I spend too much time wishing I could change things. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with that, it inspires me to come up with solutions and brain-storming is one of my favorite activities. I am not satisfied with mediocrity, which compels me to look for how I can best apply my efforts to bring about improvements. No problem there - that is a good thing in my book. The time wasted dreaming about "what if" is however wasted and boarders on complaining about existing situations, which I can either attempt to change or find satisfaction in since they are my choice. Which brings me (finally - deep breath!) to my point. Do you spend near as much time in your day recognizing what is flowing well as you do on the problems that arise? Few of us do, but it is important. Recognize what family members did today that you are proud of, not just the snags that call for adjustments. Give them strokes on purpose to counter the discipline that is required. Make it a ritual if you can, so it doesn't get brushed aside for less important things. Breakfast or supper routine to find one thing to thank each other for (in spite of any grudges that may be lingering for other reasons)? Notes in lunch boxes, a bedtime habit, figure it in. My family members love to point out their disappointments, but aren't nearly so vocal about thankfulness. That is where I get the "attitude" entering my home most often. I do work to demonstrate how to change this around patiently as I am able (ignore the outbursts that sound just like a toddler - don't know how those sneak out!). We are all works in progress, which way do you want to progress?
I think my first introduction to gratitude journaling was through Oprah, though I'm no longer sure. Her website included the gratitude journal, which I used. A very dear friend posts three gratitudes every evening on facebook which I find wonderful inspiration for others to join in. It is a splendid thing to add to your life if you are not already practicing it for a multitude of reasons. Given the amount of time I express silent self-pity, anger, and other less than charitable things in my day, it is vital that I collect a bit of time to give to the opposing side! Listing the simple to complex things I am grateful for in my day gives me a small positive recognition to my higher power that I am thankful, not merely whining. Overall, I do know how fortunate I am, as is my immediate family, we enjoy relatively good health, security of a home and nourishment, a wonderful area of the globe to live on and a life that offers opportunities daily for us to succeed and excel if we should accept them, and above all a relatively peace filled environment. I take all this for granted when I dwell on grievances that I make no effort to change or that I cannot change. Make time to recognize and express your gratitude for your fortune on a daily basis. It does make a difference. You will see.