Resolve to be thankful in 2012 |

Resolve to be thankful in 2012

We all make them, but how many of the things on our list get dropped off by the end of January?

Make your resolutions practical and easy to accomplish. This year on my list is to visit a sacred site at every equinox in 2012 and focus on gratitude.

I read an article in The Denver Post on Jan. 1 about a man who was down on his luck three years ago, when he decided to be grateful for all the small things in his life. His goal was to write a thank-you note every day of the year to someone acknowledging their efforts for something they did for him.

The small things, like a coffee barista who remembered his name and would greet him with enthusiasm every time he went in for a coffee. Even the small things can make a big difference in someone’s day.

Approximately three years later, he is on his 860th thank-you note, and the opportunities continue to surprise him, when he looks for things everyday to say thank you for. His life has completely turned around in these past three years, and he has written a book about his experience: “A Simple Act of Gratitude,” by John Kralik.

I have decided I am going to adopt this practice for the next year, not on such a large scale, because I think I might set myself up to fail if I have to do it every day, but once a week is a more manageable goal for me. So I would like to begin by thanking all the people who participated in my luminaria night on the winter solstice. For those who didn’t read that article, I distributed 1,000 luminarias to the Vail community, in an effort to bring more light into the longest night of the year on Dec. 21.

As I drove around my neighborhood that night, it warmed my heart to see the glowing luminarias on people’s driveways and front porches, knowing that I had touched other people’s life in some small way.

I also want to thank Caramie Schnell at the Vail Daily for publishing my article and giving me a voice in our community. Thank you.

Next, I want to say thank you to the people at Nest, particularly Constance, who participated in distributing the luminarias at their store. Thank you. Oh, I don’t want to forget to say thank you to the woman named Barbara, who took the time to photograph her luminarias in her driveway and made the effort to find my email through my website to send it to me. Thank you.

And last, but not least, I want to thank my sweet husband who drove up to Vail from Denver in the snowstorm, to share luminaria night with me, and then drove with me around our neighborhood relighting the luminarias that the wind and snow had blown out. Thank you.

See how easy it is? I just thanked five people for helping me bring my vision into fruition in one short article.

Just think of the impact each of us can have on our own little world if we all focused on the little things we are grateful for, and said thank you.

Whatever your New Year’s resolution is, make it manageable, and stick to it. If you do nothing else, make someone else happy when they do something kind and say thank you.

Karen Petersen is the owner of Black Diamond Realty. She can be reached at or through her website at

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