My husband, Terry and I took a road trip to the Oregon Coast for our anniversary a couple of years ago and while he was driving I suggested we play a gratitude game.
“Is this gonna be some lady’s magazine deal?” he asked with a sense of apprehension.
“No, I’ve been reading Deborah Norvel’s book on the power of being thankful.”
“So Deborah told you to do this?”
“Nope, I thought this game up all by myself. In fact it'd be a great family game.”
“Okay, what do I do?”
“So, I’ll tell you something I’m grateful for about you and then it’ll be your turn and you have to tell me something you’re grateful for about me and the guy who can’t think of something loses and the other guy wins.”
“What’ll he win?”
“He’ll get taken out to dinner when we get to the beach.”
We probably traded 15 thankful comments with each other and what was very interesting to me was how much I loved hearing his comments for me and I couldn’t wait for the next one.
I was telling Marla, the Flylady, about the game and she suggested we play it with our inner child. So I had a session with Nelly (she’s my inner child, in case you don’t know). Here’s what happened.
“Since you already know what we’re going to do, would you like to go first?”
“No, you go first.”
"Okay, let’s see… I’m so thankful I met you and that we have so much fun together.”
“I’m thankful you’re always complementing me, like yesterday when you said, ‘I’m so proud of you for making breakfast when you wanted to go out to a restaurant.’”
“I’m thankful you don’t argue when I say what we’re going to do and especially when I know you don’t want to do it, like when you wanted to buy new shoes for our class reunion and I said, ‘no one is going to look at our feet and our old heels only get worn about once a year and they look fine.’”
“I’m thankful you let me play a lot.”
“I’m thankful you remind me to play a lot.”
“I’m thankful you know I’m not going to grow up, that I get to be a little girl forever.”
"I’m thankful for that too. It’s because of you that I find pleasure in all the little things. Like I loved how you wanted to stay out on the beach and watch the sunset and every time a little breeze popped up, you noticed it and it made you happy.”
“I’m thankful there are lots of little things to love. Like puppies. I want a puppy.”
“I know you do, but we can play with Joanna’s [my daughter] puppy.”
“I want Joanna’s puppy.”
“No, you can’t have it.”
“But she’s gonna get tired of it. Then can we have it?”
“Nelly, I guess the thankfulness game is over for now. You can’t have the puppy, but I’m so thankful you love puppies!”
That’s where our “thankfulness” session ended and it left me with a big smile on my face.
I spend an hour in solitude every day and in that joyful time I focus my attention inward. My connection to God is within and the funniest thing; Nelly is there a great deal of the time. I have this sense she spends a lot more time with God while I’m off running around in this busy world of adult stuff.
Why not take a little time today and have your own “thankfulness” party with your inner child? I’d love to hear what happens!
P.S. Speaking of being thankful, I hope you're thankful for your ability to be disorganized! In my book The Joy of Being Disorganized, you'll learn to celebrate your disorder. That doesn't mean you get to shirk your responsibilities, it just means that when you focus on the positive aspects of your disorder, you’ll begin to appreciate what an awesome person you are in spite of your messes. When you love and appreciate who you are, you’ll be able to get organized just enough to please YOU.