Thankfulness at Thanksgiving
"There is always something to be thankful for!"
I'd like to tweak this quote to...
"There is always something to celebrate!"
I absolutely believe there is something to celebrate in life, no matter how big or small because the time we have is precious, priceless, and not guaranteed. We don't know when the people in our life will no longer show up or when the last time is the last time for anything. What we have left of the moments in the past are our memories, so why not take time in the present to celebrate all things, big and small.
We all know the big reasons to celebrate - Marriage, Babies, Birthdays, Anniversaries, and on and on, but how about the little moments that make up our lives in between the few-and-far-between big events. These could be:
a job well done at work
an adventurous new haircut
a new recipe added into your monthly rotation
a compliment from a surprising, unexpected source
getting to the meeting just in time
exercising on a day you wanted to skip it, but didn't
a new car
a paid off credit card bill
great first date
a holiday card in your mailbox
the nearest parking spot to the door when it's raining
a hug from someone you love when you needed it most
a phone call instead of a text
a new friend entering your life
someone offering to babysit
good news at a doctor's visit
starting a new tradition with your family
There's really no end to the reasons you may find to celebrate. Isn't that beautiful? Life is going by, second by second, and we really only remember a tiny portion of that time. Why not invest a little more energy into the beautiful and simple parts of life that make up our everyday minutes so that our memories are more beautiful, richer, and deeper, our hearts more grateful, and our world more colorful and vibrant?
The everyday celebrations don't require big balloons bouquets to celebrate successfully painting the kitchen or a balloon arch as you enter a room after getting a raise at work (but it'd be fun). The everyday celebrations just need a little bit of your energy to be present and really appreciate the situation, let gratitude come in, and become thankful for your experiences and the people in them.
Thanksgiving has different meanings for so many of us. For some, it may be years of family traditions and favorite foods, roadtrips, and big gatherings with the same plate settings. For others, it's family bickering and guilty obligations to not buck tradition and show up at grandma's. For another group of us, we may have ambivalent feelings where the day doesn't look very much different than other days, without special foods like a turkey and stuffing, or getting out special holiday china, or an afternoon spent watching the annual Thanksgiving football games on tv with stuffed bellies and light dozing. I don't think there's a wrong or right way to DO Thanksgiving.
For me, it's just about taking extra time to be purposefully thankful, no matter if we eat turkey or not (which we definitely do - no cranberry in sight). It's a time when society has carved out a day "off" so I like to dedicate a some time to making sure I am seeing and appreciating all the moments, people, and experiences in my life, whether they're near or far, at the dinner table holding my hand, or in their own home. Really bringing the feelings into my body so they stick with me, not just leaving them there on the outside. What good is a day of Thanksgiving if you're too busy cooking and stressing and hosting to BE thankful and spend time being present?
My wish for you this Thanksgiving is a little time where you can see what wonderful things are going on in your life, big or small, and celebrate them. Extra praise for your kids for their hard work at school, more hugs on your partner for choosing to spend time invested in your life, verbal or written words of affirmation to people in your life that have made a difference, loved you, helped you, and added happiness to your life. Just a little bit of time being grateful and thankful can go a long way in shaping the way you feel each day.
This blog post is definitely a departure from the typically big event driven, colorful images of events we get to be part of, but I'm working on making a bigger impact to those I come in contact with and this message was on me to share as I began wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving.
I am absolutely thankful and grateful for your presence in my life, however big or small that is, and my thanksgiving is full of love for you.
Enough reading - Gobble Gobble!
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