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An Attitude of Gratitude

An Attitude of Gratitude                    


It’s a common phrase used in 12-step meetings, and one that I once loathed in the early days of Al-Anon. My life, from time to time, becomes an insurmountable pile of shit. Life suddenly stops handing me lemons, but instead just squirts the juice in my eyeballs and laughs maniacally. So when I used to be told, “Karin, you need to adopt an attitude of gratitude and be thankful for the good things you still have,” my response was usually, “Fuck. That. Bullshit.”


Today, however, I’ve fully adopted an attitude of gratitude. The following is a list of 12 things I’m grateful for in no particular order:


  1. My amazing family. I was raised by two parents (and then eventually two step-parents) who taught me to believe in myself. They taught me the value of honesty and integrity, they are there for me in my darkest times, and they are generally phenomenal people. I have two brothers and three step-brothers who I love, even when we drive each other nuts. I do not envy my only-child friends, because I can’t imagine life without this pack of unruly boys.
  2. I have the world’s most amazing friends. I was thinking on the way home from work two nights ago about the night that Matt died, which is something I think about often, and I don’t imagine that will change anytime soon. I could barely speak when I found out he’d left us, so I sent out a text message to my closest friends. Moments later, Allen called to inform me he was on his way. Then Lauren called to say that there was a little traffic getting to the bridge, but that she’d be there as soon as possible. Em called to ask if she should come home (she was out of town), and then Stephen called. And many more people called, and though it all became a blur, I was thankful to all of them for reaching out to me. My dad got to my apartment, and the two of us cried together while we waited for Allen, Lauren and my mom to arrive. Then Allen got there, and he sat with me while I sobbed. And Lauren did the same. I was drowning that night, and two of my very best friends came to save me and pull me up onto a lifeboat. Every time I think about it, I continue to be awe-struck by these people in my life who I love and who love me.
  3. I’m so grateful to my last boss for being awful to me and forcing me to make a change, and I’m so grateful to my new bosses for being so wonderful and for granting me such an incredible career opportunity.
  4. I’m grateful I had Matt in my life, even if it was for a short time. He taught me so much, and he always encouraged me to follow my dreams (cheesy as that might sound). He was the first person I’ve ever truly been able to communicate with in an open and fearless  manner, and he was one of the few people I’d ever let see the “real me.” He believed in me completely, and we loved each other with every inch of our beings.
  5. I’m grateful for my doggy. She saves my life on a regular basis, and I don’t know what I’d do without her.
  6. I’m grateful for sunshine.
  7. For honey bees.
  9. I’m grateful that I was taught to dance when I was 13, and that I’ve been doing it ever since, because even when I can’t speak, I can still convey my thoughts with the movement of my body.
  10. I’m grateful I had tools and paint brushes put into my hands when I was still tiny, and I’m so grateful that I was taught and encouraged to use them.
  11. Even if I’m near-sighted, I’m grateful for my amazingly good up-close vision. It lets me do awesome things with the tools that always reside in my hands.
  12. I’m grateful for the roof over my head, hot water, the food in my kitchen, and my warm, cozy bed. The BART station in San Francisco serves as a refuge for many homeless people, and it reminds me that life could be much, much worse.


Yep. Attitude of gratitude. It feels good.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Dad
    October 18, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    It’s the only attitude that is sustainable…

  2. October 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Once again, Kari. This is beautiful. I think you’re amazing and healing very well. This is a good reminder of a lot of the things in my life that I have to be grateful for. Thank you. ❤

  3. October 19, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I’m so proud of you being able to see life this way, twin! I hope to be able to live the same way. Choosing an attitude of being thankful for the things we have in our lives has a way of putting things in perspective; problems tend to be smaller in comparison.
    [“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” ~Albert Schweitzer ]

  4. October 19, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Your family is very grateful to have you, Cat. And as hard as your life has been lately, we’re proud to see you handling it pretty darn well, all things considered! Not sure anyone could really do better ;-). Having you as a daughter has been one of life’s greatest gifts. I’m grateful for such an amazing daughter! One day at a time, life continues to get better. Xoxo!

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