Gratitude

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Every week or so I write a post for this blog page, and every week I wonder about what I am going to write about.  It's not always easy coming up with topics to discuss on a salad dressing business page.  There's only so much you can talk about salads, produce, and/or this business.  I really try to keep it interesting and "real."  That being said, I needed to take a few minutes this week to talk about gratitude and it's role in my life because it's something that is really important to me.

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I wrote a bit about my journey to Trixie's on the "Our Story" page of this website and I think it's pretty cool.  My intention is to do a future post explaining some of the real struggles I have had with this business (anyone who owns a business will be able to relate to losing money, learning from mistakes and thinking "what the hell am I doing?" at times).  For now I want to talk about how grateful I am to my supporters, customers and to be able to pursue this business. Additionally, I would like to mention the role being grateful and positive, can have on a person.  I feel that this blog page is a good place to do it. 

According to the website, Psychology Today, "Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has—as opposed to, for example, a consumer driven emphasis on what one wants. Gratitude is getting a great deal of attention as a facet of positive psychology: Studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. In addition, gratefulness—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased energy, optimism and empathy."  So in other words, grateful people tend to be happier people. 1 

Gratitude is something I try to practice every day.  I literally get out of bed in the morning and think to myself, "OK Marge.  What are you grateful for today?"  Some days it's something profound, like the fact that I had a warm bed to sleep in, or my good health and my children's good health.  Other days it's simply the fact that I had a hot cup of coffee, or got a good parking space at the bank.  It doesn't really have to be anything big- it's sometimes little things that make me smile all the more.

I'm writing about gratitude on this website because I often wake up lately and am thankful for this salad dressing business.  Despite the fact that there are days that I’m frustrated with it, tired of making the dressing (yes- at this point I am the CEO, CFO, Director of Sales and Marketing, Salad dressing maker AND dishwasher!), I realize I have found my passion.  I am extremely lucky to be able to have found my passion and I now feel like I know what I want to be when I grow up.  I often stay up late either making dressing, or when I am home, I work on the website, fulfilling internet orders, or even writing this blog post. But what I am most grateful for are these two things: 1) Since I love what I do, it doesn’t feel like work 95% of the time.  I love it.  I love talking about food, experimenting with flavors, and connecting with customers. 2) I am SO grateful for the support I have been shown with regards to this salad dressing. The love and support from friends, family and even strangers sometimes actually overwhelms me, and I sincerely appreciate it. I can't tell you how much it means to me when someone actually tastes the dressings and says how delicious they are or that they are eating more salad because of them. Or other people who either have a small business, or are in the food industry or just have experience with things I don't- who have given me advice, shown me how to do things, or just give me ideas.  I know it sounds ridiculous, but when I am notified by email that a customer has placed an order on the website, it really is a feeling like no other.  OK- I'm not saying it's like winning the lottery, but it is just a happy, content feeling to know that people like the product and are supporting my small business (and therefore supporting me and my 3 boys).   

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Every time I teach a fitness class (if you didn't already know this, I am a group fitness instructor), I ask the class to think about what they are grateful for as we are ending the class and cooling down.  It's a pretty cool position I am in to be able to have an audience 5 days a week, and can remind people to be grateful. 

Think about this too:  Grateful people tend to be happier and can actually prevent diseases and live longer.  According to the Harvard School of Public Health, there have been studies that have demonstrated patients with a positive outlook have better health, a phenomenon written about as well in the Huffington post and several other publications. 2,3 I genuinely feel positivity, gratitude and peace are felt at the cellular level.  

Always focus on what you do have, rather than what you don’t and try to be grateful for everything.  That includes even the bad/negative stuff.  Ask yourself, “what have I learned from this?” and then look at a negative thing as an opportunity to learn and grow.  I know this isn't always easy, but being grateful for even the bad stuff can teach you a lot about yourself.  

Here is a list of some of the things I am grateful for: 

  1. My good health and the good health of my family
  2. Having supportive people in my life (not only with the business but in general)
  3. Finding my passion and loving what I do
  4. Having food in my belly, a warm house, reliable car and a few jobs to go to
  5. People who are NOT so nice, because I try to focus on what I can learn from them (even if it’s just to be patient or how not to treat others)
  6. My dog
  7. A hot cup of coffee in the morning

OK, now it’s your turn.  What are YOU grateful for? Feel free to comment below.

1https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/gratitude

2 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/16/positive-attitude-and-hea_n_5825212.html

3 https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/magazine/happiness-stress-heart-disease/

 

Margaret ChapmanComment