How Gratitude Works

“Thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G. K. Chesterton

I usually feel grateful when some kindness exceeds my expectations and catches me off guard. Like when a friend sends flowers just to let me know that she is thinking of me or my daughter gives me a hug “just because”.

These gestures don’t have to big or even expensive. Sometimes the smaller ones, like an unexpected note, are the most fulfilling.

Expectations play a big roll in setting my moods and emotions, none more so than the glorious emotion of gratitude. But expectations can sometimes backfire.

A case in point was when Eric and I were first dating and I was convinced that he was planning a surprise party for my birthday. So on the big day, instead of appreciating an evening of theater, dinner and dancing that he had planned, I kept expecting my friends to pop around the corner and yell “Surprise!”

The evening culminated in me bursting into tears and having to confess to a bewildered Eric what my expectations had been. At that moment, I felt like an ungrateful wrench. I had let my anticipation ruin a perfectly lovely evening.

A few years later, Prince Eric planned a surprise birthday party six weeks after my actual birthday. Friends at the party asked me if was I really surprised… “WHY YES!” I answered, overflowing with gratitude.

I would like to get to the point where I take nothing for granted, not a sunny day or a quick word of praise. Quieting the mind and just being in the moment will hopefully help me be more grateful.

People with grateful dispositions know one thing that others don’t. With all the foibles and ups and downs of everyday living, life won’t surpass their dreams but it will very nicely surpass their expectations.









Tag along as I share musings on everything from family to business, which will hopefully inspire you and stir the mind. I am happy that you are along for the journey. Here’s to Living Lively!


  • Maggie
    August 15, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Very beautiful post. I have been learning about gratitude and being thankful of my blessings.

    x Maggie

  • Jennifer
    August 15, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    Thanks Maggie. It’s certainly a work in progress for me.

  • Much love, Gail
    August 16, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Hi Jennifer Thank you for your inspiration. With everything that goes on, in the world, in our own lives,, LIFE IS WONDERFUL because we have so much to be thankful for. I saw a quote by Nikki Rowe and would like to share it with you. “No one knows what you’ve been through or what you’re pretty little eyes have seen, but I can reassure you – whatever you have conquered, it shines through your mind.”

  • Theresa Moore
    August 16, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Wonderful post!
    xo Theresa

  • Amira Ingram
    August 16, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Your post radiates sincerity and openness.
    Thank you, Jennifer

  • Mary Toboni
    August 17, 2016 at 1:57 am

    I’m grateful for your blog and all the wonderful pieces you post!

  • Sheila
    August 17, 2016 at 2:41 am

    Thinking of you Jeff

  • Macy
    August 17, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    This post resonates with me so much, right down to the surprise party story. There have been endless occasions where I THOUGHT something was coming and when it didn’t I was so upset. In the end, I should have felt thankful for what did happen.

  • Anonymous
    August 25, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    My life like yours is a work in progress. Hopefully, all of us are evolving…

  • Anonymous
    August 25, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Miss you