How many times have you sat on the side of your bed before getting up and said these words? When we declare this is how our day will be we mean it…and then our feet hit the floor and every obstacle gets in the way of our choice for the day. The coffee pot seems to be taking centuries to brew the coffee. Jumping into the shower, all lathered in soap, you realize you forgot to put clean towels in the bathroom cabinet leaving no option except using the hand towel to dry off. Wow, the day is off to a fabulous start…but you are still choosing gratitude today.

Living an intentional life is not always easy but it can enrich our lives and those around us.Running out the door to get into the car, you suddenly remember…yep, meant to stop for gas yesterday. Running late already, now you have to stop for gas. Things are beginning to build up a little and yes, you can feel that little twang of irritation…shake it off, it’s “GRATITUDE day.”

Arriving at the office, of course racing towards the second cup of coffee of the morning before settling in to check emails and see what is on the calendar to do. Oh great, you have a meeting you forgot about…hmm will these clothes work…wish you had chosen the new dress you just bought, but oh well it is what it is. A busy day; meetings, phone calls, deadlines, even had to miss lunch with your friend. Luckily you had a frozen dinner in the lunchroom. Yes, oh so grateful that everyone seems to be dumping stuff on you today but then finally, the day is over and you are done. Beyond happy to go home and put your feet up and chill, you dash for your car.

On your way home you pass a young couple standing on the corner with a sign, “homeless and hungry.” Feeling bad you begin to review your day. You got up today from a warm bed in your own place and made coffee. You had hot water for a shower even though it was funny drying with a hand towel. You had a car to get to work…even better you had a job, even with all the deadlines. The clothes you wore were acceptable for your meeting and when you were hungry you had food, not what you had wanted but it filled your needs. Gratitude. Yes, suddenly you realize that you chose the right word for today, and tomorrow, you might just choose gratitude again and sign up to volunteer at the shelter.

Living an intentional life is not always easy but it can enrich our lives and those around us. There are many choices in life, we can choose to be unhappy and look at the glass as half empty or change our view and see that it is half full. We can watch the rain and think how it ruined our plans or we can be excited and hope to see a rainbow when the rain stops. We all make choices, the secret is to make them wisely and choose how we want to paint the portrait of our lives.