Gratitude – A Key to Happiness

by Jenny Chissus

Sitting with my family on Thanksgiving Day in our cozy home by the fire (thanks Sonny!) I am so thankful and grateful for my wonderful family and many friends. I am thankful that we both have our parents and our children know their grandparents, I’m grateful that my brother Peter is alive today and able to meet his granddaughter Ellie (pictured above),  I’m thankful for the health of my children, that our oldest son KC has a job he’s excited about, I am thankful for our family businesses and the ability to serve the wonderful people in the Seldovia area.

In addition to all my personal reasons for gratitude, I reflect on the many blessings that we enjoy daily in this beautiful community of Seldovia.   We can all be grateful to live here and we can be thankful for the many people and organizations that make our community special:

  • Susan B. English school, our teachers and coaches, counselors, great custodians who keep our school clean, attractive and a welcoming place to be.
  • Beautiful views and incredible wildlife to enjoy up close!
  • Our city workers and volunteers who keep the city running!
  • The Arts Council who sponsor the Summer Solstice Music Festival and brings great music to town year-round (don’t forget the Billy Goat concert on the 30th!)
  • The Seldovia Chamber of Commerce who support the local businesses and events that bring folks and beauty to town (the 4th of July events, Memorial day carving competition and Human Powered Fishing Derby)
  • Individuals who work hard to enhance the services and opportunities to Seldovia such as Kari Hendrich who is leading SHARE – a project creating an amazing location for arts, recreation, education out at the city’s RV park, Tim P. Dillon who applied for and received a grant in order to construct our new pavilion on the waterfront.
  • SVT as they provide many classes and a wide variety of activities to the young and old of Seldovia.
  • For our Police Chief, and Fire and EMS volunteers who serve 24/7 to  keep us safe and care for those in need.
  • For the Seldovia Sea Otter Community Center who opens her doors to provide yoga, ukulele, arts, internet, and many educational classes and events for our Seldovians.
  • For a city manager – Tim Dillon who works hard to keep Seldovia on the forefront of the minds of Alaska’s leaders allowing our community to improve our ability to serve our local community and create economic development as we move into the future.

This is just a short list, and I certainly don’t mean to leave things out, but there are so many reasons to be thankful, and our hearts should be full today! Gratitude is not always an easy thing, but like any other great attribute – the daily practice will have remarkable effects in your life!

Here are a few thoughts that may give you a new look at Gratitude and the effects thereof.  Not only will those around you appreciate the acknowledgement – as you show appreciation, but it will change you for the better as you focus on others and give thanks for your own blessings.

Gratitude Can Change
 Your Life

 – Thoughts to remember every day, not just on Thanksgiving!


Every morning, before you get started on your busy day, think of the 
people who have done something nice for you, to think of 
all the things in your life you’re grateful for.  It
 will instantly get your day off to a great start!

When your attitude is suffering … make a gratitude 
list. There are always things to be
 thankful for — loved ones, your health, your job, a 
roof over your head, clothes on your back, life itself.
  • Don’t get mad, show gratitude.
 It will improve your mood, your relationship, and help 
make things better. This isn’t always easy to do. Focus on something 
that person done nice for you or when they did a good job. If you focus on those things that make you
 grateful, your mood will change!
  • Refrain from criticizing your significant other, show 
gratitude, focus on what you love about that person. Your relationship will
 become stronger.

Please don’t complain about your kids, think of reasons you’re grateful 
for your child. Regularly share these reasons, and always take the opportunity to teach them, instead of
 criticizing them.
  • When you face a major challenge, be grateful, it’s an
 opportunity to grow and learn, and the chance to get better at something.
  This will transform you from a complainer into a positive 
person who only continues to improve.

When you suffer a tragedy, be grateful for the life you
 still have. Show love for the people who are in your life, and to 
appreciate your life to the fullest.

Instead of looking at what you don’t have, look at what
 you do have. Realize that it’s already more than enough, that
 happiness is not a destination — it’s a choice.

So, as you gather around the table today with family and friends, take the opportunity to share what you are thankful for with everyone there – it will truly be a blessing to all!

Thank you for your readership and support of and the Seldovia Gazette – I appreciate you!

Happy Happy Thanksgiving Day!


3 responses to “Gratitude – A Key to Happiness

  1. Here! Here!

  2. You are my favorite Alaskan!! Al


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