Five Things I Learned Writing About Gratitude Every Day For Sixty Days

In mid-August, sixty days prior to my 60th birthday I started a writing exercise I called “60 Days of Gratitude“. Ten years ago I wrote a thought piece entitled “Half Century Mark“. I wanted to do something similar to mark the next decade, and using a writing exercise focussed on gratitude seemed an appropriate approach.

Now that I’m done I decided to capture some of what I learned in the process.

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Oma & Opa

“Oma & Opa” is Dutch for grandmother and grandfather. Pictured are my mother’s parents with us on their visit circa 1964.

I never met my father’s parents. They were long gone before I arrived.

In looking back, I miss having never met them, and conversely, I’m very grateful I got to spend time with my mother’s parents.

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Ham Radio

Today I’m very grateful for having picked up amateur (ham) radio as a hobby, and developing my skills with it.

And I’m exceptionally grateful for one specific friend, also a ham, for his willingness to help on short notice.

It all started with a call-out for WASART.

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Coffee, Vodka, and Choice

It wouldn’t be my 60 days of gratitude if I didn’t include coffee. And vodka. And coffee-flavored vodka. And coffee-flavored rum, while I’m at it. And Starbucks, of course.

You get the idea. I’m grateful for coffee, with and without alcohol, and preferably from Starbucks.

But when I think about it, it’s really gratitude for something much, much larger: choice.

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Books

I’ve always been a reader. Some of my earliest memories include books of one sort or another. I’m sure I have my mother to thank for that.

I recall Little Golden Books on a bookshelf when I was perhaps five years old. Dick and Jane were part of my kindergarten or first grade curricula. I was an avid reader and collector of Tom Swift Jr. (my first science fiction), as well as The Hardy Boys.

But it wasn’t until high school that things really took off.

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Chip Off the Old Tooth

While on an out of town trip, I chipped a tooth.

More specifically, a veneer on one of my front teeth broke in half. One half stayed in place, the other not so much. I wasn’t even doing anything particularly horrid at the time – using my teeth to start a tear in a plastic bag.

And of course this all happens while out of town.

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