If you're looking for something to read while the turkey is cooking or while Uncle Joe is arguing politics with your dad, check out The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan. The author is the former editor-in-chief of Parade Magazine and author or co-author of a dozen books.
The book focuses on four areas:
- Marriage, Love, Family
- Money, Career, and the Stuff We Own
- Gratitude and Health
- Coping, Caring, Connecting
This book is similar in style to The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, another book I enjoyed. (You can read my earlier review.) For one year, Janice Kaplan experiments with small changes in her life and consults experts along the way. Trying to find the good in a bad situation (being sprayed with snow as someone shovels the sidewalk) or saying "thank you" to a family member ends up making the author surprisingly happier. Gratitude turns out to be one of those things that has enormous reciprocal power. You thank someone and they do or say something nice to you or someone else.
Reading this book reminded me of when I worked in an office and the CEO sent out a memo that in order to increase our efficiency (or some such nonsense) we were not supposed to send "thank you" emails in response to any emails we received. It was considered a waste of resources. I made sure never to thank any managers, but I'll confess I freely broke that rule for my co-workers and blog readers every day.
You can read a sample chapter online.