We’re all on some sort of journey, aren’t we? Check back here periodically to find out more about G. Elizabeth Kretchmer’s journeys through the literary world and through life.

Category Archives: Life and Death

Gratitude Challenge: 100 Things To Be Grateful For

kgsapvfg8kw-kalen-emsleyI challenged myself to come up with 100 random things and experiences I’m grateful for.

It was a fun exercise to realize how much I take for granted. (I didn’t time myself, but it took less than an hour to realize how many things I’m grateful for–a worthwhile investment IMHO. Of course I could go on, and on…)

Will you take the challenge?

See how long it takes to come up with 100. Challenge your friends, too, and compare notes. (The only rule: humans and pets are excluded. Why? Because otherwise we might overlook some of the cool and important things and experiences that surround us. But be sure to tell those humans and pets how much you appreciate them, anyway.)

Here goes. (By the way, these are INPO–in no particular order.)

  1. Desert landscapes in the afternoon
  2. Washington red blend wines
  3. Forest hikes
  4. Books
  5. Acoustic guitar
  6. Fits of laughter
  7. Scrabble
  8. Banana-kiwi-mandarin smoothies
  9. Killer and humpback whales
  10. Old photographs
  11. Carpool Karaoke
  12. National parks
  13. Clean air and water
  14. Bakery San Juan cookies (Friday Harbor, WA)
  15. Silk, flannel, smart wool, fleece
  16. Sunrises and sunsets
  17. Wood, rock, and glass
  18. Crackling fires on cold, snowy days
  19. Uggs (and other boots)
  20. Aurelio’s Pizza (Homewood, Illinois)
  21. Hope
  22. Home
  23. Stop signs and air bags
  24. Long underwear
  25. Constellations
  26. Memory
  27. Thank you notes and birthday cards
  28. Money
  29. Naps
  30. Bald eagles, except when they eat ducks
  31. Turmeric ginger tea
  32. Pottery
  33. Beanie babies
  34. Pillows
  35. Contact lenses, reading glasses, sunglasses
  36. Indoor plumbing
  37. Tangerine-scented candles
  38. Electricity
  39. Blenders for smoothies
  40. Alternative energy sources
  41. Silly animal memes
  42. iPhones
  43. Volunteerism
  44. The Internet
  45. Change of seasons
  46. Poetry about changing seasons
  47. Pigeon pose
  48. Blankets
  49. Heating pads
  50. Fingerless gloves
  51. Push pins and binder clips
  52. OCHO chocolate peanut butter bites
  53. Lawn chairs
  54. Blooming lilacs
  55. Grizzly bears
  56. Speed bumps
  57. Coffee House (Sirius Channel)
  58. Reflections on a lake
  59. Mountains
  60. Breath
  61. Woodpeckers
  62. Mass transit
  63. Brain science
  64. Theatre
  65. Screenshots
  66. Podcasts
  67. Chile rellenos
  68. The Awesome Column (Joel Stein, TIME)
  69. Automatic car washes
  70. Kayaks
  71. Tears
  72. Words
  73. The NYT daily mini-crossword puzzle
  74. Flip-flops
  75. Cat fur
  76. Paintings
  77. Toilet paper
  78. My office
  79. My kids’ artwork
  80. YouTube
  81. Potholders
  82. Work. And rest.
  83. My Subaru
  84. Netflix, Showtime and HBO
  85. Ferries
  86. Google Maps, Google Calendar
  87. Vests
  88. Chicago Cubs
  89. Scarves and socks
  90. Air conditioning
  91. Sunscreen
  92. Jewelry
  93. Pastoral settings
  94. Massage
  95. Colonoscopies
  96. Rain
  97. Sun
  98. The delete button
  99. Opposable thumbs
  100. Life

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” ~Marcus Tullius Cicero


Let me know if any of these make it to your top 100!

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Book Review: When Breath Becomes Air

It’s that time of year when many of us are making resolutions and wondering if we’re going to be able to keep them—and calculating what the consequences will be if we don’t. Back in ancient Babylonian times, if a person didn’t keep his promise to repay his debts, he would fall out of favor with… Continue Reading

2 Responses to Book Review: When Breath Becomes Air

  1. Happy to read your review … have come so close to reading this book, but actually a bit scared to. It’s on Powell’s Presidential Reading List for the outgoing president! = Katy in Seattle was the blurb writer: “I think President Obama would enjoy this beautifully written memoir. Deep and expansive, it leaves the reader contemplating legacy, fairness, and what we can’t control.” I may again get brave enough to read it, but still glad for this review!!

    • What’s cool about this book is that everyone seems to get something different out of it. Don’t be frightened by it!

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Frankenstein Monsters, Then and Now

October is monster month! TVs are streaming monster movies like The Fly and The Mummy, and little costumed monsters will soon run amok looking for tasty treats. It’s a great month to read some classic monster literature, like Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Or the one I read recently:… Continue Reading

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Who Wants Happily Ever After?

I’ve been wondering lately who prefers happily ever after endings. In real life, we probably all do. But that’s fantasy. I’m talking stories here. As a reader, I generally go for stories that are messy and complicated and realistic, with messy and complicated and realistic endings. But I know there are lots of people who like endings… Continue Reading

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29 Quotes About Life

On any given day, you and I might have a number of different thoughts and perspectives about life. Sometimes we’re feeling good about it, sometimes not, and no matter how you’re feeling today, I trust you’ll agree that a) life is impermanent; b) it can be difficult, even brutal at times; and c) we can… Continue Reading

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