reason the future looks bleak. Gratitude is not the first emotion that springs to mind.

A friend told me about a simple acronym that helps to shake these moods. Maybe you already know about it. My friend heard it from her friend – who heard it…etc. I passed it on to my friends and it just keeps spreading. Friends tell me they keep a note on their desk or bathroom mirror. Others use it at bedtime to help them get to sleep. I find it comforting to remember anytime life blindsides me. It reminds me to be

G. L. A. D.

L: Something I LEARNED Nothing mesmerizes me like learning something new. I lose track of time, miss appointments, forget to feed the dog.. Learning gives me hope! It reminds me that there is something I have yet to try, something new to understand and share. To quote Taylor Caldwell, ” Learning should be a joy and full of excitement. It is life’s greatest adventure….” I agree.

A: Something I ACCOMPLISHED – William F. Buckley*, said “The enemy of melancholy is industry. ” While taken to extreme this could be a way to avoid my problems rather than solving them, it is certainly true that I feel better when I stop fretting and just get busy. I don’t have to run a marathon, prepare a gourmet meal or plant a palm tree. I just have to get busy; paying bills, washing dishes, cleaning closets – it doesn’t have to be a big thing.

D: Something that DELIGHTED me. This is magic for me. There are so many times in any day, no matter what’s happening, that are just simply delightful. You know the feeling – your heart skips a beat and no matter how bad you feel, you can’t hold back a smile. You have to be alert; It’s fleeting – a baby grins at you over her mother’s shoulder, a puppy cocks a floppy ear, a rainbow appears after a storm. Sometimes just an Amazon package! I just need to LOOK for those things instead of obsessing about my problems.

Unfortunately, life sometimes throws such a curve ball that all you can do is hurt. But in my experience, it’s not the big problems that get me down. It’s the little gnats of life, the clogged sink on Friday night, the package lost in the mail, the fender-bender. That’s when I need to remember to be G.L.A.D!

*For those of you both after 1980, William F. Buckley was a well known writer and TV personality. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_F._Buckley_Jr.