Gini Dietrich

The Grateful Challenge

By: Gini Dietrich | November 24, 2014 | 

Grateful Challenge: Kelly Dietrich and Jack BauerBy Gini Dietrich

Last week, Jennifer Devitt emailed me and issued a challenge.

She reminded me that, last year, I did the 82 Things I Love challenge. The idea is to list as many things that you love in just 10 minutes, with the hopes that you can get to 99 (I suppose you also have to be able to type really fast).

It was during Thanksgiving week and Jen thought we should do it again, with a twist.

She said:

What do you say we make this a yearly tradition and see how they have changed or what new things pop up? It’s fabulous to count our blessings each year!

So here we go. I got to 82 last year (didn’t meet the 99 threshold). Let’s see if I can beat it.

The Grateful Challenge

  1. Kelly Dietrich, the Most Patient Man on Earth (as Ken Jacobs has deemed him).
  2. Jack Bauer—even though he continues to get into the freezer, padlock and all.
  3. A big huge change in our personal lives this year that has taught me patience and given me complete joy.
  4. My momma, who is my best friend and confidante.
  5. The renewed relationship with my dad.
  6. My mother-in-law, who shares a love of wine, books, and fashion with me.
  7. My father-in-law, who thinks I walk on water.
  8. Fifteen little faces who call me Aunt Gini.
  9. Three sisters-in-law… who may as well be blood.
  10. Mattie Dietrich’s dumb Laffy Taffy jokes.
  11. Grandma Dietrich (Kelly’s gramma), who is so special to me, she received the inscription in Spin Sucks.
  12. Kelly’s best friend from high school, who is like a fifth brother to me.
  13. Five siblings who call me the older (but not bigger!) sister.
  14. My sister, who makes me laugh nearly every day.
  15. Lindsay Bell-Wheeler, who always keeps things in perspective for me and who always sends me goofy pictures of her and her husband, which always makes me laugh.
  16. Laura Petrolino, who allows me to keep my competitive spirit alive.
  17. Eleanor Pierce, who can call me mouthy and totally get away with it.
  18. Jess Ostroff, who cracks me up daily.
  19. Sneaking away for a rare, but fun lunch with Jeannie Walters.
  20. Abbie Fink, who teaches me about thoughtfulness and generosity consistently.
  21. Ken Jacobs, who leaves me ridiculous (but hilarious) voice messages…that I save so I can listen from time-to-time.
  22. Riding the El to meetings, which allows me to read (I mean, it allows me time to work…yeah, that’s what I meant).
  23. Andy Crestodina’s brain (okay, I like the rest of him, too).
  24. Dallas Kincaid who texts me non-stop like this: Gini. Hi. GINI. HI. DIETRICH. WHERE ARE YOU? ANSWER ME NOW! (All within five minutes of one another.) But he would do almost anything for me and is a great person to bounce business ideas off of and, for that, I am grateful.
  25. My friend, Mike Koehler, whom I have known way longer than I care to admit (since high school).
  26. My status with American Airlines, that means I get through airports without much hassle.
  27. My new Wolf oven.
  28. My bicycle that has thousands of miles on it.
  29. FaceTime and Skype and Google Hangouts.
  30. Cupcakes (but I’d be more grateful if they didn’t have any calories).
  31. Making lasagna from scratch and watching friends and family practically lick their plates when they’re finished.
  32. In fact, I’m grateful anytime a friend or family member asks me to make something special for them.
  33. SNOW!
  34. Pinterest!
  35. Even though my kitchen is much too small (hint, hint, Kelly!), I am grateful that I love to cook so it’s not a burden every day.
  36. The ability to taste something in a restaurant and then recreate it in my kitchen.
  37. Tulips because they make me so happy (especially when Whole Foods has them this time of year).
  38. A really good book (I’m nearly finished with The Goldfinch, which may have caused me to stay up way past my bedtime several nights in a row).
  39. Doing the Flat Stanley project for Joe Hackman’s son.
  40. Hosting everyone for Thanksgiving.
  41. My cooking journal because it allows me to go back and see how I’ve progressed throughout the years.
  42. The bicycle desk I made on my stationary bike so I can ride during work meetings.
  43. Working from home.
  44. Not having to drive a car.
  45. No commute.
  46. A publisher who believed in me not once, but twice.
  47. Getting paid to speak.
  48. Running pants and jackets from Lululemon (super comfy AND flattering).
  49. Jack Bauer snuggled up in my lap, as if he weighs only 20 pounds instead of 110.
  50. Nieces piling in bed with me when they visit, and falling asleep to a movie.
  51. Winter clothes: Hats, scarves, boots, sweaters, and mittens.
  52. Skiing (both downhill and cross country).
  53. The weather app on my phone (I LOVE the weather).
  54. Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens (it popped into my head!).
  55. Not having a large pile of dirt in our front yard any longer.
  56. A financial guru, who not only helps me with that side of the business, but has become my best advisor.
  57. An attorney, who is a SOB (which I love because he always sticks up for my company).
  58. Being in charge of my own destiny.
  59. A job that allows me the ability to write every day.
  60. My friends who put up with me at least weekly—Chel Wolverton, Justin Brackett, Kate Nolan, Jason Konopinski, Howie Goldfarb, Kevin Vandever, Ces Guerra, Andy Donovan, Patrick Reyes, Bryan Willmert, Pascale Bishop, Lisa Diomede, Danny Brown, Helen Levinson, John Corrigan, Blair Minton, DJ Waldow, Liz Reusswig, Marcy Mechanic, Neicole Crepeau, and Carlos Cruz. (I’m certain I just shot myself in the foot by listing people because there are many I’ve missed.)
  61. The crazy friends I’ve made out there in the digital world—those I run into at conferences and those I just see on The Facebook or The Twitters.
  62. In fact, I am grateful for The Facebook so I can keep up with so many of you so easily.
  63. Our clients, who allow us to take risk, make them some money, and pay their bills on time.
  64. Those of you who take the time to either write blog posts about this blog or send me private messages about how much it helps you. THAT always makes my day and makes all this hard work worth it.
  65. Everyone who has subjected themselves to the Spin Sucks Inquisition this year.
  66. Every, single guest blogger, who spends time not only creating content for this blog, but engaging with our community.
  67. The Spin Sucks community—every one of you who reads, shares, comments, emails or private messages me…and even those of you who catch my typos and privately point them out.

Nope. Totally didn’t beat it. It’s a little bit harder when you’re not writing one word answers for the things you love. Rather, you’re listing the things you’re grateful for, in honor of Thanksgiving.

Challenge to You

If you blog—or even if you want to post to Google+ or Facebook—Jen and I challenge you to see how many things you are grateful for this year.

Set the timer for 10 minutes and have a go.

No cheating! Ten minutes is all you get.

The idea, of course, is that you have so many things you are grateful for, it’s an easy list to write.

If you’re so inclined, leave the link to your list in the comments here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

photo credit: This is one of my favorite pictures of Mr. D and Jack Bauer. Notice the first generation iPhone and an iPad. Cracks me up!

P.S. Just a reminder there won’t be blog posts on Thursday or Friday this week.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • I’m in! (And to your list I’ll say … I love (not in this order) tulips, Flat Stanleys, and all the connections we make in the digital world (well, except for the creepers …)). I read the Goldfinch too (audio). I am not in the “zillion percent loved it” camp but it was a great read ….

  • There are too many things on this last that made me laugh out loud to comment on them all. Though I’m surprised your new oven wasn’t #1!! LOL Love you kid, keep up the good work, you’ll really make something of yourself one day. 😉 xox

  • biggreenpen I fell asleep reading it last night. I’ll have it finished this week. It’s a beast!

  • belllindsay I do love that oven!

  • Pingback: What Can You List In Ten Minutes? | Nancy A. Davis()

  • That was hard! Too many thoughts and I can’t type that fast without mistakes! Here is a list,. not nearly long enough, but oh well –

  • I ditto belllindsay’s sentiments and one thing I LOVE this annual exercise!  Also, I’m humbled & honored to be on your crazies, um, I mean friend list!  I’m in and will link it up later today!! xoxoxo

  • NancyDavis Nancy, I loved your post!

  • I’m thankful for the encouragement. 🙂 I’ve been journaling about this lately, and recently read an interesting article on Brain Pickings about the benefits of focusing on gratitude. Grateful for all I’ve learned here and the positive people! Happy Thanksgiving week!

  • NancyDavis It’s hard, right? I wonder if it’d be easier if you wrote it out, long hand?

  • lizreusswig Of course you are! I will always have a visual of you running through Barnes & Noble to meet me for lunch. I love that.

  • Word Ninja Happy Thanksgiving week to you!

  • What a great list, Gini! I’m thankful our paths crossed the 1st time, and continue to cross in these spaces. Wish it was in-person, but it’s all good…very, very good. Love you! 🙂

  • NancyMyrland I wish it were in person, too! Love you back.

  • This is your practice for when you finally win that Oscar….I mean Grammy….I mean Tony…..I mean Globe……I just invented the Oscar Grammy Tony Globe Award crap hash browns are burninng BRB!

  • That warmed my heart, thanks.

  • Howie Goldfarb I feel like you should not comment on Spin Sucks until your coffee has been brewed and your breakfast has been eaten.

  • ginidietrich you obviously lost the secret code decoder ring I sent you last year. Hash browns are burning is code for someone with a gun is at my door and I will be right back after I kill them. #SecretNinjaLife

  • OK back. I think if you just stuck to the subject vs the color commentary you could of nailed 100. I know when you wrote about belllindsay you stopped for at least 3 minutes thinking….’did I really just type that?’.

    I am going to do this I think it is wicked super cool. This Kelly guy you sometimes mention much really like you putting up with so much of your shenanigans and hooliganism.

    How did Sydcon_Mktg ‘s list make it past 1] LA Kings 2] NY Islanders 3] Howie Goldfarb 4……4……..4……

  • ginidietrich lizreusswig I thought running in B&N was a felony in most states. The sign clearly says walk when you enter.

  • ginidietrich I just noticed you left out the movie Gigli can you please explain yourself?

  • Boy, you got very specific this time around. It is amazing how many things we take for granted that are indeed blessings. I’m with you on #36 (“the ability to taste something in a restaurant and recreate it in my own kitchen”). My mom did that so consistently over the years—and got very good at it—and now I find myself doing the same thing. Love your list.

  • ginidietrich I may have to try that. My long hand is hard to read lol. I want updates on that turkey and on JB and his attempts to eat all the food!

  • I am thankful for ginidietrich for taking me up on the challenge as well as inspiring me to do this in the first place last Thanksgiving!

    I love these posts for two reasons. 1 would be we should all appreciate and be thankful for what we have in or life, no matter how big or small. And 2, I love learning more about my friends by reading their lists!

    Happy Thanksgiving all!

  • Howie Goldfarb Ha! We will see what happens on Saturday when the Blackhawks meet the Kings while on their Circus trip! As for the Islanders, they should be thankful for the Blackhawks sending them Nick Leddy! And of course, Howie, my hockey friend how could I not be thankful for you?!?

  • KateNolan

    Woo hoo! I made the list! Take that, Dallas! Wait… darn it. I need to work on that for next year. And why do I envision a jar on your desk with Andy’s brain in it? I’ll have to try this later tonight and see what I come up with!

  • M_Koehler

    I’ll have to work on this sometime this week. 3 people down in the office so I’m picking up the slack. I’m instantly grateful for espresso and Aleve. And you my friend, ye who helps keep me sane.

  • I will get to this, but right now I’m working on my list of grievances and people who have WRONGED me!

  • Gini;

    I really committed to daily gratefulness this year (Details here if anyone cares: ) and it’s been a crazy positive change. It makes every day better, it makes me less grumpy and more resilient, it’s all around awesome. 

    I may have to take the challenge too.



  • RobBiesenbach That’s the holiday spirit!

  • My list is just “MAKING IT TO GINI’S GRATEFULNESS LIST” over and over again for 10 minutes. <3

  • NancyDavis We replaced the padlock that he ate through … and now we can’t find the key!

  • blfarris Nice post!

  • blfarris I’ve been doing a daily gratitude list every day since I was 13. It’s the last thing I do before I go to bed and I love it! It helps me put perspective on life.

  • RobBiesenbach I like the cut of your jib!

  • Eleanor Pierce HAHAHA! I know, right? YAY!!!! So exciting!

  • JudyDunn This is why I like greasy spoon cafes, for this very reason! 🙂

  • belllindsay “Kid”? You do know ginidietrich is older than even you, right? 🙂

  • I loved this last year, I love it more this year, and I LOVE that I made your list (oh look I have three things already….) I’ll do my ten minutes tonight and report back!

  • I’m mentioned in #1 and @Dallas Kincaid is #24.  “Morning’s at seven/All’s right with the world”

  • Danny Brown  Ha! Well, to each his own, I guess. Greasy spoon food might be comfort food for you.

  • ginidietrich Did he eat the key? X-ray his stomach!

  • KensViews You’re actually mentioned twice!

  • LauraPetrolino Oh jeez.

  • Eleanor Pierce LOL!!!

  • blfarris I cannot imagine you ever being grumpy or less resilient.

  • RobBiesenbach Like the deal with your roof?

  • M_Koehler Espresso and Aleve?! LOL!

  • KateNolan I wish I could carry Andy’s brain around with me!

  • sydcon_mktg Thank you for the suggestion! I had forgotten about it until you emailed me. xoxo

  • JudyDunn It’s A LOT harder to do it when you get this specific. I like your way better.

  • KateNolan

    ginidietrich Me, too! Also, I’ve decided it’s not a jar, but a Magic 8-Ball.

  • KateNolan

    ginidietrich NancyDavis Wait… don’t you have Thanksgiving in your freezer??? Time to get the bolt-cutters out!

  • KateNolan

    ginidietrich belllindsay I’m insanely jealous of that oven!

  • KateNolan Andy, is this the correct keyword for this blog post? It shall be seen.

  • KateNolan NancyDavis Um. Yes.

  • Danny Brown belllindsay I am so not older than her!

  • OMG, you’re right.  And that’s #21, so I’m still way up above @DallasKincaid. I’d better leave you a hysterical voicemail, and soon.  (BTW, do you still have the one from after #CAPRSA NOLA?!) #OurLittleSecret!

  • DallasK

    Um, why am I #24 on this list and Ken Jacobs is mentioned multiple times?  Remember Tonya Harding, Jacobs?  Its going to be a shame when someone takes a tire iron to your knuckles so you can’t type anymore!

  • Is it sad being #24 on this list DallasK ? Plus I’m mentioned twice, and in #1.  And you all heard Dallas threaten me with physical violence. Again!

  • Pingback: The Grateful Challenge | Christina L. Pappas()

  • ginidietrich belllindsay

  • Loved it! I´ve published my post before seeing yours. LOL.

  • Happy Thanksgiving to you all Spin Sucks crazies!

  • DallasK Paula Fun Fact (besides my, ahem, “Broadway Career”). I was at those National Figure Skating Championships in Detroit in 1994. #TrueStory

  • KensViews Please take him down, Ken.

  • Corina Manea And you mentioned me TWICE! YAY!! Thank you!

  • DallasK I wish I had put you very last on the list.

  • KensViews I don’t still have that one 🙁

  • G: Right in the middle of #54 my deep, Very Manly inner voice… turned into Julie Andrews…all rhymie and pretty. How’d you do that? Just a few of my…
    Getting the Weber ready for BBQ Turkey in the Byard!
    A warm & wonderful Turkey Day with blessings on ya, Kent

  • ginidietrich DallasK maybe next year!

  • ginidietrich M_Koehler a classic headache cure, for sure.

  • JudyDunn Danny Brown That’s a list I could get behind or… I mean in front OF!!!

  • designarts And these are a few of my favorite things! Happy Thanksgiving, Kent!

  • ginidietrich

    orbiteers Hiiii!

  • ginidietrich KensViews Oh, DallasK  is going down. As he would say “HE’S GOING DOWN!”

  • scribblinghappy

    Dang it. I’m in-between websites so I’ll just have to keep the list in my journal. But what a great habit to cultivate!

  • Jack Bauer 2nd….Momma 4th… okay sure….have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  • M_Koehler

    designarts ginidietrich M_Koehler Well one keeps me going and the other keeps me going. We won’t discuss the amount of either that is generally consumed.

  • ginidietrich okee dokee here’s mine. I only got to 33 (gasp!). I did have to cheat and add my parents in after the ten minute mark because they would have been heartbroken to have been excluded. Full disclosure. 🙂

  • biggreenpen LOL! I think that’s okay. I’ll give it to you.

  • Here you go! Jack Bauer needs a boot camp! I got a Guy!

    Here you go! My challenge again!

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  • AbbieF

    Gini – great post and thanks for including me.  I was challenged on my birthday to come up with 50 things I’m grateful for. Took the month to write it, thought I’d share it here.  Happy Thanksgiving my friend.

  • AbbieF Yay! I’m glad you took the challenge. I’ll stop by later today to read it.

  • scribblinghappy In your journal totally works!

  • Digital_DRK They’re not in any particular order! You can’t prioritize them when you have only 10 minutes to write.

  • janbeery Yay! I’ll stop by!

  • ginidietrich next year….11 minutes , prioritized using the dewey decimal system.