Striving for an attitude of gratitude

I woke up the other morning thinking I was in my old Palm Springs home. Have you ever woken up not sure where you are? It happened frequently when we first moved to Arizona but it hasn’t happened to me for months. But, I started to miss my old Spanish Colonial home that day. It was a very pretty and unique home. Filled with memories.

A view from the kitchen to the living room of our old house. The mirror is now in our master bedroom.

It had a good location, too. So why did we move? For many reasons. Although I loved living downtown Palm Springs, we were right behind a hotel. We constantly had to call the ABC or police when the hotel violated their restrictions on noise. Living next to a busy hotel when they violate their liquor license with outdoor amplified music in the middle of the night wasn’t fun. During 2020 the hotel closed. I’m glad we sold the house before it reopened.

rustic small kitchen

The house was stunning, but not that practical. The kitchen was tiny. We called it a one-butt kitchen, but it worked. I could unload the dishwasher, cook and open the fridge without taking a step. I’d rotate in place. I had more than one friend ask me how I dealt with such a tiny kitchen.

master bedroom with open tub and pillars
The master bedroom of our old home.

Some of the things I didn’t like about the house was it had a carport, not a garage. The carport flooded every time it rained. It also got dusty and dirty, because the desert is dusty and dirty.

Another thing I didn’t like was the lack of storage because the house was built in the 1930s. Also, it was so cold in the winter that my fingers would go numb. And don’t get me started on the four-digit electric bill in the summer.

Another thing I don’t miss is the homeless man who peaked through our bedroom windows and slept in our yard. He terrified me. I’d spot him on our cameras every time we left town. He was watching us. I’d leave for my walk and return to find him in our yard.

Spanish colonial Movie Colony home.
View of our old home.

But we have tons of good memories. We raised our family for more than 28 years in that home. Yes, I’ll miss it even though our new house is so much more practical and less expensive to live in. My husband would like the ability to retire someday. Arizona makes that possible. I also feel like I’m living in luxury with a real garage and a kitchen with more cupboards than I can fill.

So I am grateful to be in Arizona. And I’m thankful for my friends, my cat and my family. You see, I’m practicing more gratitude. I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m going to start my gratitude journal and practice the three blessings before I go to bed at night.

The Three Blessings Exercise

This exercise was created by Dr. Martin Seligman and it is extremely easy to follow:

Before going to sleep every night, write down three things that went well that day. They don’t need to be big things. They can be little things that made you happy or that made you smile, or simply that had a positive impact on you. Then write why they went well.

By doing so you focus on the positive aspects of your day instead of the negatives. After a while, it becomes a habit and your mind gets wired to have a more optimistic approach to your daily life. Studies show that after months of doing this exercise, your well-being increases and you feel overall more optimistic.
I have attempted to do this exercise in the past, but then I forget about it. I think it’s time to get back to it.
sunset view from the Old Movie Colony.
View at sunset from our old backyard.

What are you thankful for as we begin the Fourth of July weekend?

21 thoughts on “Striving for an attitude of gratitude

  1. That is a wonderful house! I have a tiny kitchen like this also but an open living plan. I am grateful for my husband; that we had the ability to buy a new couch without saying ouch today and that I like the neighborhood we live in and we are living within our means which makes retirement easier.

  2. Your old home is beautiful but your new home is also beautiful! I imagine with time you will stop missing California and appreciate Arizona. Have a good weekend!

  3. Moving is fraught with emotional sink holes.. If I really drill down into the sadness I would feel, it had more to do with closing a chapter than leaving the actual home. In that respect, I think moving from the house in Pennsylvania where we lived the longest (almost 11 years) made the rapidly changing family dynamic easier to cope with. (Two of the four had left for college and one was about to go..) The place in Florida doesn’t have as many memories attached to it so it’s somehow easier for me. (Our kids don’t live close.)

      • I told my friend once that I get “homesick” for old times, not necessarily old places. These days I think about the real old times alot..esp when I see movies from the 80s..we just seemed happier then..less tangled in all the mind traps and stupid stuff

      • I did have happy days raising my kids in our old home. You’re correct that’s what I miss more than the physical place. Things were simpler and there was less division back then.

  4. Oh, your former home was beautiful outside and in.
    I love that grateful exercise. I’ve been doing something similar since last fall. Before I fall asleep each night, I say quietly what I’m thankful for that happened that day. It’s been a wonderful way to fall asleep.

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