33 Comments#FlashbackFriday, Blogfests, Life

where old posts are given new life!


Flashback Friday, introduced by Michael G. D’Agostino of A Life Examined and hosted by Jemima Pett, is a monthly blogfest, occurring on the last Friday. Michael’s directive: “Republish an old post of yours that maybe didn’t get enough attention, or that you’re really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc.” Please add your link to the list at the end of the post if you’d like to join in.

As it’s the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the United States,
I thought this might be fitting:

Happy Thanksgiving America!


Originally published as a guest post on Everyday Gyaan, Nov. 16, 2013.
Click HERE to view

Firstly, let me tell you that I’m neither a religious nor a spiritual person. In fact, my sensibilities tend towards the cynical and skeptical. You could even call me a hardcore pragmatist. This is bound to turn a few people off and they may stop reading, right here. No matter; my instructions for this article were to “be myself”, so, let’s get to it!


Life is not always wonderful and sometimes, when we’re mired in the depths of despair we lose sight of how privileged we really are. There’s an old Persian proverb that illustrates this so well:

“I wept because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”

bare feet in snow | Gratitude

That’s right, folks. No matter what, (unless you’re dead), things could always be worse!


Hate your boss or your job?
Be grateful you’re not unemployed!

A few positive things you can do here:

– Picture how much worse off you would be without that paycheque. Consider it a means to an end and think about what you can do to improve the situation.

-Try not to let your work rule your entire existence. Clock out, go home and forget about it, as much as possible. Enjoy your personal life, family and friends. Don’t make the mistake I did and let the job be all-consuming. This only leads to elevated stress levels and burnout.


– Update your resumé

– Look for a better job but on your own time.


Got laid off or fired?
Be grateful for the chance to start over!

If somebody had said that to me after losing my job, I would have been angry. Once the shock wore off, however, a sense of relief crept in. It had been a toxic situation for a long time.

A couple of other old proverbs fit well, here:

“Every cloud has a silver lining.”


“When one door closes, another one opens”

cloud with silver lining. The Power of Gratitude | #FlashbackFriday

This was a rough period, as my husband also lost his job. Serious financial difficulties ensued, but we survived. “It could be worse” was a mantra I had to keep repeating, because honestly, we were stressed to the max in those days. At times, it was a huge struggle to remain positive, but, in the end, these thoughts kept me going. You may also find them useful:

“At least we have each other.”

“At least we’re not sick.”

“At least we’re not homeless”

“It’s not the end of the world.”

“There’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

“We’re not the only ones experiencing this.”

“We will find a solution and get back on our feet.”

It took several years, but we did eventually recover. The “silver lining” in the clouds was that I started my own business, doing something I love; taking care of dogs. It’ll never make me rich, but, it pays some bills and allows me to have balance in life.

Gratitude | #FlashbackFriday | The Doglady at work

Difficulties can seem insurmountable, but somehow,
“life goes on”.

Just keep reminding yourself :
“It’s only temporary”.

You WILL survive!

In 2010, my father was diagnosed with lung cancer. (He and my mother had moved to San Diego, California – over 2600 miles from Toronto- in the 1970s.) This started a chain of events that continued for almost two years. All of the responsibility fell on me, an only child. I flew back and forth a total of eight times during that period. Imagine leaving your home, husband and business for several weeks at a time and trying to cope with everything on your own! When the anxiety became overwhelming, I made a point of taking short breaks and reflecting on the plus side of things. This got me through the worst times and I am most grateful for:

– My husband, who kept things running smoothly at home and patiently listened to my rantings and ravings. He was such a comfort! After more than four decades together, a certain amount of complacency had set in, but we are closer than ever now. Those frequent, prolonged absences made us appreciate each other anew!

– Good friends, who took care of the clients’ dogs when hubby was working.

– Clients who were sympathetic to and accepting of the situation.

– Music! Headphones on – hard rock blasting at FULL VOLUME!! Works every time, especially when I’m ready to explode!

– The fabulous weather and beautiful scenery of Southern California. I was especially grateful for that during the winter months.

– My laptop and online friends; when I needed a distraction.


So you see, no matter how dreadful the situation, there is always something to be grateful for!

Adversity shapes our characters and makes us more resilient to life’s battering ram.


You know it!

How do you cope with life’s difficulties?

Looking forward to your comments!


Next #FlashbackFriday is on December 30th. See you there!
Enjoy the other entries, shown below.
Add your link if you want to join the blogfest:

Also linking to Vidya Sury’s Gratitude Circle
(this link remains open until Dec. 15 if you’d like to join in)



Wednesday, Nov. 30th
Greek Odyssey VI: Meteora

Great Meteoran Monastery, Meteora

The amazing hanging monasteries

Thursday, Dec. 1st

Battle of the Bands
A tribute to Leon Russell

Monday, December 5th
Question of the month
Future plans.

Join us, will you?

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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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33 thoughts on “THE POWER OF GRATITUDE | #FlashbackFriday

  1. Debbie, We adopted the same mantra, “Things could be worse” and really that’s true. Whenever we hit a bump and everything gets tossed in the air, you just gotta step back to see how bad other people have it before the self-shame hits when you realize how blessed you have it. This mantra and looking for the silver lining are two things, other than the Almighty, that kept us going the last 18-months with DH out of work. The light at the end of that tunnel now touches our skin, as DH will start a new job (part-time) on the 12th of December. I thank God for it is He who gives us everything! Thanks for sharing your gratitude, my friend. 😉

    1. I’m so happy for you and DH, Cathy! Congrats on the new job. 🙂 That’s the thing about life. There are so many things to be thankful for and everything is relative. Thanks for coming by.

  2. Fabulous post, Debbie! Timely and sensitive, with uplifting quotes that did my heart good to revisit just now. Funny how often an arduous journey enriches the destination 😉

    1. I am glad that arduous journey is now over, which gives me even more things to be grateful for. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for coming by, Diedre.

  3. Yes, so true, “Life is what we make it.” I’ve always had this tendency to look for the brighter things to come and more importantly all the good things I have right now. We have more to be thankful for than not, but still many people would rather bitch and moan about the negatives. Complaining without acting to change things will only bring more darkness to ones life while keeping a positive outlook gives us something to keep striving for and a reason to get up each morning. I’m thankful that I have learned thankfulness because my life has been pretty good because of that.

    Arlee Bird

    1. I think some people aren’t happy unless they have something to complain about. 🙂 It’s all a matter of perspective. There will always be people better off, but even more who are worse off. Yes, constant negative thoughts can only serve to bring a person down even more. Thanks, Lee.

  4. I remember that post, Debbie. Lovely reading it again. Gratitude definitely transforms life!

    Why do I keep missing Flashback Friday! Bwahahahaha! Happy Thanksgiving to you! ♥

    1. Hi, Vidya; In hindsight, I should have linked this to your Gratitude Circle. Sorry to have missed it. There’s a “Flashback Friday” every month, so maybe you’ll join in one of these days. 🙂 Thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes, but ours is in October. The Americans have much more fun with theirs; four-day weekend, and all.

      1. Hey Debbie, the linky opened on Nov 24 and is open till December 15–so please do link up! ❤️

        It is silly about the FlashbackFriday. I think I’ll schedule — since it is an already published post, no? 🙂

        1. Great, thanks! I will do that. As for #FF, it’s the last Friday of every month. Should be easy enough to schedule. Just add the appropriate links, etc. Some of us opt to make a new post out of it. Whatever works best for you. 🙂

  5. As you’ll see in Monday’s blog post, I have had some issues lately. And, as I always say to my doctor, so far, anyway, “It’s not cancer!” Which means that I have it in perspective. With gratitude up front.

    1. Yes, cancer is one of the biggest yardsticks. Sorry you’ve been having health issues. Getting old truly sucks, in that respect. Thanks for dropping in, Carol. 🙂

    1. Welcome to The Den, Nancy. 🙂 Yes, I think this wisdom definitely comes with age. Thanks for dropping by. Must check out your website! I’m always trying to lose weight.

  6. It’s such an important lesson in life to not get swallowed up by the tough times. “This too shall pass” was a mantra of mine when things went pear shaped in my life. It’s so true, because life moves on and eventually we come out the other end of the tunnel – hopefully better people for having gone through the pain!

    1. Yes, we are shaped by every experience, good or bad. The bad ones serve to make us stronger and more resilient. Thanks for dropping in, Leanne! 🙂

  7. I think I needed to read this post considering I had a bad day at work yesterday and have been ranting and fuming since then. Thank you for sharing such an inspiring and positive post, Debbie!

  8. Ah, someone else who is neither religious nor spiritual. I try to stay away from any religious discourse on my blog though sometimes I am sorely tempted. I’ve actually stopped reading blogs that get all preachy no matter how much I would enjoy some posts. Religious folks don’t seem to understand that you can be grateful without thanking a being that you have no proof even exists. I thank my family and friends that I am with for my happiness. Thank you for posting this.

    1. To quote John Lennon: “Whatever gets you through the night, it’s alright”. 🙂 Some people embrace religion and others rely on their own strengths to get through the rough spots in life. Having a loving family and friends certainly helps tremendously, as well. Thanks for dropping in, Denise!

  9. Excellent post and perfect timing for the holiday of Thanksgiving. I think having a grateful heart gets us through life, especially when the tides turn and we’re looking down a dark tunnel with no light in sight. Great proverbs and mantras to repeat.
    And the Kelly Clarkson song tops it off!
    Fantastic post Debbie. Thanks for sharing your story…

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Michele. Some people find this “Pollyanna” attitude annoying, but it really does help when life takes a bad turn. I hope you are able to rest up for a few days, after your busy Thanksgiving weekend.

  10. I have moved on from several jobs. Only once, was I pushed out, to where I took it personally. Fortunately, I was hired by a former competitor. That made for some enjoyable working conditions.

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