Hurricane2

Like much of the East Coast, New York City was hit by Hurricane Irene. On Saturday, we checked our flashlights, loaded up on food, filled the bathtub, and hoped for the best.

We were extremely lucky. The hurricane didn’t affect us much -- we didn’t even lose power. And I’m very, very grateful for that.

The hurricane was a good reminder about gratitude. For one thing, it reminded me that I have so much to be grateful for that it seems a bit preposterous that I need to remind myself to be grateful -- but I do. When life is taking its ordinary course, it’s so easy to take everyday life for granted.

Also, the hurricane made me much more mindful of how much I love my apartment and my city, and how safe and secure I generally feel. It's a sad foible of human nature that it often takes loss, or the threat of loss, to make us appreciate what we already enjoy.

For me, one of the main challenges of a happiness project is to maintain that sense of gratitude for everyday life — without a hurricane. As Churchill remarked to Sir John Martin, “You can’t expect to have a war all the time.”

How do you remind yourself to feel grateful, when life is proceeding as usual?

* I really enjoyed cruising around Making It Lovely.

* Want to get my free monthly newsletter? It highlights the best of the month’s material from the blog and the Facebook Page. Email me at gretchenrubin1@gretchenrubin.com. Just write “newsletter” in the subject line.

Recent Posts in The Happiness Project

To Be Creative, What Are the Best Habits to Follow?

With habits, as with happiness, the secret is to figure out ourselves.

One Way to Use Someone Else to Strengthen Your Good Habits

Some people create accountability by pulling another person into the process.

A Happy Habit: Celebrating Valentine’s Breakfast

The days are long, but the years are short.

Which of These 4 Stories Do You Tell Yourself About Money?

People have four basic “money scripts."

Do You Feel a Pull Toward Work or a Pull Toward Leisure?

I’ve started to think about a new distinction I think I may have discovered…

Before & After:Obliger Figures Out How To Exercise Regularly

I read the Four Tendencies framework and the light-bulb went off.