A couple years ago I wrote an article that I often still hear about today. It had to do with my tendency to take down names…in sharpie. I’m not sure when or the how the practice first started, but at some point in my life my Oprah inspired gratitude journal went to hell in a hand-basket.

More often than not, the list has been a joke more than anything else, but every once in a while, the actual list will reappear. A few months ago, it made a reappearance and since then, one by one, here and there, a name has been written down. Sometimes for me, sometimes for others, most recently for Becky.

Three weeks ago Becky called and was more than a little perturbed over the way someone had spoken to her. While I tried to sympathize, nothing I said seemed to make it better. And then I thought of the one thing that always makes me feel better…and out came the list.

“Hey, I just wrote his name on my list. Doesn’t that make you feel better? It’s official, in sharpie, and now karma will take care of the rest.”

Later when she came by the office, I even showed it to her. “You’re insane,” she remarked “but it does make me feel better that his name is on it. You just better hope that list never gets stolen or that no one ever dies mysteriously on your list, because that list is going to get you locked up!”

And while the infamous list has never had more than a few names (nor led to any unexplainable deaths) when I ran across it this past Friday, it shocked me to see that the last name on there was Becky’s nemesis. I had added none since and even prior to that, the ones added were few and far between.

And then it hit me, karma does work – what goes around, does come around. For the very same reason I had resurrected the sharpie and legal pad to begin with, I now have a new purpose for both.

And so it has begun… my list is now several pages long and if I tried hard enough, I could probably fill up the entire legal pad with names. When you least expect it, people will amaze you. When you don’t deserve it, people will do for you when you didn’t do a thing for them. When you need it most, people will give you a shout out, pat on the back, or say or do much, much more than you could have hoped for.

And one by one, I’ve been adding the names of those I’m grateful for to my list. I always knew my list could be a powerful thing. I just didn’t know how powerful…until I decided to look at life from a completely different list. That Oprah…she really does know what she’s talking about after all.

To read more of Angel and Becky’s columns go to

www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com or www.wilsonpost.com.

Angel Kane - Kane & Crowell Family Law Center

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