Facebook is the new medium for chain letters. You remember the old chain letters, don’t you? You sent something (a dollar, a recipe, a prayer) to the last person on the list, added your name to the top of the list, and then sent copies of the letter to three other people. These always came with a promise and a threat. If no one broke the chain everyone would reap great rewards, but whoever broke the chain would get untold bad luck. Detailed examples were provided for both. I never played along. I either tried to graciously return the letter to whoever gave it to me or just threw it out as an annoyance. And now, I received the Facebook Gratitude Chain Letter!
A dear friend of mine asked me (challenged me) on Facebook, to post three things I am grateful for five days in a row. At this point in my life I actually have a lot of gratitude. But, did I really want to share it with all my “friends” and their friends? No. Do all those people REALLY care about my personal gratitude? I doubt it. Did I want my personal list to just become part of the endless blather along with the back-to-school pictures and animal videos? Not really.
My first thought was to ignore it …and then I started to feel UNgracious. My second thought was to make my FB posts light and entertaining. That seemed like too much effort. Finally, I decided to post them privately to the friend who challenged me and then put them in my blog. If you want to read my list of gratitude, you can find it here. I didn’t challenge three other people to be publicly gracious and I didn’t even do it in five consecutive days. I wonder if I invoked the demons and will get a year of bad luck?
Gratitude Day 1 of 5. About family.
1. At 90, my mom is healthy, happy, and still has all her marbles.
2. My two sons have grown into wonderful men; they make me proud every day.
3. After 36 years, I found my beautiful daughter who was adopted at birth; it filled an immeasurable hole in my heart.
Gratitude Day 2 of 5. About friends.
1. My women friends have always been there for me, during my numerous ups and downs, with support and comfort.
2. My guy friends have helped me to be a more rounded person, to see things from a different point of view.
3. Both have hung in and forgiven me my lapses in sensitivity and thoughtfulness.
Gratitude Day 3 of 5. About social changes.
1. The women’s movement BIG TIME. Because of it I’ve been able to get a college degree, earn a decent wage, leave a bad marriage, support myself and my kids, buy my own home, travel the world by myself without harassment…and more. I take none of these for granted.
2. Pharmacology, especially protease drugs and chemotherapy. These have saved the lives of many of my friends and family.
3. The Internet. It brings the entire world to me every day.
Gratitude Day 4 of 5. About me.
1. My brains.
2. My health.
3. My good looks.
I am not the MOST of any of these but I am grateful for what I have. I did nothing to earn them, just lucked out on the DNA. I don’t underestimate how much they have helped me in life and I am very aware of how these all diminish as we age.
Gratitude Day 5 of 5. About my serious relationships.
1. In my first marriage, I learned how to stand up for myself (the hard way).
2. My second husband loved and believed in me and so I re-learned to love and believe in myself.
3. And now, I am grateful to have a wonderful third partner (my bonus round!) with whom I can reap the benefits. The hard work of growing up is done and we can just enjoy life.