Behind the Kwote: Gratitude is a Way of Life

gratitude

Here in the States, we pause and give thanks on the third Thursday in November, typically with our families. My family, immediate and extended are no different. You can find any one of us sitting around a table of food, perhaps holding hands and thoughtfully announcing what we’re thankful for. But remove the holiday, and I’m not convinced the sentiment remains.

Take my cousins for example. No matter what birthday or Christmas gift I sent, they never used to call to say, “Thank you,” or even text an appreciative message.

Similarly, my brother and sister-in-law rarely thanked me for the birthday or Christmas gifts I’d send to their four children. Even if presents blatantly came from me, without Dwight’s knowledge, my brother-in-law would call or text my husband, unless he heard these words: That came from Kathy, man. Then, he would reach out and thank me.

I wasted hours, days, weeks fixated on solving this “dilemma.” If I held the door open for a stranger, more than likely the person would mutter, “Thank you.” If I gave a coworker a going away card, then the colleague would probably say, “Thanks!” But some family members? Nope.

I was hurt.

I was hurt, until I began keeping a gratitude journal. Here is where I began writing five things I was thankful for each day. I was hurt, until I completed a gratitude meditation. Here is where I learned to be grateful. I was hurt, until I spent 30 days expressing gratitude to friends and family who’d positively influenced my life. Here is where I learned to stop seeking external gratitude.

It took about five years, but now, I live a life of gratitude. Consequently, Thanksgiving is meaningless to me in terms of giving thanks. I give to whomever I can, as often as I can, with no expectation of verbal reward.

What about you? Are you more thankful on Thanksgiving? Is it important to hear the words thank you? Does it matter?

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69 thoughts on “Behind the Kwote: Gratitude is a Way of Life

  1. Such a great post sis! I like the gratitude journal. I do believe that it is important that people say thank you and I think it is all a part of manners and how we treat each other. If we can say thank yo to the co-worker who picks up our document off the fax machine and gives it to us, why can’t we thank those that spend their money on us? I feel that if I tell you once how you never thank me then you can’t say you didn’t know. If you continue the behavior then I won’t buy you gifts. I will give to those less fortunate because their needs are greater and they will be more appreciative.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find it crazy that it takes a so-called holy-day (holiday) for families to come together! It’s like we are completely programmed to live and act a certain way towards each other and in our everyday lives. We’re like robots with no true love for one another. “Oh!..It..is..Christmas..time..again..let..me..call..so..and..so..” in a robot voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can definitely see why you would feel hurt. When I do something nice for someone and they don’t say thanks I sarcastically but jokingly say “Oh, so you can’t say “Thank You.” Learning gratitude isn’t always easy, just like life. But I am so happy you’ve found your gratitude in the people who show you love on all occasions.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with you that gratitude should be a lifestyle practiced year round. I’m more annoyed at getting invites from family with whom I do not interact vs. expecting a thank you. In this particular situation I felt odd at getting the invite when we really don’t have a relationship and it seems more of a gift seeking ploy. So when I try to do the right thing by giving the gift then not receiving a thank you I become irritated. Thankfully this has only happened twice. I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can totally understand this sentiment. I don’t mean to get all preachy, but I’ve learned that when I make conscious choices, with no expectations, then I’m the happiest. It’s hard to do, but worth it in the end. Thanksgiving was super pleasant, just for this reason lol

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I try practicing gratitude whether or not its appreciated. I just do it from the heart. My family can care less if I reach out to them and at times it hurts me deeply, like last Christmas, I spent it mostly alone. I tend to get along with strangers better. I try to bring positivity in people’s lives or at try to. Awesome post, Kathy. Thank you for sharing this. ❤✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s good to hear Pam. Doing things from the heart tend to work out better than doing things out of obligation. I’m sorry to hear about you and your family. I hope you know I appreciate you and your blog luv! Happy Thanksgiving 🦃🍁

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have family members that are the same.

    I think I am a bit more thankful on Thanksgiving – partially because this is one of two days that my whole family sits down together and talks to one another. The other day is Easter. Every other day, every one is doing their own thing – but for a couple of hours on Thanksgiving, we find the time to sit down and share the same time/space and have a discussion.

    It is powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I used to get annoyed if people forgot to say thanks for presents etc but now am just happy to give, fun to choose. A thank you afterwards is an additional plus! Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving – may you be surrounded by family and friends and all be harmonious and enjoyable.😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “Here is where I learned to stop seeking external gratitude.”
    Yes, that is so hard to stop…but I recently told myself ‘Are you giving to make the other soul happy, or only to make yourself happy? ‘ Didn’t like the answer I gave myself…But it is still hard to stop seeking every now and then 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I like the idea of every day being a celebration of thanksgiving. And I can tell you this: people who send me a thank you note or message for a gift get a lot more the next time than those who don’t. Everyone loves a grateful receiver. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. lol – Yes, I’ve done that too, specifically with my little cousins/goddaughters. I used to think, you know if you can fix your mouth or little fingers to say thank you, then guess what? But now I just send without expecting as much as a mumble (well, not to them cause they’re quite older now), but when I do send out gifts to others, I don’t expect any return gesture.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I personally do not celebrate Xmas or Thanksgiving due to the origins of both holidays. However, I know the magnitude of both holidays and I just remove myself from all the action. I don’t need a day to let me know how thankful u am especially as a black man in America. I spend nearly 20k on my kids this year so I don’t need a day to show them how much I care and love them. This is just my sentiment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hear you Tareau. I think I just like the idea of getting together to eat food. I certainly agree with you about not needing a day to give or receive thanks…that’s just absurd, really. TWENTY THOUSAND??? Wow.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Now see how Tareau is back-trackin’? It’s now 10 grand and not 20 grand and he puts this down to a typo! SOME TYPO!!! Men?!! Always braggin’ never thinkin’ us girls are so sharp. He’s obviously putting his money where his mouth is … hahahhahahhaha

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Tareau aka t-Money, I do believe in an earlier conversation you said, and I quote: “T-money doesn’t get money. Only chump money”. 20 grand is a whole load a “chump” money!!! Guess I’d better get me over to San Francisco to get some of this chump money. I’ll wire you with my flight details – you make sure you’re at the airport in a limo to get me …. hahahahhahahahha

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Good luck. You need to make 100k just to live comfortable in San Francisco. I don’t come anywhere close to that. Rent and property is so dam high here. Hahaha Yes T-Money gets chump change. And it’s actually 10k not 20k. Typo. Ok send me your flight details and I’ll send my soccer mom van to pick you up hahahahaha

        Liked by 2 people

  11. I practice gratitude for all the regular things in life. I say thanks to anybody and everybody in this world because I truly am thankful and grateful. People find it annoying and stupid as they don’t like to say it back. You see, the Irony? I have learned with time to not expect it back and be sassy about it too. 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving, Kathy 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I shouldn’t but I still sometimes look for external gratitude. If I can recognize something positive done for me, I say thank you so why can’t others? More and more I do what feels right and if I feel unappreciated, I take that “lost” energy and refocus it on those I am truly grateful for. Great post for reflection!💕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, Marquessa! That’s what being grateful every day for everything tends to do. It helps you to refocus your energy into something more positive and live less on expectations of others. You’re welcome and thanks for stopping by and reading!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. I absolutely agree about Thanksgiving being a way of life and not only a holiday. It’s lovely when people show appreciation, it makes the giver feel appreciated. it’s not the wanting to be thanked for the gift, that’s just common courtesy. it’s the acknowledging that you are appreciated for what you have done because in buying a gift or doing something for someone it shows that they are valuable and I think everyone thrives on having that sense of approval for who they are. Happy Thanksgiving, Kathy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree that it’s a great way to show appreciation and common courtesy, but at this point, it’s just not an expectation I hold for anyone. Stay with me as I explain another part that I had to get over. I had learned growing up that I wasn’t very important, or that’s what I thought. As I grew older, I began to seek out ways to feel like I mattered. Whenever someone didn’t say thank you to me, it triggered those, “I’m unimportant” feelings and put me right back in a cycle of worthlessness…so while I continue to say thank you and live in gratitude each day, I honestly have stopped needing to hear it from others or judging anyone who doesn’t say it. BUT, I do understand what you’re saying. Likewise, I’ve dropped the part where I look towards anyone else’s approval. It feels good, of course, but I no longer seek it as an ego booster.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well said! Isn’t it funny how buying a gift/presenting someone with a gift or a lovely gesture is not only the actual physical giving but there can be a whole back story behind it? We humans are so complex and there is a lot of psychology going on with us. Perhaps this is another “post” in the incubation stage, Kathy! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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