Getting Gratitude

I have not been able to get Anna Kerr's comment that “we are desperate and depressed because our society encourages us to be dissatisfied” off my mind.

It was a reminder that we need to not only look up and ahead, but down and back, and that as we dare and dream, and then ‘get', if we aren't grateful for ‘what we get', we'll still be desperate and depressed.

With a nod and big thank you to Anna, here's a list of things (and their respective categories) that I am grateful for:

1) God's grace — God's grace is something we don't deserve, but are given anyway, unfettered and unconditionally. For me, it is the fall foliage in New England. It is glorious to behold.

What providential gift, or gift of grace, are you grateful for?

2) Gift of another's self — This is a gift that comes when people play to their strengths and give us something we very much need or want, but can't give to ourselves. Because it is generously given, it is systergy at its purest, but certainly not the exclusive domain of women, as my friend Aaron demonstrated this past week.

LaNola Kathleen Stone is a superb example of this ‘gift of self'. Kathleen has taken our family's Christmas pictures since Miranda was a baby. Because she is willing to play to her specific strengths and intelligences, every year Kathleen sees magnificence in my children that I certainly couldn't, and dare I say, few photographers could, as seen below.


What gift of another's self are you grateful for?

3) What I'm good at — This will likely be the hardest one to come up with as it requires us to do precisely what Anna Fels' research and the Bem Sex Role Inventory indicate that feminine women don't do — pull attention toward ourselves. Even after months of ‘soapboxing' about this, I would have readily deflected had my friends Brooke and Stacey not gently encouraged me to stiffen my spine. And so…. I'm grateful that I am good at coming up with an idea or vision for a project AND that I can then execute against my vision; take Know Your Neighbor, for instance.

What are you grateful to be good at? What are your strengths? Is there a way that your ‘good at' can be given as a gift of your self?

4) Simple pleasures — This is something that makes us happy. Period. Like listening to Earth, Wind and Fire's Can't Hide Love. I loved this song as a 16 year-old. And I still love it. Every time I hear that magnificent horn introduction on my iPod, I am happy. A simple pleasure.

What simple pleasure are you grateful for?

P.S. Just this morning there was a terrific article in the NY Times titled Let us give thanks. In writing., and includes a quote from Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project.

Of Corvettes and Porsches

Several weeks ago, my friend Lorna shared with me that while still in her early 20's, she bought her dream car, a red Corvette.


Her dad helped her finance the purchase, but I was surprised nonetheless.

Though I've “wanted” a Porsche Carrera for over 20 years, I've never really been serious about buying one. I've never even test-driven one, unless you count the time I drove around the block of the car dealership several times before losing my nerve.

You may be thinking, of course you didn't buy it — Porsches are a luxury car and they aren't exactly kid-friendly.

But, you know what?

There were several years of Wall Street bonuses, and no children until my mid-30s.

And I didn't buy one.

I wonder why.

Lorna offhandedly said something which I think is quite important.

“I looked really good then.”

There are many possible takeaways from her comment, and by the way, she continues to look fabulous, actually more fabulous now, because of who she is.

But my key takeaway was this.

Lorna bought a Corvette.

Because Lorna believed she deserved to own a Corvette.

Because Lorna (as did her father) believed she was Rachel.

For some, not all, no matter how successful we become, we occasionally have to remind ourselves that Leah needs to take a backseat.

When I buy my next car, will I buy a Porsche?

I don't yet know, but if Rachel has her way, I will.


Can you think of something that you really, really wanted to do, try or buy, and you did? How did you feel?

Is there something you want to do today that you haven't done? Why?

According to the Bem Sex-Role Inventory, a woman is considered feminine only when she is providing resources (time, money, praise) to someone else. How does this societal belief influence your decisions?

To what extent are we gatekeepers for our children's dreams? What would we need to do to fling open the gate?

Contact Us

Fill out this form and we will follow up to create a customized plan to help you build a smart growth organization.

Media & Press Inquiries

including requesting Whitney as a guest on your podcast

Media & Press Inquiries arrow_forward

Gain insight into growth, adaptability and agility

Download our free resources outlining the Accelerants of Growth—including books, podcasts and TEDtalks to help you move up your S Curve of Learning.