Annoyance leads to Gratitude

Welcome to Gratitude week! I’m bringing back this old post because I notice that lately I’ve been letting annoyances remain annoying. When looked at in a grateful light they can can be very powerful. See if you find the same to be true!


I am having a little trouble writing about Gratitude today. You see, during previous Gratitude weeks I went a bit overboard trying to find things for which I felt grateful. I live a very blessed life so it isn’t very hard. The problem however is that by making these giant lists it all begins to feel a tittle trite. Of course I’m grateful for my family, for food, clean water, a car to drive, etc. etc. but it is only by imagining NOT having them that I am able to get present to the gratitude.

As an example, I have a car in my driveway. I don’t think about the privilege of owning one all that much. When I need her, (We name our cars and this one we call The Dolphin for her steely gray color,) she s in my driveway waiting to be driven. I expect the car to be there. This expectation overshadows the potential gratitude.

Much of my life falls into this category. I am blessed. My needs are met. Sure I occasionally want for something shiny or sparkly but I don’t NEED anything. When I take the time to think about my life, I am grateful but as I navigate through my daily living I am not present to it.

I am present to small annoyances.

  • Blast! I let The Dolphin’s gas tank get too close to empty again! When instead I could be grateful that even at $4:00 + per gallon filling The Dolphin’s tank will not be a hardship for my family.
  • Blast! The shirt I wanted to wear is in the laundry. Not gratitude for having others to choose.
  • Blast! My daughter woke me up in the middle of the night to help her get to the bathroom! Not gratitude for the fact that she, at just four does wake me and does not wet the bed.

The annoyances are always right at the forefront, waving and calling attention to themselves. The gratitude by contrast is shy and unwilling to impose. A heroic and comforting hand to hold during tragedy, as in “we lost the house but we didn’t lose our lives,” somehow Gratitude has remained meek in day to day living. And I think it is time to change that!

For the rest of this week I am going to try a gratitude experiment. Everytime I notice myself getting annoyed with/at something or someone I will ask my self what instead can I be grateful for?

  • I am annoyed that the snails ate all my petunias becomes I am grateful the pansies were left alone.
  • I am annoyed that we don’t have any half and half becomes I am grateful for hot black coffee in the morning.
  • I am annoyed that we only have one egg becomes I am grateful there are so many other foods I can choose from (Oatmeal is especially yummy and often forgotten in the pantry!)
  • I am annoyed that the house can’t stay clean for more then 20 minutes becomes I am grateful I have a happy and active child to mess it up.
  • I am annoyed that I am struggling to write today’s blog post becomes I am grateful I have a life allows me the time to figure it out and since it isn’t a life or death situation I can let it go…

So, how about you? What annoyances can you turn into gratitude today?



5 thoughts on “Annoyance leads to Gratitude

  1. Hi Kathy,

    I like the idea of making gratitude lists, but a downside to doing this regularly is that sometimes the act of listing things out can actually take the life out of them. It can become like one of those rote learning exercises from school. I really appreciate your approach of looking more deeply at our annoyances and finding things to be grateful for in there.

    A minor annoyance of my day so far has been cleaning up soggy cheerios and pieces of fruit from the floor after breakfast. Which leads me to be grateful for my two messy little boys and the fact that we are able to care for them, and feed them well, and experience the joy of being around them.

    • Kathy says:

      Dave, Thanks so much for stopping by! SO happy to have a fellow Alister in the house! I just visited and LOVED your blog!

  2. That is SUCH a great idea! I will try my best now to take annoyances and turn them into little gratitudes. I wish I had been able to read this before I went to work earlier today – I could have used a little zen! LOL

  3. Lovely post… I am grateful for friends like you. And speaking of gratitude, if you head over to the on-line magazine Rhythm of the Home, they have just released their summer edition and have included a piece I submitted to them about 2 months ago. Coincidentally, it’s titled “Grateful.”

    P.S. Are you and your girl free Friday June 17?

  4. Karen B says:

    Hey Kathy! How about changing from ‘bugger, the plumber hasn’t turned up to fix the hot water tank again!’ to ‘I am so grateful that I can still boil the kettle to get hot water’? But now the hot water tank is fixed I can say ‘I’m so grateful to be able to have a shower today!’

    Keep up the great posts!

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