February 23, 2009

Rich—And You Didn't Even Know It!

I've tired of the word "gratitude." I get the notion it is an attitude I must conjure up that doesn't come naturally.

At church yesterday, my pastor, who is a bit of a gourmand, made mention of gratification when describing a single perfect chocolate truffle.

Somewhere along the way, I have lost the connection of "gratitude" and "gratification"—they seem so very different. The latter is easy.

As a financial literacy instructor, I often assigned the (fiscally flustered or out-right panicked) participants to keep a gratitude journal. They were to jot ten simple things each morning that they were thankful for. It didn't matter if the list was repetitive.

Now I'm changing it from the "Gratitude Journal" to: "Simple Things That Gratify Me, and Therefore, I am Grateful For." A mouthful, but I needed to hear it that way. The aim: to be thoughtful in the present moment; notice the little things. Beats an alternative of spending your time fearing fear itself (references to FDR's inaugural address now seem to pop up everywhere).

I warn you—do this a few days and you will begin to feel rich (you probably are). The big secret that nobody seems to know? It's all in the perspective.

Broke Girl's "Simple Things That Gratify Me—and Therefore, I am Grateful For, Journal" for today:

1. morning coffee
2. spring starts in 25 days (which means summer's coming)
3. lush hair conditioner
4. very sunny
5. meeting a best bud for lunch
6. my problems are smallish (drat that feral animal in my backyard!!)
7. no terrorist bombings in my city, ever
8. iPhone—Broke Girl's living large, baby!
10. fluffy rug under my feet when I pop out of bed
11. the person who thought up Pilates
12. hot shower...
13. strong water pressure...
14. and citrus-scented suds on a cold day

I would be happy to give you the PDF file of the aforementioned journal which I assigned when teaching financial literacy (to rich and poor persons alike). I apparently cannot figure out how to attach it for download from this site. So until I do, email me directly and I'll send you the one-page template: bebrokebuthappy @ gmail.com (remove spaces when you copy this address.)


  1. Thanks for sharing that! I agree with your terminology. You can't show gratitude to a hot shower, but you can be grateful for it!

  2. Dear Broke Girl - thank you for your witty blog posts! I was so inspired one day by your post I wrote a song about Brooke Astor. The name of it simply 'Broke but Rich'.