Make a list of good things when you’re feeling blue

Yesterday was *mostly* not a good day. I was quite sad about many things, which shall remain nameless. In the middle of the day, however, my good buddy, Susan and I met for a picnic at the waterfront park. We talked deep and serious and laughed a lot, and pretty soon we both felt better.

We both snapped pictures of each other and put them on Facebook, just for kicks.

My buddy, Susan, striking a pose. I think she looks like she’s in the Sound of Music
She took this picture of me at the waterfront, too.

One of the things I like to do when feeling blue is: make a list of good things.

So here is a list of a positive happenings in my life.

  1. My friend Susan. Not only does she read and comment on this blog, she is a buddy who understands the value of feeling feelings and sharing truths. Thank you, Susan, for being who you are.
  2. Our garden grows filled with vibrant zucchini, heirloom deer’s tongue lettuce, spring onions, basil, cilantro, tomatoes of many varieties, swiss chard, cucumbers (oh ye cucumbers keep growing!), broccoli and the ever-loved rattlesnake green beans.
  3. My spiritual buddy Larissa. You know what you mean to me, girlfriend. thanks for our Zoom talk today.
  4. Family. Son, daughter, husband, mother. Hearts for all of you. Infinite hearts. I love you all to the moon and back.
  5. The many friends and acquaintances who pause here to read this blog–and those who pause to comment. I love your comments. I love hearing about your thoughts and lives. It always feels like the person who is commenting is sitting here in my living room sharing from her/his heart. Thank you so much.
  6. Watching Grace and Frankie on Netflix with Barry every afternoon. So many laughs!
  7. We live in a rural beautiful wooded 23 acres only a quarter mile from Lake Superior.
  8. Our firewood is cut, chopped, split and stacked for the year.
  9. A lifetime of living and growing and learning. Making mistakes–yes–but learning from them. Hopefully.
  10. Learning to accept myself and others and life. Trying and failing and trying again and again.
  11. Grateful that gratitude arises after sadness, sure as the sun peeks over the horizon morning after morning.
  12. Grateful for the small things–like the chipmunk who eats seeds from our hands. The way newly-cut grass smells. The kindness of friends and strangers.
Looking out over the Keweenaw Bay from Little Mountain this past weekend. Gratitude lists are like this view. They give the larger picture.

I will not write tonight what bothers, what feels wrong. Will not share struggles and sorrows because mostly I just do this privately one-on-one, looking at a friend in the eyes, sharing the heart.

This gratitude list uplifts my spirits and ignites hope, balancing out the trials and tribulations of the world with the medicine of thankfulness.

What about you? What are some things you’re grateful for today? Little or big things that shine light sunlight to illuminate through any challenges of your days?

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in August, 2020 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to Make a list of good things when you’re feeling blue

  1. Ally Bean says:

    Good advice and easy to do if you let yourself do it. I like your “Grateful that gratitude arises after sadness” idea. It’s one that I need to focus on more often.

    • Kathy says:

      Ally Bean, I think the key is remembering to do it. It really seems to help when you just sit down and start listing all the goodness instead of focusing on all the wrongs. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with bitchin’ and fussin’, but sometimes it’s good to push the reset button. And I am grateful for YOU!

  2. jeffstroud says:

    I am grateful to have this to read. I am grateful for our friendship even long distance yet so close. I’m grateful that my health is continuing to improve and I am to walk around the neighborhood. On and on I could go but this your blog Kathy…
    Here to all the good things in life!

    • Kathy says:

      See, Jeff, I am imagining you in our living room right now. There you are–just as you looked in NYC all those years ago! I love reading your gratitude list. And that your health is continuing to get better: HURRAY! May you continue to get stronger and stronger. Cheers to another many years of friendship! I am grateful for you.

  3. Shirley Khodja says:

    I too have been feeling for the last couple of days that something isn’t right, and further, I’m sliding from “meh” into downright discontent. It’s easy to forget to count one’s blessings, even easier to overlook what count as blessings. That’s why I like your list. I’m going to take your advice and list my blessings, but I’m going to dig deeper to find them.

    • Kathy says:

      Shirley, wonder if it’s something in the air? It’s a slippery slope when it starts going downhill, at least for me. I am glad you like the list idea. Someone said once that gratitude was the antidote for “too much” darkness in our lives. The list-making so often cheers me up. By the way, I appreciate you reading and commenting on these posts so much.

  4. Larissa says:

    Every evening I make a list of good things, even when I’m not feeling blue. You have been on it many times ❤

  5. sherrysescape says:

    I’m grateful for you, Kathy.

  6. Stacy says:

    I had a mostly sad day, too, Kathy. I don’t share those pains online either. But I am grateful for your blog. Somehow, you always write the words that my soul craves. Thank you. XOXO

  7. jessicathepixellator says:

    I am thankful for my dog who is like velcro, always close to me. Thankful for the regular things like home and family and food to eat. I am thankful to be a public servant and to have the ability to still work throughout this pandemic. So so so thankful to NOT have to commute anymore–it has been a work-from-home directive since March. I’m thankful to be on the path that I’m on.

    You’re right. Making the list helps.

    • Kathy says:

      Jessica, it is always so nice to see you! What a great list of positive things happening in your life. So glad to see that you are still able to work, and that you can work from home. (Both of my kids and their spouses are lucky to be able to do that as well.) Your dog sounds sweet. I am wondering if your kids are still at home or if they’re both out in the world now?

  8. A gratitude list is always awesome. I’m simply grateful for not being as affected as those who’d lost their livelihoods from COVID (I mean my work has dwindled as well, but at least I’m not starving), and that fact alone is enough to give me some perspective. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kathy says:

      Stuart, sounds like you’re another person who appreciates a gratitude list. I am glad that you still have your work and hope that it will continue to nourish you and provide just what you need. Perspective can provide just the added lift to help us see a bigger horizon.

  9. Susan D. says:

    Our picnic was a wonderful reminder about the value of friendship and truth – the precious trust and vulnerability between close friends, knowing that there will be understanding and acceptance during the talking and sharing. Oh, the flood of gratitude that washes over and cleanses the soul of all the not so great things of the day. Replaced by joy, laughter, and love. To say that I’m grateful for you seems inadequate.

    Thank you for you, for the richness you add to my life. You’re a treasure!

    So many good things to list: Everything from friendships and family to the sweet unexpected glimpses of nature, and this morning a beautiful rain for our flowers and gardens…

    Thank you for sweet reminders. Much love!

    • Kathy says:

      Susan, I think when we can be vulnerable and open and true and honest with a friend–it’s such a gift. I am so glad you and I can share so openly. May it always be that way!

      Hopefully we will get at least one more picnic in before…well, before the fall comes. Let’s set a date for September! As for being a treasure, you surely know how much you enrich my life. Oh you do! Grateful for so much today…it’s odd how a person can be so down on Monday and so improved by Wednesday, eh? (Trying to sound like a good Yooper, eh!)

  10. Gay says:

    Kathy, with the state of things in our country I think we may all be feeling this way! I love Larissa’s post, what a good idea. I try and do the same with my prayers in the evening, especially when I’m flooded with worries or sadness. I am thankful this morning that I can sit in my comfortable chair, with a steaming cup of coffee and read your blog. I’m able to watch the sky out our big picture window and see the new dawn rise as I wait for the clock to hit 6:45, time to feed the chickens, horse, pigs, goats and kitty. His mercies are new every morning! What a blessing.

    • Kathy says:

      Gay, you may be so right. I hear a lot of people are so challenged these days. For me it goes up and down. Sometimes don’t even know why a flood of sadness hits…and sometimes it’s clear, but you still have to get through a day. Larissa has great ideas! She’s so talented and can draw so well. I do scribbles sometimes. 🙂 Loving the sound of your days with all the animals, and the beauty of your praise as well. xoxo

  11. I am grateful for you and your encouraging blog and for your friendly comments on my blog. I am grateful for my husband and his sense of humor which quickly lifts me out of any slump I might start sinking into. A roof over my head when so many are homeless, the means to stay at home to avoid the virus, our internet connection to keep us in touch with family and friends, the shore and the woods so close by, our governor, my camera, air-conditioning, the changing seasons… Love your pictures!

    • Kathy says:

      Barbara, I love your list of gratitudes. Smiling thinking of Tim with a lovely sense of humor. It sounds like that you’ve got a special guy to hunker down with these days! Thanks for liking the pictures. I liked the way the lily looked outside framed between the two buds. Am I am so grateful for you, too! (And like going over to your blog to see what you’re doing, as well.)

  12. Today I’m grateful the Southern California heat wave is over.

  13. Lori says:

    We have many of the same vibrant, rich vegetables from our garden that I’m grateful for, too. Oooh, the tomatoes are so sweet and juicy. Also grateful for those birds you saw on my blog and “Chase” the Chipmunk, who refuses to eat from my hands. That’s why I call him “Chase,” cause he acts as if I’m chasing him.

    I hope your gratitude list helped to chase away the blues. It’s so nice that you have close friends to talk to.

    • Kathy says:

      Laughing that you call your little guy “Chase”. That is so sweet. Your birds are beautiful–and you captured their pictures so well–and, oh, tomatoes are lovely at this time of year. Yes, the gratitude list does seem to be able to shift perspectives and I wonder why part of me is obsessing about all the things that are wrong instead of appreciating all the things that are right. But I don’t want to ignore the things that feel challenging either, so it’s good to be able to talk and feel through them. I am grateful for you, Lori.

  14. I hope you are feeling better now, Kathy. Good friends always help. Love your attitude, too. Also I wish I can walk around your garden. It sounds so tasty and beautiful!

    • Kathy says:

      Hello Markus or Micah (I am guessing it’s Micah?) I have been feeling really well the last couple of days. Do you ever notice that happen? One day you’re blue and then it all turns around and you’re happy? That’s what often happens here. Our garden is lovely this year, mostly because we’ve had so much rain. Barry had to bring extra zucchini to the fruit stand in town to see if they want to buy some!

      • Definitely. I notice some down days on my week, too, but like you said, we keep going and bounce back. Lovely to hear more about your garden. We have not gotten into the produce yet, but hoping our plants will give us something soon. Thanks for the inspo!

  15. Thankful for the kitten whose purr lulled me to sleep on the stormy night, for friends who put up with my nonsense, for the husband who knows how to cook, for the whole mess of my baffling family, for the blurry lines between work and fun in my vocation, for new tennis shoes that make me feel fancy and sporty, for socks with separate toes, for a body to dance with, for tadpoles with legs, for cicadas, and seasons, and mystery, for books and journals and color pens, for your blog and the Internet, and a connection.

    Also, I am extremely intrigued by heirloom deer’s tongue lettuce. Where would one buy such seeds?

    • Kathy says:

      I do like the way you write, Lunar. “The whole mess of my baffling family”-yes, that could describe a lot of families I know (maybe even mine, smile). Thank goodness for souls who put up with our nonsense. As for deer’s tongue lettuce purchase–you got me there. We bought the seeds at one of our local stores this spring. Don’t even remember which one. Had never seen them before. But they are slow-bolting and sturdy and quite delicious so next spring we are going to be seeking them again. If they don’t appear at a local store will have to travel in Google-world and find a source. Let me know if you grow them next year and what you think.

  16. This may sound weird, but I walk around making myself smile. I read somewhere that if you put a good smile on it will help you find the smiles in life. Those things that we are grateful for. Those things that make us smile and give our hearts a lift. Those people who love us. Those people who we love. Those friends who listen and care. Each of these things brings on a smile. And sometimes if we wear a smile each of those things will come to us. Your blog makes me smile, Kathy. ❤️

  17. Kathy your list is lovely and so is the photo of you with Lake Superior in the background. My list of being grateful includes the following. My two children, pets, home, freedom of debt, yard with its many bird visitors, the career I had for many years, my old truck, my so-so health, a “free” country thus far, ability to buy just about any food that I would want or need to eat, my health insurance, my civil service retirement, my doctors and the two local hospitals which deliver excellent care, and I suppose last but not least is my brain that is still functioning and my ability to still walk under my own steam. So there you have it, Kathy- I am not only grateful but thankful for all of these things.

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you for sharing your list, Yvonne. It sounds like a rich and appreciated life that you’ve got. You listed some things that maybe many of us should ponder more often. I am feeling grateful for you right now…and thank you for liking my picture. It was cloudy so my hair didn’t look gray for once *smile* It keeps going between gray and brown depending on whether the sun is shining or not.

  18. reeza79 says:

    Hi Kathy, in these times that we are facing, we all will have days that will make us blue. I read a book that talked about our minds being trained to reflect on the negative things versus the positive. we reflect on bad memories more than good. your idea of listing the positives are a great idea to train our mind to see the light in every situation versus the dark. I hope you are having better days. Stay safe!

    • Kathy says:

      Reeza, yes, that is a good point–we humans do seem to reflect on bad memories more than good. Perhaps because we’re trying to figure out how to fix things. I like to try and stay present with negative emotions, too, in a tender and loving way. But this list of gratitude is a great way to see what we may be overlooking. Thanks for commenting.

  19. Looks really beautiful and though it can be healthy for us to write about negative feelings too, it is so important to recognize and be grateful for the positives life brings.

    • Kathy says:

      Victoria, yes! I think it’s important–very important–to not disown or ignore our negative feelings. And to learn to lean in and be tender toward our inner sadness, anger or pain or whatever. It sounds like we’re on the same wavelength!

  20. earthcomplex says:

    One of the places I go for uplifting is gratefulness.org. It is a wonderful site for encouragement. Things I am grateful for are: my kids, my amazing health, my blog such as it is at the moment, the warmth of the summer sun, and my bike. Stay safe.

    • Kathy says:

      I have heard about that website and maybe have visited there in the past. Much happiness as you continue to explore on your blog and everywhere in life!

  21. I’m grateful for stumbling across this blog and reading everyone’s comments. And also grateful for my vegetables and flower gardens, even though the intense heat and drought here in Nova Scotia this summer sped up the flower blooming times and challenged the vegetables….and now our well is super low and we had to use our accumulated rain water to add to the puddle that was once a deep pond to keep the goldfish alive……..ok….sorry….I got off course there. lol. But I am grateful for the water delivery service, the golden flashes of the little fishies, the orange of the calendula flowers and the forecast of rain tomorrow! And I also loved having a thesaurus years ago. 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Flora, it is so nice to meet you. I am sorry that you’ve experienced so much heat and drought in your neck of the woods this year. Our summers are often like this, but this summer we’ve been lucky to have ample rainfall and our garden is doing great. I am smiling that you got off course–those are some of the best rambles. I am also grateful that you stumbled over here and took the time to comment! Happy rain showers today.

    • Kathy says:

      Flora, I also just visited your beautiful blog. Wow, you are a talented artist!! Couldn’t find a place to comment under your post, but maybe I just missed it? Not sure if you have a commenting section set up. Another synchronicity–you list Tara Brach on your page. I just started being inspired by her again after many years. Learning so very much from her just in a few short days.

  22. dawnkinster says:

    Well today is Saturday and I read this a few days ago and wanted to respond, but responding on the phone is so hard. First of all I’m sorry you had a blue day and hope that by now you have worked yourself out of it. But I also think blue days are necessary, they are ways for us to process things that don’t feel good…and if you didn’t have them you’d be in much worse shape in the long run. I’m also glad for Susan, and that you got to have a picnic together. That’s a real treat! I hope you get to do it again in September before..well…I won’t say it…but before stuff falls from the sky. If you know what I mean. So anyway…I’ve been thinking about you and I hope today is a wonderful day up in the UP ey!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Dawn! Oh my goodness, I do know about reading something on the phone or ipad and it’s so hard to respond–and sometimes it can get forgotten. I like your thoughts that if we didn’t have those blue days we’d be worse in the long run. That is probably good. We are sure hoping to meet up again in September before that–errr—white stuff falls from the skies, oh heavens. Saw some red leaves for the first time today on my way home from Houghton. It has been a lovely day, except quite windy, and Barry is concerned he might not be able to go fishing tomorrow due to large waves. Hope it’s a sweet day in the Lower, too!

  23. Reblogged this on Celebrate Life and commented:
    Nice to read your list

  24. Good things always enhance our mood

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