Expressing gratitude isn’t a job or a task with no reward. As with any aspect of life, and especially when it comes to relationships, it’s really important to express these thoughts and their attached emotions to increase your presence, focus, connection, and in turn, your own happiness.

As The Man and I embark on 2017, I want to remain focused on the relationship and our deep-seeded love for one another. This year brings about new goals to achieve, including buying a home; and new chapters to embark upon including parenthood. Being focused, connected, present, and happy is more important than ever.

This fire life that we share is equally rewarding as it is difficult, so here are 52 topics to explore my own gratitude for my partner and his career. I hope that this helps other fire wives and girlfriends because staying focused on the love is important when tension arises in a relationship.

52waystoappreciate

  1. The day that brought you two together: How did you feel at the moment?
  2. What role did your city and your surroundings play in the meeting between you and your firefighter?
  3. What aspect of your relationship gives you an inflated sense of pride?
  4. What trait or accomplishment of your partner are you most proud of?
  5. What would your partner say is the trait or accomplishment for which he is most proud of you?
  6. How have the friendships you and your firefighter have developed because of the job strengthened your bond?
  7. Who, friend or family member, has been the biggest supporter outside of the relationship? How have they supported your love?
  8. What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned from another fire relationship?
  9. What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned from your own fire relationship?
  10. Since starting the job or relationship, what is the toughest obstacle you and your firefighter have overcome together?
  11. What are some of the core values of your relationship?
  12. Where was your most memorable trip or outing with your partner? What made it so special?
  13. What is your favorite winter memory with your partner?
  14. Five ways you have changed for the better since the fire life started.
  15. Five ways your firefighter has changed for the better since the fire life started.
  16. What is the most enjoyable fire department event that you two attended?
  17. What is the most enjoyable non-fire department event that you two attended?bethankful
  18. What is the most significant compliment you’ve received from your firefighter?
  19. What was the most from-the-heart compliment you’ve given your firefighter?
  20. Your favorite memory of a shared experience before the fire life started.
  21. Your favorite memory of a shared experience after the fire life started.
  22. What event or occasion in 2017 are you most anticipating with your partner?
  23. Any significant goals that you would like to achieve as a couple in 2017?
  24. What invaluable non-material gift has your firefighter given you?
  25. What is your favorite springtime memory with your partner?
  26. Is there a special memory created in your firefighter’s hometown or neighborhood for which you are grateful?
  27. For whom in your firefighter’s family are you most grateful?
  28. Is there anyone in the firehouse or in the fire life that has been an invaluable leader or mentor?
  29. A time or a joke shared by you and your firefighter where the laughs seemed to go on forever.
  30. What is your favorite weird thing to do either to or with your firefighter?
  31. When has your firefighter really stepped up and been an unparalleled supporter for you?
  32. When have you needed to really step up and be that same unparalleled supporter for your firefighter?
  33. What is one gift or ability that your partner has that truly sets him/her apart from everyone else in your life?
  34. What is one gift or ability that you possess that has been highlighted by your relationship?
  35. What is something that can easily be taken for granted in your relationship that you can acknowledge now? appreciation
  36. If you had the ability to grant any wish that your firefighter desires, what would it be?
  37. What is your favorite memory from the first three months of your relationship?
  38. What is your favorite memory from the last three months of your relationship?
  39. What is your favorite summertime memory with your partner?
  40. Which holiday is your favorite to share with your partner?
  41. What photo of you and your firefighter is your favorite?
  42. What is the coolest thing you’ve learned about the firefighting industry? (Let’s face it, as firefighter girlfriends, partners, and wives, we buff out, too!)
  43. What piece of technology are you most grateful for, as it pertains to your relationship?
  44. How did the time of your life (age, job situation, life situation) play into the inception of your relationship with your firefighter?
  45. What is one thing that your partner can say or do that just makes your smile instantly?
  46. What is different about today than a year ago in your relationship for which you are grateful?
  47. Is there something specific to the firefighting industry that you are thankful for?
  48. What is your favorite autumn memory with your partner?
  49. Find balance between the negative and positive: When your firefighter is away at the house, what do you enjoy doing on your own?
  50. What is the sure fire way to improve your partner’s mood?
  51. What is the sure fire way that your partner can improve your mood?
  52. Has this exercise in gratitude and appreciation affected you as an individual? Your relationship? Your interactions with his colleagues?

I hope that this exercise in gratitude exploration helps me reach new levels of love and appreciation in 2017. And it is also my hope that it inspires and strengthens relationships everywhere.