The Grateful Project was conceived after I stumbled across an olive tree covered in tiny white tags in Calistoga, California in July 2009. Upon closer inspection I discovered they all contained handwritten messages from folks giving thanks for the people and things that bring them joy. Some were old with writing long faded from the sun. Others popped with fresh ink. Many times the only words I could make out were “I am grateful.”
The tags were written in all colors, in all types of print, by people of all ages. The idea was simple, the meaning profound. After reading several I felt obligated to contribute something in return. I found a basket of papers nearby and considered what to write. What am I thankful for today I wondered? I spent several minutes tapping my pen pondering what it was I wanted to leave behind. Finally I wrote: “I am grateful to be able to celebrate the small things. And the big things – with the same person.”
This action of pausing to consider what I am truly grateful for each day is an exercise I have repeated each day since. Because every day something happens to be thankful for. Every day. Even the days your heart winds up on the bottom of someone else’s shoes.
I like thinking that if we all took just two minutes every day to consider what and who we are grateful for – perhaps we might all be a little bit happier. Perhaps we would approach our relationships with each other and ourselves differently. Maybe we would smile more.
Now, I am not an extremely religious person. Sometimes I doubt whether I am religious at all. I do not practice new age teachings. I do not meditate. I do not fancy myself a philosopher. (Not that there is anything wrong with any of those things.) This is just my attempt at smiling more. Every day.
I hope this site triggers something for you to be thankful for as well. Please feel free to participate with me.
-Kristen M. Munson