‘Tis the season, right?  Besides, we know that gratitude is a key way to mitigate burnout and improve job satisfaction.  There’s also a clear link between joy and gratitude.:

I do have an ongoing gratitude practice.  Sometimes I manage to write down two or three things at the end of the day, sometimes I’ll pause in the midst of a stressful moment and find something I’m thankful for about in spite of the present events, sometimes I just make sure to think of a thing or two as a crawl- completely exhausted- into bed (that was last night).  A couple of years ago I started the week-ending practice of “TGI” every week on my personal blog, which stands for Trust- Gratitude- Inspiration.  When times are tough it’s always good to back up and focus on those things.  Please note that I referred to it as a “practice”, much like I refer to my yoga time- I will never have a gratitude recital or a yoga recital (thank heavens!), but they are things I immerse myself in and strive to make part of my routine because I know that they make me feel good.

So, where am I finding gratitude as we come to the end of 2014?

  • I’m grateful for friends, family, and colleagues, who support me in my endeavors…even when they are convinced that I’m pursuing my craziest idea yet.
  • I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to unplug for two weeks this summer with my trip to the Yukon, BC, and Alaska.  It turns out things ran just fine without me.  It also turns out that I’ve been reminded of my love for the outdoors and wilderness, so there will be more of that on a routine basis.
  • I’m grateful for the teams that we’ve built for the varied aspects of my professional life.  I have a burn team, a research team, and an education team here at Utah, all of whom are amazing and wonderful.  I consider myself fortunate to be a part of their communities.
  • I’m grateful for social media and the connections it has brought for me professionally and personally.  Personal learning networks can be digital, and my digital one never ceases to amaze me.
  • I’m grateful for this collection of rescue animals who fill my home with their spirit and their affection.  Olivia is at my feet and made me write that.
  • I’m grateful for those of you who haven’t just stuck with the blog this year, but have actively encouraged it.  I’m also grateful for those who have commented- either publicly or privately- on the many issues I’ve raised about our profession and our lives.  My goal when I started writing was to normalize all of our experiences, and it seems I’m doing that (sometimes better than I hope).

With that, I’m headed out to dinner with my Mom- whom I am grateful to have here from South Texas keeping my house running while I’m on service- before the next admission arrives.

“For it is not joy that makes us grateful, but gratitude that makes us joyful.” – David Steindl-Rast