Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gratitude and Dreams

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC)

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!
Live the life you’ve imagined.
As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau (1817 -1862)

Nearly every year since 1998, we throw a "Gratitude & Dreams" party. We invite our friends to write what made them grateful in the past year and what their dreams are for the coming year. I now have a binder filled with our guests’ past Gratitudes & Dreams.

Here is a sampling of our friends' past Gratitude entries:

  • Thankful for “Popcorn” the school bunny.
  • Our son cleaned his room.
  • Being able to see stars again (after cataract surgery).
  • Boyfriend came home from Iraq safe and sound.
  • The robbers only took our jewelry and not our computer or committed identity theft.
  • How great it is to live in California, appreciating this more every year.
  • Survived 25 years of marital bliss(ters).
  • For having met a wonderful woman several years ago and in 2006 she agreed to become my wife.

And some of their past Dreams entries:

  • To master “Für Elise”.
  • Learn not to shudder when George W. appears on TV (January 2001).
  • Hike up Mt. Ranier.
  • Teach my daughter how to paint.
  • Music gigs 30 minutes or less from home.
  • Study to become an excellent Rodin art docent.
  • Start writing the stories in my head.
  • To grow more fragrant roses.
  • San Jose Sharks make the playoffs.
  • Stop comparing my children to vicious dogs or village idiots, at least out loud. (I assure you, she's kidding!)
Here are my entries for this year. In 2008 I am grateful that:

  • My family was blessed with good health and able bodies.
  • My mother has healed and can live independently again.
  • I am blessed with a saint of a husband who supports me, in spite of all my crazy passions.
  • We are blessed with two children who make me burst with love and pride.
  • Our daughter was super-organized about applying to colleges and already got accepted to two colleges.
  • Our son has a great set of friends and is enjoying high school.
  • I am blessed with friends who nourish my soul.
  • The right candidate won the presidential election.
  • I have been introduced to the wonderful world of blogging.
For 2009, I dream that our blessings continue and

  • Our president will continue his focus on leading our nation, from darkness into the light, for all the right reasons and that he will be blessed with wisdom and strength to be a guiding light for a better and safer world.
  • Our ailing family members will heal.
  • We can all weather these tough economic times and can show compassion for each other.
  • People will have equal rights and equal opportunities to succeed, be able to marry the one they love, and choose what happens to their bodies.
  • Our children find their bliss and continue on their path of becoming responsible and compassionate citizens of the world.
  • Our daughter will be happy and be able pursue her passions in college.
  • Our son will be safe and careful on his new BMX bicycle.
  • My husband continues to enjoy his work and will be able to spend more time riding trains and making films.
  • I give away what I don't need and organize every closet.
What made you grateful this year and what are your dreams for next year?


Anonymous said...

I'm going to post my own gratitude piece before year's end. What a wonderful list of things for which to be thankful, as well as hopes and dreams for the new year. Very inspiring!

beth said...

what great lists !!!!
I'm soooo grateful for my hubby and kids and I hope the new year will bring lots of fun surprises {all good} to us !!!

{keeping my fingers crossed that your daughter gets home safe and sound}

Elizabeth said...

What a great idea to have such a party.

I'm grateful for my loving family, the best girlfriend day ever which I had on june 13th, the start of my blog and all the things I learned the past year.
I hope and dream about making a lot of beautiful objects and learning a lot.

edi gardner said...

I adore this Party. When is it?
This year I am grateful for my 6y Adam eating something else then pb & j (pizza) Oh this list is so long and you too are in it.
I hope that i can again and again hear someone laugh out loud

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Paris,
I will forward to seeing your list; I know it will be fabulous!

Dear Beth,
That's what I like about you, you are so positive!

Dear Elizabeth,
Such a lovely list. Did you do a post on your girlfriend day? I would love to learn more about that! Thank you for visiting my blog!

Dear Edi,
The party will be in the first week of January.

LOL, your son sounds like mine. When he was six, my mother used to tell people that he lived like an orchid, living only off the air in the forest.

Dutchbaby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Relyn Lawson said...

I think this is the best idea for a party I've ever heard. I've always done something with you students at the first of the year. This year, we are making a Gratitude and Dreams journal, or letter, or something similar. I have a week to think of exactly what. I love this idea!

For me:

Jeffrey * Sloane * wonderful parents who are blessed with good health * a job I love, that matters * that my beautiful little home has a wood burning fireplace * so many, many more

no more breathing problems * a better focus on exercize this year * learn Adobe photoshop * become a better photographer * I'm not ready to tell yet * so many more

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Relyn,
I love the idea of having your second graders do it. The gratitude entry about "Popcorn" the bunny was entered by a four-year-old.

I love your entry. I'm intrigued by the "not ready to tell yet"... I have to quiet my imagination :-)

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