I’ve decided… I’m starting a petition to make everyday Thanksgiving Day. I mean, what’s not to love? Turkey and stuffing, napping, and—if you’re a lunatic—the opportunity to literally shop ‘til you drop (or get pepper sprayed by a fellow shopper…. or get arrested….)
But in all seriousness, is there a more fitting holiday than one where we give thanks? And shouldn’t we be giving thanks everyday?
While I’ve really enjoyed reading all of the thankful Facebook posts this month, it’s as if all of my friends are hitting copy and paste on their computers. They are almost all thankful for the same things…. On November 1, God was getting a ton of love. Then the next week included major shout-outs for husbands and wives, children, parents, sisters and brothers, grandparents…
It wasn’t until people got finished giving thanks for their family that things really got interesting, because this is when people really started to look at the little things in their lives that they are thankful for.
I’ve read a lot about how important it is to live a life of gratitude. The basic premise being that as we show thanks and ‘gratitude’ for all of the things we have in our lives – as opposed to fretting over all of the things missing from our lives – we will attract more positive energy
In order to begin living a life of gratitude, one of the first things you are suppose to do is to create a Favorite Things list. This is a list of 100 things you are thankful for. (Believe me, it sounds a lot easier than it really proves to be.)
And while the first inclination is to just go through that laundry list of relatives and loved ones we’re thankful for… that really isn’t the point. I mean, shouldn’t it be obvious that I’m thankful for my husband (most days anyway….)?
No, I’m thankful for coffee! And that doesn’t make me a shallow person. It makes me human. And while in the grand scheme of things coffee is a very small, unimportant, miniscule part of the universe – it brings a little bit of joy to me. It puts a smile on my face, I’d like to believe a little pep in my step, and I know makes me much more bearable to live with.
So…if I can find that much to be thankful for in a small cup of coffee, I should be able to find so much more to appreciate about those obvious parts of my life.
And when I put my head on my pillow each night and begin to thank God for the greatest parts of my day, I no longer generalize by praying, ‘I’m thankful for my kids.’
Instead I pray, ‘I’m thankful that I got to run a 10k with Brennen today. I got to spend an entire, uninterrupted hour with my fifteen-year-old that didn’t involve a single text, tweet or IM.’
‘I’m thankful for the sword fight I got to have with my girls in the yard today – their first experience with the joy of sticks.’
By learning to appreciate the little things in life, we heighten our senses to experience life’s greatest moments using all five senses.
A life of gratitude truly is…something to be thankful for.
I went looking through an old journal yesterday and found my original list. Here it is….
Family (I began my original list writing each family member’s name. By the time I got to twenty, I knew I had to generalize) – friends – photography – writing – books (actual books, with paper pages) – the camera I have – the camera I want – our house that we live in – the house that I want to build one day – my car (even though it’s a lemon) – heat – air conditioning – comfortable shoes – cute shoes – my computer – the guys at the Mac store who help me with my computer – coffee!!!!! – Snow – snow skiing – snow ball fights with my kids (my husband being the biggest kid of all) – marshmallows in hot chocolate – marshmallows for s’mores – the chicken burrito at Moe’s (I think this is what I was eating for lunch as I made this list.) – Internet – disposable diapers – automatic car washes – carpet cleaners (ON A TOTALLY SEPARATE NOTE – REREADING THIS LIST IS SHOWING ME JUST HOW SPHIZOPHRENIC MY THOUGHTS ACTUALLY ARE…WHO THINKS BURRITO, INTERNET, DISPOSABLE DIAPERS….) Disney World – fireworks – flowers – horses – the smell of fresh-cut grass – hiking at Red River Gorge – running – the running playlist on my iPod – Asics running shoes – yoga – Pilates – The Grove Park Inn – TiVo – books on my iPad – cook books – phone calls to the women in my family when I don’t understand a cook book – peanut butter smoothies – hugs and kisses – my conversations with God – my church family – the power of prayer – music – theatre – memories – date night (which now usually involves Dominos and Red Box) – Dominos – Red Box – mindless TV – dancing with my daughters – dancing with my girlfriends – Pull Ups – fashion – salons & spas – hot stone massages – letters in the mail – my coffee maker – the view out my kitchen window – dreams – doctors & nurses –service men & women (this is huge being a police officer’s wife) – democracy – freedom of speech – my tax guy – watching my daughter at gymnastics – hearing my kids laugh – smelling good food – Crested Butte, Colorado – Roatan, Honduras – the hammocks at CoCo View Resort in Roatan – Jonathan Creek on Kentucky Lake – Scuba diving – planes to travel – Xanax to get me on planes to travel – wine – passion – work ethic – coupons – hope – faith – texting –actual phone calls – sewing with my mom, sister and aunt – books on tape (or discs or my iPod) – XM radio – news – debating issues with my husband – staying up all night just talking at my sister’s house – game night – summer days at the pool – old photo albums & journals (that I can show to my daughter) –planning for the future – living for today - ME