Gratitude Challenge – Day 3

30 Day Gratitude Challenge

30 Day Gratitude Challenge



Day 3 – Prompt Day 2


To start, I apologize if people have wanted to see more of this from me lately. Aside from this time of year being hectic for everyone, including me, I am finding motivation hard to come by right now. I think the grief has set in pretty hard regarding my Dad (if you have not read before now/lately, he passed away in October after many hard years of suffering from heart problems, at only 64.)  Also, being the first Christmas without either parent being alive, makes it doubly hard, plus I am missing other people in my life. I have no family (blood family) out here whatsoever. I used to go to my uncle’s home for Christmas Eve…for many years. My father would be there, all his family, my brother and his family would go, etc.  I would spend the holidays with them, and also my mother and other family I love with all my heart. I have none of them out here. It is hard to adjust to. I know I will though, like anything, it takes time.

I do however, have new family, which I will go into below. As I promised readers, and especially myself, I am going to continue this gratitude challenge until it is completely and thoroughly done. I am determined, even if it takes me six months, though I hope not.  I would like to work up to where I am doing one each day OR at least thinking and writing down something I am grateful for every single day. But for now, I will allow myself room and a break to not do it perfect, and just continue working the muscle until it is strong. I am however, trying to accomplish something/tasks each day, even if it is a smaller thing. As I have said before, even if I am moving very slowly, I will keep shuffling my feet every day and keep moving…that way I can’t be buried. 😉  So, without further ado, day number three here…




 Once again, as I will every day, before I respond to the prompt, I wish to offer gratitude to Crystal Wilkerson, for not only creating these prompts, but for her graciousness in allowing me to use them here. You can find her wonderful work at this site: 





Two part answer again, one to answer the first question, and the second to spend the five minutes writing down what I am grateful for.


One, when I think of someone who focuses on the good, I think of my best friend L. She is the one who took me in when I had no one else in the whole world to turn to. It is when I had no where to go, and was on the verge of becoming homeless. This was just a short three years ago. I did not even want to go on living. Fast forward to today, I am alive, and despite discouragement, moving slow, or having bad days, I DO truly want to live again (for those suffering this, it really DOES pass, so hang on!) I have hope this past year, for the first time in so long, that I honestly forget. I want to get back to what I love, hence this site, and I want to really live to the fullest. I want to repair that which needs it in myself, and repair any relationships or feelings toward relationships which might be long gone (such as those passed away.) I want to live a long time, mostly for those that love me, and to spare them the agony of watching someone they love suffer and/or dying young, and I want to have no regrets when it is time to go. If not for L, I don’t know that ANY of these feelings would be with me right now.

She strives to look at all situations with a positive force, with a positive attitude. I recall a very hot day like a year or two ago. We were out getting a bite to eat. Now mind you, I do not handle high heat very well. I get downright cranky. In my defense, my body does not handle it well, and I get heat exhaustion. But, it does not help that I just get cranky and negative too. I complained about the heat where we were eating, and was so uncomfortable. Now, without making myself feel bad or guilt for being human, I will add to, and gravitate toward what I would like to be. She just shrugged it off and said she did not like it, but could not change it (how hot that day was) and just made the best of what was.

I will always remember that day. I honestly think my attitude in how I handle things, will truly change how something can feel to me. I cannot change things around me, that is not in my power. But, to some degree, and as my body will allow me to, I can control how I handle it…at least with time and self training. Again, it is like another muscle. I am going to try to teach myself to take a situation, and either find the good in it, or tell myself it will get better. I figure the longer I tell myself this, the better chance I have of eventually having a positive reaction be second nature. If bad experiences as a child can create “negative tapes” in my head, and negativity can be trained, then why not train the opposite?  It makes sense, right? So, repetition and exercising the positive, will be a large part of my mental workout, until these things become learned to me.

As to how I feel around her…honestly, very positive most of the time. She gives off an energy of love and giving. It’s the kind of person that you long to be around, to emulate, and to share with. I want to be like that, I want others to want to be around me. Most of all, I want to learn to give of myself like that to others. I would not be here if not for the giving of others, so, in that spirit, I truly want to pay that forward.




Now, for the gratitude part. Okay, I grabbed a drink, set my timer, and I am going to just write down everything I am grateful for for five minutes. I hope when you are done reading, you will join me, and set your timer and write down all you are grateful for. I think this is a great exercise for coping in this sometimes crazy world. Feel free to share your writings in the comments. I really do welcome feedback.



Here goes: I am grateful for…

Okay, this might sound corny but, LOVE. I am most grateful for love. In this chaotic world, it is THE number one thing that makes life worth living and then some! No matter what I have been through in my whole life, the ups and downs and the really excruciating, love has always been present somewhere around me,  if I looked hard enough.  It is the one guide, strength, up-lifter, and rule that anyone can live by and find if they really do seek it.  It does not matter religion, faith, beliefs, race, creed, anything…love is universal. If you live by it, you get it back tenfold. I am so grateful for love. For better or for worse, my first lessons in love started with my family, mostly my mom, but everyone in it. And those lessons continue every day. When I had darkest days, a couple years ago, I had love around me, in L. She taught me even more about love.

I am grateful for L, for all she has given me, for all she has taught me. Her and her family have shown me what I want love and family and giving to look like in my life, for me. I could get even more sugary about it, but suffice to say for now, I am grateful for the rest of my life to her, and the best thing I can give back, is to get better, every day, learn, and move on and give back wherever needed.

I am grateful for a roof over my head, for a man in my life, J, who is everything in a man I could ever ask for or dream of. He is not perfect, thank goodness, as I am no where near that either, but we fit each other. We are so much alike, yet seem to complete what the other lacks, and learn from each other to become better people through sharing. I FINALLY know what a healthy relationship should be and look like.

I am grateful for food to eat every day, in a world where some might not have that, I am grateful for heat, and running clean water…the things we can often take for granted. I am thankful for the internet, to explore the world and connect to others on a new level, and to use the tools to expand my mind, and the creative things I like to do. I am grateful for connectivity to others, for electricity and appliances and the things that are simple yet taken for granted, and many do not even have those basics. I am blessed for those and so much more.

I am grateful for my wonderful, beautiful kitties, who share their unconditional love and warmth and companionship with me, and who are just darn nice to rub their bellies (the ones that are not like bear traps that is), and feel their fluffy fur.

I am grateful for my health, despite its imperfection or issues. I can still walk, and talk, and see, and use my hands to do what I love. I can still see the sunset every day, and a flower. I can hear music, and own enough or can find enough to find joy in.

I am grateful for all the family I have ever loved and known past and present. Though most of my blood family is either gone or too far away to see much, I now also have extended family, in L’s family and friends, and my sweetheart J’s family and friends. I have new people in my life to share with, learn from, and love. I have new experiences in front of me.

I am grateful for the chance to get up, brush myself off, and move on in life and get to a better place. I am grateful that I had the strength and beloved guidance of my mother to not ever get stuck on drugs or alcohol. I am grateful she and her family taught me, (admittedly through bad example, but that’s okay, good has come of it,) to not smoke, and I gave it up 20 years ago and never went back. I am grateful to my Dad and his family, through the same above sentiment, that I have never turned to alcohol and do not suffer their affliction. Both of those things took determination, work, and strength to make sure I did not come down with them.

 I am living proof you can have those thing in your genes and family and life and either overcome them, or not let them afflict you. I see what people with addiction go through, and it is so painful and sad. I wish them nothing but love and hope and a better place, and I am grateful that I have become one of the first few in my family to overcome the odds…and not end up with them as issues for me. (Now, if I could just cure my addiction to chocolate.) But, in all seriousness, I feel lucky and blessed for that, but also know it took my own fortitude and work. In other words, when problems hit, I did not turn to self-medication. I do not blame or judge those that do, my own father did and he was still a great man. but I am just so grateful that I did not follow in those footsteps.

I am grateful for all the little things any of us, including me, can take for granted. Access to a store for needed things, access to food, a warm bed, possessions that might offer me assistance or warm memories.

I know this might sound trite or like I am trying too hard, but this is what came to my mind just now, and I shall let it just flow out….I am grateful for any readers I might have. I know I have not heard from anyone yet, but I know one day, I will. It takes time for you to get to know me, and vice versa, and that is okay. Though the statistics tool is a bit convoluted, it seems to reflect I have some readers, at least here and there. So for anyone hanging in there with me, and reading me, as verbose as I can be, thank you. Thank you for sharing this with me, letting me be myself, and hopefully sharing inspiration. If I give any, I am so grateful…if at some point you can share some inspiration, I am doubly grateful.



Okay, so that went beyond five minutes, but that is okay! See!! It is catchy. Once you get started, it is hard to turn it off. It tells me you CAN train the mind, with three key things, in my opinion and observance…consistency, perseverance and effort. There has been so much negativity in my mind over the years, and so help me, I will train it away and chase it out of my head!

Well, I really hope that any of you might try these exercises. They help a lot. I also hope that you let me know how it worked for you, feedback on how I am doing, and just sharing in general.


Want to know what I wish for, for Christmas? Well, one of my wishes anyway, at least pertaining to this blog. I wish for starting with just one comment, (not spam as I have gotten already =P) just one person sharing their thoughts, inspirations, and feedback (staying constructive and positive of course.) And then perhaps, maybe more than one. But even just one would make my month. Every person counts to me, everyone is precious. So, don’t be shy, drop me a note below! =) I would love to hear from you.



Thank you for reading, I really am grateful for my readers, even if I do still hear crickets, I know you are there somewhere. 😉

Warmth and love to all of you, always,




P.S.  Upon reflection, I thought you all should know, that something and someone, or someone*s* inspired this prompt choice today.

I read a story on a Facebook group about a woman who had a bad experience with reaching out to help someone. Her story is rather sad, though her sense of giving is a happy thing. The person she helped behaved badly and left her with a bad taste in her mouth. It was not a good experience. It made me think of the person that reached out to help me, essentially a stranger…L was that to me. If not for her, as I said above, I would not be here.

So, in addition to my thoughts of gratitude to L, I would like to say I am grateful for not just L, but all people like her. I am grateful for people like J.H…the person who inspired me today. I want her to know, as I wrote to her already, that her giving is not for naught. I know deep down, that love and giving and kindness ripples out so much further than most of us can ever see. J.H…you touched me today, and I am sure a lot of people. I hope for now, that is enough to help you feel somewhat better about the circumstances that occurred. I know it might take you time before you can give again, and perhaps the experience will help show you how to find someone better behaved, and lead you to a person who can receive your giving at the same time as leaving you with a nice experience. I am not sure if she will read this, but I thought readers might like to know what inspired me today.

For now, I say thank you again, to you J.H. and all people like you and my best friend L. You never know when you can one day save someone’s life, and I know mine was. And I received a best friend from it, to boot!

I truly am so grateful to you J.H., to L, and to ALL people like you!



Gratitude Challenge – Day 2


30 Day Gratitude Challenge

30 Day Gratitude Challenge, with gratitude to Crystal Wilkerson for the prompts and images, her link is below.


Day 2 – Prompt Day 19


Even though I had indicated already that I would likely skip around, I wanted to explain why I chose this one today.  I was going to use day 2, then another day, but I had a very bad day, and the one thing that made me feel a little better, was thinking about family, pretty much gone from my life now. I thought of a number that has appeared very often in my family. Nineteen was the day my paternal grandmother passed away, and the only person with her, was my mother. Thirty years later, my mother passed away on the VERY same day as her, but just a different year of course. Many other things happened on this month and day in my family, and it seemed to have meaning to us. It was the 19th of March. So, just for the heck of it, I chose 19, and the prompt was about family…my jaw almost hit the ground. So I knew I had to do this prompt today.

I was not going to do a prompt today. I had a very bad day, and was not feeling positive in any way really. I was depressed today, the project feels never ending, I miss my beloved, my conditions are hard, and even painful, and after over three months doing this, I am worn out in every way. I am discouraged by a bunch of other things, and needing something encouraging, very badly. You know those days, where you just feel battered and alone?  I felt that way all day today. I even broke out crying twice. I could not even figure out why. Upon reflection, part of me thinks it has to do with a sense of friction between me and my friend I have had all week (we talked it out tonight and I am feeling better by the way.) Part of me thinks I am just worn and tired and needing a long rest. Part of me thinks it is this awful bed I am having to sleep on that’s pinching my sciatic nerve and messing up my back, sleep, etc. But, a larger part of me thinks its grief trying to find a way to just happen. I miss my father terribly, and I really have not given my self the chance, nor have I had the time the past month, to just allow myself to feel bad and grieve. We all need that time, to release and let go, so we CAN feel better, and I just didn’t let that happen. 

You see,  this will be my first year ever celebrating Thanksgiving, without either parent in my life, even if at a long distance. I can no longer call my father up, and hear his warm voice on the phone and give him holiday wishes. He is gone now, and I think under some of the pain and pressure of my situation, its finally hitting me.  I have not had my father in my life for a large portion of it, he was a bit absentee for most of it, after my parents split up. He also turned to alcohol, and hence it took a toll on his heart over the years, and that’s why he is now gone.  And as a quick side note, I am going to address any of you that might be parents right now. PLEASE, I ask with all my heart, take care of yourself, for your kids, if not for you. I watched my mother suffer with illness for 17 years of my life, and then lost her in my thirties. I did not get to do usual mother and daughter things with her in my adulthood, that mother and daughter should get to do. I had to either watch her in pain with a terrible disease, or take care of her. I do not in any way begrudge taking care of her, it was my privilege to give anything back to an incredible mother. What I do feel bad about, is she did not take better care of herself. She took poor care and its part of the reason, aside from genetics, why she got sick. She deserved health and happiness, as much as I deserved a mother who was not suffering and we could enjoy life together. When other people went to high school graduation, I was rushing my mother to hospitals and doctors. Don’t get me wrong, her suffering was not in vain. She taught me a lot through it, which I will go into another time. I could NEVER ask for a better mother. I only wish she had taken care of herself, as it broke my heart to watch her suffer.

Then there is my dad. He pretty much drank until his heart could take no more. If he had gotten help and stuck with it, I would not have to be grieving him right now, and missing his wonderful smile and laughter. Please understand, I adore them both, and am not angry. I am only hurting and sad. So, I tell you this because, if you are a parent, or become one, please remember this story. Your kids need you healthy and whole, they need you to stick around, they want to share life with you, especially as you both get older. My mother smoked 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day. My dad, well, the drinking. I want them back so bad, as they are amazing people, but people who were in pain. So, please, moms and dads, keep careful watch over your health, because losing you young, hurts so very badly. Do whatever you can to improve your life and health, your kids need you so much, even when they are older. You never stop being Mommy and Daddy, no matter how old your kids.

Okay, so I just wanted to say that, but moving on, I will say I cried a couple times today, but I kept going getting my work done. My mind has gravitated tonight toward Thanksgiving being Thursday, and missing them both so bad. I have lost others too, but I am not able to go into that yet. I need time, and perhaps even interaction one day to get quite that brave. For now, let’s just say, there are worse things than losing your parents. But I won’t focus on that now.  What little family I do have left, a brother and his family, a couple uncles and aunts, and a scattered couple others, are on the east coast, and I am on the west. So, I can no longer celebrate holidays with any of my blood family. Its very painful.  I miss them all so much, it aches until it burns. And that leads me to today’s prompt.

As I said, I was not going to do one today, it was just that bad of a day. But when I got in for the night, my heart and mind nudged me and thought, perhaps finding gratitude will chase away some of the pain.  So, it was very fitting, that when I checked the 19th day prompt, it was about family! And now my mind turn’s to the light….


 Once again, as I will every day, before I respond to the prompt, I wish to offer gratitude to Crystal Wilkerson, for not only creating these prompts, but for her graciousness in allowing me to use them here. You can find her wonderful work at this site: 

Day 1 – Gratitude Challenge - Prompt 19

Day 1 – Gratitude Challenge – Prompt 19



 My response and thoughts to this prompt, are two-fold. One for what I did have, and two for what I currently have.


There is the past, the family that I had, the gatherings we used to have, the love I used to share with them, and the many warm and wonderful holidays, despite all the trials and sufferings we went through in between. In spite of  everything we endured, when they were together, my parents worked hard to make holidays nice, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. After the split up, my mother continued to work so hard on that. I sometimes cry with a smile when I think of Thanksgiving dinner, or Christmas morning with them both, and my brother.  

One other special note here, that I hold dear to my heart. When my father married my stepmother, my mother had already been very ill for more than half a decade (he had been married in between), so, well, sad to say, it somehow made it easier for them to be friendly with her, and for them to all be around each other. Now there’s something to ponder. Anyway, I invited them all over for a Thanksgiving one time, and they actually all came, as well as my brother and his family. I was fortunate enough, even with divorce and all, to have not only most all my closest family there, to be able to cook for them all, but also had BOTH my parents there with me too. I remember sitting at the table and looking at them all, and feeling such a profound moment of happiness, joy, and warmth, and almost as if my soul or mind  had specific reason for committing to memory, every morsel of that moment that I could. Now I know why.  That Thanksgiving and one birthday of mine, would be the last events I would ever have both my parents with me at the same time. I will remember it with utmost love in my heart forever. For that, I am SO grateful.

Then there is the present.  For the better part of a half a decade or more, I spent Thanksgiving, largely alone, especially the past few years. But when I got out west, my friend…my best friend, took me in, and made her family mine. One Thanksgiving I spent alone, because I had been shut down and just wanted it to go by. But the following couple of years, I shared Thanksgiving with her, her husband, and two older boys. They treated me like family, and to this day, her and I are pretty much like sisters. This year and last year, a new addition to Thanksgiving has been added, my beloved other half.  We have both spent it with her and her family, and I feel SO grateful for them in my life. It is my wish and hope, that next year, I can cook for it, and have people to our home. Also, my sweethearts family, has become mine. While we are not really close yet, I have spent a couple holidays with them, and it was really nice. His mother and I have only just started to get closer, and I truly think she is wonderful.  I couldn’t have asked for a better woman to be the mother of my soulmate.   And I am so grateful she raised him, exactly as she did. I might have lost most of my family from before, but I have new family now, and I really do feel gratitude for that.  Also, I have not lost hope that I will see some blood family back east again someday, outside of a funeral that is.

Okay, so…yes I do feel a bit better. Of course, it is not a miracle cure, and all my troubles do not go away. But it gets me one step closer, to how *I* handle it better, and how I can change my perspective with time, care, and effort. The world will always be chaotic, but I know deep down we have the power to perceive it for better or for worse. I do not master that power right now, but I will not stop working toward it. That is my vow to myself. I will come out of these storms somehow, and both my parents struggles and sufferings will not have been in vain. I have learned so much from them, even their flaws and struggles. I quit smoking 20 years ago, and do not drink more than a drink or two a week, or sometimes even over months.  Thanks to my mother’s strength and courage, I never did struggle with alcohol, and found the strength to give up the smoking, and have never gone back since. Thank you Mom! And thank you Dad, even with what has happened, you taught me a lot. 

While I still am a bit burdened by current circumstances, thinking about these things definitely has lightened my load just a little bit, so it really does work. It just takes work. I really am grateful for the love in my life, past and present.


So, what do you think? I would love your feedback, your stories, how this might have touched you, or applied to your life. Is there family, or loved ones in your life you can perhaps find gratitude for, if you don’t already? If you do happen to do this prompt, I would love to hear your stories too. I love to learn from others.



If I do not post again, before the holiday, I wish you all a truly wonderful and loved filled Thanksgiving, and for those that do not celebrate it, I wish you a great and loved filled week!

Also, I am grateful for you, the reader…thank you for reading my verbose, yet heartfelt writings and thoughts.

With warmth and gratitude,

Kat  :@





P.S. – I hope to do at least one more prompt before Thanksgiving, but there is a chance I might not get to it.  I have one other thing to be grateful for, that does not totally apply to this prompt, but to the concept of being grateful. Upon many talks, and the pains my sweetheart and I have endured while I do this project away from each other for over three months now, we decided it was time for me to have a break.  We agreed to come up with the money to get a storage unit up by home, and he is coming this weekend to not only share Thanksgiving with me and my friend’s family, but on Sunday, he is taking me home. He is going to rent a truck, load up whatever stuff is left, and bring home to put into storage for me to go through, until it is done, and we can get rid of the extra bill for that storage.  I am so glad for that, because I definitely need a rest.  A couple weeks downtime, and I think I can tackle the rest of this project. So, getting this stuff packed up, especially the loose stuff I’ve got laying around, is going to take a mad dash and burst of energy to get done, so that we can get back, and get him to work on time Monday.  So, I may or may not get in any posts between now and next week, but you can be sure I will be back as soon as I get a quick breather. Its all crazy here, but I really am grateful for the good things.


P.P.S. – I started this post before midnight west coast, so I am counting it as getting done in succession. 😉  It’s something!



Gratitude Challenge – Here I Go…

30 Day Gratitude Challenge

30 Day Gratitude Challenge, with gratitude to Crystal Wilkerson for creating these prompts. I normally use all my own images if I can, but I try to give credit where it is due. Both of today’s images were created by her, and her link is below.


Preface: So, as some of you might have figured, or read from my first post, this whole blog is about growth. I am starting with almost nothing, in both my life, and when it comes to this journey/experiment. In my life, I started completely over three years go. I moved from the east coast, to the west coast. I had lost my home, a lot of family, my life as I knew it, and some other truly precious things, which I might go into later. I came out here, with much of my stuff in pods, the rest of it in a truck I drove, my beat up old car on a trailer behind me, one cat, and a very battered spirit. A dear friend took me in, and basically I had given up hope. I just trudged through day to day, not really living, staying hidden away, just eating and breathing and sleeping, with this deep down hope that I could just do that until I could pass away. I would never do anything like take my own life, but I did not want to live either.  I was merely existing.

Over time, things in myself/my life started to get the down time I needed, and I started to heal. An energy, a love in me, started to heal. My mother was always filled with love, hope, courage, and perseverance, so there was no escaping it was in me. In time, I met a man who, well I am convinced we were designed with each other in mind. His soft-spoken, thoughtful manner, yet quiet strength came into my life, and has since been a part of what has slowly lifted me up. But the fact is, a part of me deep down had to be willing, and I had to have that time to observe the world around me, pressures temporarily away from me, to regroup, and much time to heal. We found each other at just the right time. 

Gratitude..something I have known for some time, I needed to keep close to my heart. A couple years ago I once started a gratitude journal, where I would just write lists of things I felt grateful for. I knew, and had seen from others around me, the more we highlight and accentuate the positive in us and around us, the more we see it, the more it takes us over, the more we become it! And when you fill yourself with positive, eventually, you push out the negative…it just has no room anymore! Mind you, it takes a REAL LOT of practice.

At first, I begrudged so much. And I often still do. I grew up with certain aspects of my family inducing negative in me. You get these “pre-recorded tapes” in your head. You get programmed with self-doubt, doom and gloom, and general negativity.  When bad things happened, I found myself playing those tapes in my head, mostly subconsciously mind you, and I ended up just being a victim.  And that is okay temporarily. We all need to live there sometimes, to lick our wounds, have compassion we might have lacked in our lives, and just regroup. But eventually, I needed to move out, or I would become a permanent resident of that “victim space”, and of suffering. Many can cause us to suffer, but somehow, we often wind up being some of the biggest causes of our own suffering.

 I am at the point where I feel grateful now, more than ever, but it’s not enough! When bad things happen, those tapes click on in my head, and I find myself complaining under my breath, getting mad, feeling like a victim, and getting mired in it all.  It is like a little monster in our heads, hearts, and subconscious.  While I have that gratitude now, its time to nurture it, feed it, grow it up, and make it so strong, that it just moves that negative monster right out! Negativity, there is NO ROOM for you anymore! Get out! Gratitude…move on in! And if the space I provide for you is not big enough, then work with me to clear this clutter out, and lets give you loads of space! And to the energy in the world around me, I shout out, POSITIVE is WELCOME! Come on in, I am ready for you.

Like the body and the mind, the psyche needs be worked to get it strong, and gratitude is part of that. You do not start an exercise program and in one day you have this rock like muscle. It takes time and work and effort. You move the muscle each day, work it, and nurture. In time that muscle gets stronger and stronger. And even when it burns a little, while you don’t push to the point of hurting yourself, you still keep going until you reach your desired result. I am going to be realistic here. I do not expect to emerge from this a week from now, a month from now, or even a year from now and suddenly I will be completely positive or Dalai Lama-like. Things like this can take years, even a lifetime. But, even if I have to fake it until I make it, I will keep going…good days or bad days. I will get there in this life, if I have to climb a hundred more mountains.  So here I go, making that gratitude muscle strong one day. I will work it, hopefully daily, but if not, just as much as I can.  Like my bicep, it is there, but rather wimpy and small. Time to pump up the volume! 😉



Okay, so preamble and my blabberings aside, here is the challenge. My highest goal is to do some sort of exercise in gratitude every day. I know that life is not that simple. It’s chaotic and stuff happens. But ultimately, I will just continue, even if I stumble and fall, even if I miss days, I will get up and keep going. I did a lot of searching on the various daily gratitude challenges out there. Many if not most or all of them are wonderful. But like anyone else, I needed one that felt right for me. I needed one that not only made me think about gratitude, but gave me some sort of writing AND mental activity to accomplish this goal. I have settled on what I think, will help this journey along the best for me. Many of you might have seen in your online travels, or heard about Crystal Wilkerson. I love her work. She made a 30 day gratitude challenge that I really love. I have been meaning to do it for nearly a year now. Procrastination kept moving in, and helping me to put if off. For this season of thankfulness, it is time.

In honor of thanksgiving, now only a few days away, I start this challenge. At first I wanted to do this for the whole month of November, etc, but circumstances here have delayed things. That’s okay! I find it kind of apprapo that I will be doing this challenge into the month of December. It is a season of love and giving with the holidays coming,  and the end to another year. So, this challenge will cross three paths! It will come through the season of thanfulness, the season of love and giving, and the season of endings and new beginnings. I find that so poetic! My outer most goal is to do it every day, but I am going to start off slower and do one either every other day or a couple a week, and hopefully build up to a more daily one. I am not going to be hard on myself when I do not do it, nor feel bad. I will simply just get back up from falling, and continue on until I get there.  I will not stop until I finish the entire 30 day challenge. When it is done, I might even follow another, or come up with a new one of my own. But, for now, I am somewhat dry on ideas there. So, I will work that muscle until it is strong on it’s own.

Will you come with me on this journey? Please feel free to chime in your thoughts on each day’s prompt if you like. Or perhaps you can grab a notebook and write down your responses as well. Or, if you are not up to those, just read and follow along on mine if that suits you instead. I would, as always, love to hear what others think and share this with any of you. But, if I have to go it alone, I will. I am that determined! =)  Well, not exactly alone, I have people in my life that love me, and I know my sweetheart and furry sweetheart, will be there with me every step of the way cheering me on. If nothing else at all, I hope anything in this journey, or any of my journeys, can bring you inspiration. Whatever that monster is in your life, I say, you can do it. Take it on, conquer it, and move it out! {{insert audience cheering sound clip here}}



 Before I answer the very first prompt I will tell you two more things. One, I am not going to follow these in order. I am going to pick one out each day that I do it, either what suits how I am feeling that day and what I am up to doing, or maybe even at random.  I will do all of them until they are all complete. The second thing is, I would like to thank Crystal Wilkerson for creating these. I wrote her and asked permission to use these on my blog, and she was gracious enough to offer her blessings to do them, and even wished me well in doing so.  Thank you Crystal! You did a very beautiful and thoughtful job creating these. You can find her wonderful work at this site: 


Forgive me for this preface being a bit long, but I wanted to give you some background, and explore the topic of gratitude and change. After today’s edition, my preface, if any at all, will be much shorter.

I picked this particular prompt because it fits what I am going through right now, so perfectly. And it also happens to be the actual day one on the challenge. How serendipitous. So, without further ado, here is the first day’s edition:




Day 1 - Gratitude Challenge

Day 1 – Gratitude Challenge




 Day 1 : When Trials Have Become Blessings in My Life:

Two trials come to mind right now.  One is all of the ones that led up to my move here. The other is the one I am going through right now. One I can tell you, most of what the good things are that have come out of it, the other I cannot tell you yet, but I am open to that possibility, and as I learn and discover what they are, I hope to share them with you.


The trials that led me out west and to where I am now; I am not ready to share all of them yet. Some are very hard to talk about or feel more personal. Some are just very painful. But, I have given you a rough sketch of a whole life turned upside-down, and completely changed. I basically lost everything, except my cat, a good chunk of my belongings (lost a lot of that too), and my car.  I was lucky enough to walk away with some money from the sale of my house. But circumstances left me with taking a huge loss, and I barely got 20% of what it was worth. It was enough to get across country, sustain me for a couple years, and buy an RV to live in until I could get on my feet. That process is still in the workings, but I am slowly getting there. This blog is a part of my own self-therapy.  It has been the most painful time of my life, ever, bar none. It is not just one trial, but a series of multiple trials that has taken a huge toll on my life, and on those I love. The good things to come out of it, are only just starting the last couple years, and I have a feeling, there are more to come. If I had not come out here, I would not have found the man I love with all my heart. If I had not come out here, I would not have found my precious Milo, and if I had not come out here, I would not have discovered in full experience, one of the truest friends anyone could ever ask for. I also, have discovered just how strong I really am, and allow that to fuel me forward whenever things feel painful or hard again.

I always say, “If I could drive 40 feet of train (my rented moving truck and car trailer) across country 3000 miles, by myself, with a 19 year old cat to take care of (senior kitties definitely require a lot more TLC and love, especially when bringing them long distance,) leave everything I knew behind, and start a new life…I can do anything!”

I cannot imagine never meeting my sweetheart, which I would not have, had I not moved out here. It is my hope and intention, to spend the rest of my life with this man. This IS the one.

Then there is my best friend, the one who took me in, when even family wouldn’t have done that…there are no words. I have learned what true love really is, and how it should look. Even her marriage, has lasted over 20 years, and through really rough times, and good times. That is what marriage should look like. When others give up, go for divorce, and walk away, she and her husband have stood their ground and stuck it out, and now have a couple decades of life shared together. In a family of divorce after divorce, I even had one myself, I never got to see what loving someone through thick and thin, and really toughing it out and making it really looked like. Now I have, and truly know what I want for my life. She has also shown me what true friendship looks like, and even what a family should look like. She has shown me what is is to stick to your morals, no matter what, and live by them. She has shown me true giving in every sense of the word, and truly, what love really is.

And then there is Milo. He is the most unique cat I have ever known, and I have had a LOT of cats in my whole life. He is adorable looking for one, and has the greatest temperament I could ever hope for. He is half Maine Coon, so the breed tends to be laid back, clever, and have a wonderful disposition to begin with.  Mix that in with a cooky tabby, and you have quite the character. He is almost always well behaved. (Other than insisting on playing with my blind cords and ripping and chewing on them. Even when I tie them up and tuck them away, he manages to get to them and have fun with them.) He never goes outside his litter box, he grazes and eats his food only as he needs, which means his weight stays nice, and I can leave extra food out without worry. I am very picky about what he eats too, but I will save that for another time. He is sweet and affectionate, but rarely needy…unless I am gone for a period of time.  (Though I am the type that does not mind if a kitty is needy…I could just drown in their love and affection.) He even tends to get along with everyone and anything. He rarely ever hisses at another cat, just look at them curiously if they do, or gets scared and runs away. He is just SO laid back. And one of the best parts, he is SO cooky and clownish. He will get into his “wild man mode” and run from place to place, flop down on his back, embrace his scratch board, ears back, eyes wide like saucers, and start attacking it and just generally going crazy.  He will just attack thin air, usually on my bed. He will chase a bug relentlessly, and loves anything string like. He also has a stuffed animal, I call him “Larry the Lion” (all cloth stuffed animal lion, with no parts that he can choke on) that he will pick up in his mouth, carry around while mewing, and at times flop down and attack it and chew on it. Its quite an amusing process to watch. Everyone who meets this cat adores him, and he makes everyone laugh. I am even tempted to create a cartoon about him, despite there are so many cat characters out there. This cat has helped me through some of the darkest days of my life, always sweet, always sunny, and never expecting anything of me, and loving me just as I am, whether good or bad, neat or scruffy.

Okay, sorry for getting sidetracked there, I just love that kitty, as my numerous images of him will attest to. The point is, I have had many wonderful things happen to me, and wonderful people (and kitty) come into my life since being here.  Sometimes, some of the most wonderful, incredible things happen to you, as a result of some of the worst things EVER to happen in your life. I could not see that a few years ago. But I do now.  As I said before, I have a feeling there are other good things to come. But for now, those are the good ones to come from these horrific trials.

Flash forward, I am here going through all this stuff and muck. It is so very painful, I cannot even begin to tell you. I am wriggling and writhing through this process, begging it to be over.  My body hurts so much, for multiple reasons. Mainly, I am sleeping on a very bad bed. I have a very bad pinched sciatic nerve. This process requires a lot of backbreaking work to boot, I am in bad physical shape (that I will conquer too,) and the setting for it is miserable. BUT, I will get through it, and I keep my eye on mostly one ball! It will eventually  be over-with, and I will get to a point where I get rid of a lot of stuff, that has been a weight around my neck. And best of all, I will get home to my love, and life will get better.  This is indeed a very big trial.

The blessings of this trial you might wonder? So far, it is hard to tell. As I said above, I know it will be done with, that is a good thing, I know I will get rid of a lot of things, that is a good thing, and it will further show me how much strength I have, further fortifying me for other life trials. And we all know those never end while we are here. Beyond those good things/blessings, I do not yet know the good outcomes. But, after all I have endured, I have faith that these trials will lead me to other good things. I cannot wait to see. I actually find myself, finally in my life, looking forward to what tomorrow might bring. I hope you will stay tuned and find out with me. I would love to share the fruits of my trials with anyone.  I would LOVE, to in turn, bless someone else, offer inspiration, and just generally help. 

So, what are your thoughts? Can you think of trials that eventually brought you good things? Can you find something in your life that you know is hard, but perhaps can see what good things it might be leading you to? Does anything I convey to you here, albiet in my verbose way, inspire you or give you hope?  It would mean SO much to me to know I could ever do that, after all those that have inspired me. One of my greatest wishes for my entire life, outside of the love and hope for people I have known and loved, is to “pay it forward!” I hope you, or anyone else, gives me that chance.


I hope you continue to come on this journey with me, and maybe eventually open up a two-way dialogue. This is not just a journey, but also an experiment and research. I want to see if I can indeed help shape my future, and find my way, through sharing with others. I even hope to evolve my path with your input. Let’s see what we can create together, hah? =)

It is the week of Thanksgiving here in the U.S. I have MANY things to be thankful for. I know there will be more. It is my hope to find at least one thing every day, or more, to be thankful for. I am so glad we have this period of time to doubly remind us, to be open to gratitude, and let it help heal our lives, and make it happier…for ourselves, and for others. Wherever you might be, even if you do not celebrate this holiday, it is truly my hope and wish that you can find things to feel thankful/grateful for, and allow them to help your life. It is my hope for that for me as well. 

I hope to do at least one more prompt before Thursday’s holiday, and it will likely be quite a bit shorter.

But for now, I wish anyone and everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, and lots of positivity and gratitude in your own lives. If you are enduring any trials right now, I hope you can hold on, get through it, and get to a better place on the other side. I might not know any of you, but please know I am pulling for you. 

Thanks for coming along, as always, and for reading. Have a great week all!

My sincerest wishes, hope, and gratitude,

Kat :@