Depression is a cross I bear and one I am learning to build up muscles for, while I am carrying it. When depression kicks in, my "I don't care" glasses also come down around my eyes, and that can be detrimental to my health and to my finances. When I look through those glasses I don't see beyond the here and now. Looking to the future is too painful as I only see a bleak one. Instead I have to work with what I have, the here and now.

One of the ways I fight my depression and build up my mental muscles is to see the world around me with a bit of gratitude. Just a small lens is all that is necessary to shine a small speck of light and brighten a dark place.

1. “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.
- Socrates

If we appreciate the items in our life that are now considered "necessity" we will not appropriately appreciate those that are luxuries. Those luxuries that are now necessities (depending on your location and age) are cell phones, answering machines, email, warm water, indoor plumbing, cable tv, electricity and the list goes on.

If we don't appreciate how we live now or how we play, we become numb as new items, new ideas and new people come into our lives. We appreciate the moment or the item but then it becomes part of our everyday life and we then feel we deserved it in the first place.

2. "Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty."
- Doris Day

When I have paused and looked around me at my friends, family, and everything that is important to me I realize how truly rich I am. Appreciation for the birds singing in the morning as they wake me up makes me feel part of something bigger than myself. It takes the focus off of me and lifts my spirits.

Complaining simply drains the speaker and the listener mentally, putting a tarnish to everything we see around us. All we see is that nothing is good enough and has worth.

3. "Gratitude is the memory of the heart."
French proverb

If I take a moment to be grateful for someone or something, I recall the original reason I appreciated that person or thing coming into my life. It is like taking a step back into time and the emotions that were there on the first meeting come flooding back. A smile may come to my face as I recall the importance it brought to my life.

4. "The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it."
- Richard Bach

We don't savor much anymore. We eat in our cars or standing over the sink, so we don't have to clean up as we head to somewhere else. We leave before the 9th inning or the final bow at the show to get to the car and beat the rush of traffic if we can. It seems the only time we slow down is to watch tv or go to sleep. Neither of which allows us to enjoy the moment of time, the people around us, or the world that moves on outside.

I sold a sofa to a man on Craig's List and before we even exchanged money for sofa, we talked, for a good hour. Initially, I was perturbed that he was so talkative and didn't just pay and leave me alone. I had to realize that this isn't always about me. Sometimes I need to slow down and go with the flow. I don't recall anything major about the conversation but I learned to make myself slow down and just enjoy the time I had in front of me.

5. "Real life isn't always going to be perfect or go our way, but the recurring acknowledgment of what is working in our lives can help us not only to survive but surmount our difficulties."
- Sarah Ban Breathnach

Sometimes I feel so horrible about life to really think of anything to be grateful for, so I go with the easy basics.  A roof over my head, a comfortable bed to sleep in, food to keep me alive, a group of family and friends that care. Eventually I start to remember more and more items and,  my attitude changes and in turn helps me through the day better than any shot of caffeine, pill, or ray of sunshine could do.

6. "No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night."
- Elie Wiesel

When good days, weeks, or years come, I must be appreciative. Not because I am doing well but because it is when I am doing poorly that the times I am good are that much sweeter. I need those valleys to help me appreciate those high hills and when I am on those high hills, I need to look on those valleys and be grateful for them as well. Good times are the other side of the coin to the bad times. We can't have the beautiful world in the daylight if we don't also have the night to make it so bright.

I hope these thoughts and quotes have opened up a river of gratitude for  you and I thank you for taking your time to stop and read.


  1. April // Monday, June 21, 2010 10:29:00 AM  

    Thumbs up on this post!

  2. free samples // Monday, June 21, 2010 7:55:00 PM  

    That was a great post! And it took courage to write about too. I agree, there is so much around us everyday that we overlook or take for granted. I think if you can find beauty and awe simple things you'll always be rewarded. And being grateful about a roof over one's head is definitely something we should all be thankful for. To live in a free country is another.

  3. Anonymous // Tuesday, June 22, 2010 9:40:00 AM  

    Bless you for your honesty. I bear the cross of bipolar disorder and depression.

    Healthy mental and physical habits are essential.

    Most importantly for me is knowing that it's an "inside job" and only God can heal me.

    Keep up the great writing! :-)

  4. ...just-rambling... // Tuesday, June 22, 2010 6:27:00 PM  

    Thank you for this post!

  5. Hollis Colquhoun // Wednesday, June 23, 2010 8:33:00 AM  

    This was an insightful and inspiring post. Life is too short and the universe is too great to focus on the insignificant.
    Thanks for your efforts.

  6. kitchen tables // Wednesday, June 23, 2010 11:16:00 PM  

    I want to thank you for sharing this kind of blogs. It is very informative and very fun to read. I have learned a lot of things that can be use on my everyday life.

  7. Lesley // Sunday, June 27, 2010 3:24:00 AM  

    I love your Gratitude sentiment, you will feel more satisfied and less unhappy thinking about what you have rather than what you don't have. With regard to cell phones just be grateful you have one - it does not have to be the latest or a fancy model so you can be "cool". It is clever to make your money work for you and to be frugal anyway. Just get a $9.99 prepaid cell phone from Tracfone and buy airtime for $9.99 for 50 minutes a month on prepaid. Who needs the best. I think if you block out as much materialism as possible you start to focus your values on people and connecting with them in a deeper and more meaningful way to get happiness and contentment.

  8. Annie // Friday, October 01, 2010 9:31:00 PM  

    These are so true! Gratitude can truly make a world of difference!