Three months ago, I stopped writing my monthly gratitude post that I had been writing regularly and diligently for more than a year. It’s not that I don’t believe in gratitude anymore. I still do. I still sit down for a few minutes every single day to dwell upon what I am grateful for on that day. Some days I write it down in my little diary. Yes, it helps me feel positive even if for a few minutes. And yes we all need to take stock and be grateful for what we have in our lives, especially the things we take for granted like our family and loved ones, friends, our work and everything else that enriches us and makes us what we are.

Then why did I stop writing the posts? A few reasons:

Health:

I had a meniscus tear in my knee during the start of April this year. Initially, I thought that was a sprain of the kind that I had many years ago. It took me more than a month to reach out to a doctor who then diagnosed it for me. The journey from then to now has been of a very slow recovery and lots of disappointments. There have been more downs than ups. Every time I feel that I am back to normal, there is a roadblock. It has needed a lot of tears, patience and encouragement of loved ones to regain my motivation to stay focused on healing and getting better. Imagine not being able to bend your knee and walk around for someone as active as I am! It gutted me. And though I tried to keep up the positive note, I could not any more. I felt as if I was being untruthful when I wrote my gratitude posts on health and fitness. I wasn’t happy or even remotely grateful about why I got my injury and how I was struggling with pain and mobility. Today, I am much better and with physiotherapy that I started a couple of months back, I am feeling more ‘normal’ and in tune with my body. We never know how much we crave normal till that normal is snatched away from us. I still have a few months to go till I am totally back to where I was but I am so grateful for reaching here that I am okay with putting in all the work that is needed. Also, I read the signals better and am less judgmental about my own progress. When the body says no, I stop. If it starts hurting, I take a step back.

Honesty:

There is a bunch of stuff that is going on in my life that I am not comfortable sharing publicly especially the private stuff. It makes the gist of how my month unfolded and of my challenges and triumphs. As someone who prides on being upfront and honest, I felt that I was holding back too much to do justice to new gratitude posts every month. I don’t want to be judged. I don’t want to share my deepest joys or sorrows with every random person out there. So what I ended up sharing was very general stuff. And it got boring and repetitive even to me. You know how you do something but your heart is not really into it.

Bragging:

I felt that a lot of stuff I wrote may feel like bragging because we only tend to share achievements when we talk of gratitude. I personally dislike bragging. While I am aware that I am only sharing my happiness at a certain achievement, it may seem to others that I hardly ever speak of the pitfalls. I wanted to avoid doing that, further pruning what I could speak about.

Privacy:

It’s strange that we put stuff out there and still feel that most people would not read what we wrote. I know for a fact that a bunch of people who know me in real life and are not close to me read what I write. It is like telling your deepest secrets to a stranger on a bus. And one wouldn’t wish to do that. Hence, I have been cutting back on sharing more of my life, especially that involving my immediate family. Don’t want unnecessary judgment and unsolicited advice.

Thus, I put a stop to my gratitude posts on the blog. It stopped serving the purpose for which I was writing them. I still practise gratitude which was the original intent when I began writing the posts. As to whether it makes life easier, I am not sure, but it makes us appreciate things more which is a good start. But gratitude is not a magical wand that will make your problems vanish. It may provide you a way to deal with them better.

More power to all my friends whose posts I love reading every month. A special shout out to Vidya, whose kindness and ability to see happiness in the worst of times is an inspiration to me and so many others and whose Gratitude circle was the reason I started writing these posts.

Today morning, I read a post that Shantala wrote that resonated completely with me. And I dug out this one from my drafts to publish.

Let me know if you practise gratitude.

Comments

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21 Thoughts on “Why I Stopped Writing Gratitude Posts

  1. You know Rachna, I have never very comfortable sharing my personal experiences on my blog. It takes a lot of courage to share even random stuff that is of personal nature. Your knee injury has been a real dampener I can imagine, especially considering how active you are. My husband had an ACL injury and it took him more than a year and lots of physio to get back his original mojo. So hang in there, and just keep at it. Loved this honest from the heart post Rachna.

  2. Rachna, its terribly difficult for me to put up personal posts even on FB. What with creeps lurking around, I think a hundred times before even putting a picture especially if its my sons’. But, its the personal stories we love to read more of. You are strong to write about them especially your parenting and fitness journeys. My sons are only slightly older than yours and I can totally understand your dilemmas and practical parenting. Keep writing. you are doing good there.

  3. What I love about you, Rachna, is your honesty & that’s highly inspiring!

    While I completely agree that it’s not easy letting your privy matters categorized into joys & sorrows out to random people who care little about you, it’s also very hard to bring this very feeling of yours on the blog. With every post, you only deserve endless appreciation for that.

    Seeing the silver lining everywhere is what seniors like you have been teaching us. And I’m glad that your knee injury is getting better although at a sluggish pace that you feel it is. I’m sure with the grit you are made of, you’re going to bounce back soon.

  4. Its so true that a lot of what we share on our blogs are a reflection of our personal lives. I do try too to a certain extent to not share much. Infact htere was a time I wouldnt share my pic too. I felt it was my writing that needed to do the talking. Not my face. But slowly I did get comfortable and set my limits. with regards to Gratitude posts, I stopped it too a couple of months back. the main reason For me was a combo of having to share my personal stuff plus, it did seem like bragging.

    A straight from the heart post Rachna, and glad you are doing what makes you feel good.

  5. Take care of your health Rachna as it is the most important duty of oneself. I too do not like sharing my personal Life a lot over social media but then Gratitude is different. It’s not bragging but its just saying thanks for the good times despite all odds we face. As you know, I practice Gratitude on daily basis but yes, I stopped sharing it.
    Loved reading your honest post-Rachna.

  6. First of all lots of love, Rachna.

    I can completely understand where you are coming from. I don’t know if it is a phase or something, but there is too much negativity out there these days I feel and I have somehow lost the will for interaction as well as a result of that. So, I know what or why you have taken this decision.

  7. That line, “We never know how we crave normal until that normal is snatched away from us.”….had me nodding all along.

    So sorry to hear about your knee, Rachna. Hugs, dearie! For someone who has always been active, it must feel like being imprisoned! But, I am sure you will feel better slowly and steadily.

    Being grateful for every little thing we experience is so important and you are doing it…Sending a prayer of gratitude heavenwards at the end of the day is bound to make us feel better instantly and I am sure that is how you feel, too. I too wrote a couple of gratitude posts but then discontinued for fear of, how do I say, being too happy for my happiness and jinxing it.

    You take care, my dear, and write what comes from the bottom of your heart and makes you happy.

    Love and hugs!

  8. I read this in the morning but was working so I wanted to come back and re-read and leave a comment.

    First of all, BIG HUGS. I totally get where you’re coming from. It’s not quite the reason I stopped writing my gratitude posts. Mine was primarily due to the wrist injury and then the main blog’s demands took over.

    But this is totally understandable. It’s very difficult to put yourself out there, write deeply personal posts and then be found wanting or accused of things by people you both know and barely know. Your injury is something only you know and it can’t be easy to have worked through it and you don’t need to justify it to anyone. Ever.

    I am glad you still practise gratitude because it IS a beautiful emotion. It’s what keeps me going every single day. And you’re right. I don’t share most of what goes on in my life anymore, not even with friends these days, because I totally understand that my sorrows and difficulties are just that: Mine. How much can one person sympathise after all?

    These days, I have cut back on social media unless it’s for my work and I am so much happier without guilt or stress. I’ve consciously shifted my focus towards my work with renewed energy and it’s been helping a lot.

    You do what works for you, Rachna. Always and always. And you always know that if you need to talk, I am right here, just a phone call away. Hugs again. 🙂
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently posted…Multi Tasking The Right WayMy Profile

  9. Madan chavan on October 9, 2018 at 6:43 pm said:

    Oh, It Is very sad to know hiccup in your daily healthy routine, Hope you will recover soon. If you can put your habit of eating second meal as early as 7.00PM, most health problem reduces
    Good wishes

  10. This is so honest and inspiring actually. I really enjoy reading other people’s gratitude posts but I don’;t o them myself kind of along hr same lines as you’ve outlined above.

  11. I am really hoping your knee rights itself soon, Rachna. I know how much you want that.

    This is the reason you are one of my favourite bloggers. You are real. Over the years, I have met so many bloggers who do not walk the talk, and you are certainly not one of them.

    I attempted writing Gratitude Posts on the insistence of my fellow-bloggers. Stopped, as I just didn’t feel it.

    Like you, the lack of privacy was my biggest concern.

    I acknowledge gratitude, feel it, express it and return it, and I have never felt the need to write a post to prove it.

  12. Your gratitude posts were so inspiring for me, Rachna and I’m sad to see it go. But if you think it is right, then well, I’m happy for you.

    I know many people who think of it as bragging when we post something positive. These are the same people who think of us as failures when we post something negative. There is a thin line when it comes to dealing with such people and it sure is not easy.

    Writing gratitude posts or monthly replay posts make me feel happy and content. I write it for me and I’m 100% honest in what I write. If I’ve failed, it makes it to the post. If I’ve succeeded, it makes it to the post as well. How other perceive it, I don’t care. It was not easy, but with time I’ve grown thick skin.
    Soumya recently posted…#FeministMondays | Believe Survivors, Believe WomenMy Profile

  13. This is such a honest post and straight from your heart. We all share personal stuff knowingly or unknowingly sometimes as a writer/blogger but agree with you that we must know what to share and how much to.share. You must do what feels right.
    Wish you a speedy recovery and hope your knee gets better soon. Hugs.

  14. I think you have to do what is right for you. I know what you mean about the personal stuff on the blog – I used to be way more open but in the last year, I have cut down on things. Partly because of my work, partly because I know a lot of people in my real life also read it. Having said that, I still share a fair bit more and shared one today that took a long time to write!

    In the end, the fact that you are continuing to practice gratitude on a daily basis is all that matters. Also, I am sorry to hear about your injury and that it was worse than initially realised.
    Sanch @ Sanch Writes recently posted…Mental illness does not discriminate #WorldMentalHealthDayMy Profile

  15. code2cook on October 10, 2018 at 9:56 pm said:

    Reading it brings more confidence that actually few people are there who think this way. I am not active on social media, just for my blog. I had been checking many gratitude posts on the blog these days, what is the actual effect obviously known to all. But I feel it is more a documentation page online. I myself do not like to open to anyone and read about me. Even I dont prefer sharing my joys or sorrow to anyone outside. due to which people do feel that I am weird. Nicely written and felt like some of my thoughts. Wish you a very speedy recovery. These days even I am having problem in my heel but dint get doc appointment. in US it is difficult to get appoinment. Hope to be fine soon.

  16. I have so much to say about this that I don’t know where to begin. First, let me just say Thank You for making me introspect. You’ve put into words what I didn’t even realise.

    This is the exact reason my blog has gaps, sometimes month-long ones, when I’m unable to write at all, given that almost all I write on the parenting blog is so very personal. Somedays I just do not have the mindset to sieve through what I’m feeling in order to divide what should go on the blog and what shouldn’t and so I just stop writing.

    Also, this is the reason I have always found it hard to write gratitude posts. This year has been slightly different in that I promised myself that I’d do the posts and so I imply block out the bits that aren’t going well and focus on writing about things that are. Obviously that makes the post rather lop-sided and unidimensional but I’ve stopped caring about that.

    That bit about honesty is bang on true for me. I’ve tried writing posts without putting my heart in them, just to keep the blog alive, and the posts have come out looking terrible – like you said ‘general and boring and repetitive’.

    I do hope your injury is better and that you’ll get back to writing your gratitude posts. I think I’ve told you earlier that many times I’ve read yours and gone back to writing mine. Now I realise that would have been possible only because the honesty in your post would have reached out to me.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…Finding Peace this September #GratitudeCircle #MondayMusingsMy Profile

  17. For 2 years, I used to put up the 100 Happy Day posts and show off moments and achievements in my life. But of late, the inner turmoil and sense of loss has just been so strong.

    I used to keep thinking Id participate in these monthly gratitude posts with you all and never could bring myself to write a happy post about things. This is despite winning contests and stuff.

    Life does that to you. And I guess, its okay.

  18. I am glad my post made you take this one out of drafts to publish. You know I agree with all those pointers you mention. They are the same concerns I share.

    Especially the ones about privacy, judgement and bragging. IRL (or rather offline) I am a relatively private person, who doesn’t share a whole lot of her thoughts very openly and freely, much less, feels comfortable bragging about her accomplishments.

    Also, IRL, I have been known to prioritize everyone in my family above myself. I know it’s something I need to work on fixing, because you cannot pour from an empty cup. That being said, my blog was the one place where I put myself first, and shared what my innermost thoughts were, and what goals I want to focus on. So when that got ridiculed, it made me shrink right back into the shell I was comfortable in offline.

    But honestly, speaking specifically of the quarterly goals series, I know it helped me stay on track and move ahead, and for that alone, I plan to bring it back. I am sure it will get criticized again, even if it’s not done openly, but I couldn’t care less. Because through my blog, I have also met wonderful people who have now become a virtual family of sorts, who I know will understand, truly care, and it’s them I don’t want to stop sharing with. Especially because public accountability still does help me as well.

    I wish you a speedy recovery with the knee. I know it’s hard to stay upbeat all the time when going through the struggles that pull us down. But you are making a stellar effort. And you and your fitness posts continually inspire me to stay on track. I cannot thank you enough for that.
    Shantala recently posted…Why I Stopped Posting Quarterly Goals on My Blog (Among Other Things)My Profile

  19. Please take care of your knee… Knee issues can be painful and long! Ugh! I’m so glad you are getting better and feeling more normal.
    I need to start writing again!

  20. Gratitude comes from the heart, not by writing posts. No matter whether you write one or not, I hope you’re still thankful. Do take care of that knee, it can be painful but can always come around.

  21. It’s important to take things slow since our body is not competing against anyone. Just had a minor surgery and taking things slow, be it writing or anything else. Some significant reasons on the whys of stopping the gratitude posts. Take care of your health. I am grateful to the simple things in life, be it chai, friends and life in itself, thank everyone who played a tiny part in my life.

    Happy Diwali

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