Tag Archives: thanksgiving

Giving Thanks

th[10]Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day – we (my family and I, not the “royal we”) will be heading down to my brother’s for a day filled with football, food, family and friends. We always take a moment before diving into dinner to toast the ones who aren’t at the table and share the thing(s) we’re grateful for. This year I’m thankful that my husband (who grew up in Rockford Illinois and knows how to drive in bad weather) will be driving, since we will be hitting the road during the very rarely seen Southern California rainstorm. As much as I hate to admit it, the stereotype of Californians driving in the rain is all too true.

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Reddit image of rainy day traffic

Listing our blessings is a wonderful tradition, but I wonder – why do we only give thanks one day/year?

A February 2003 UC Davis study on counting blessings indicates that “a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits” and according to UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center, “having an attitude of gratitude changes the molecular structure of the brain, keeps the gray matter functioning, and makes us healthier and happier.”

So why limit gratitude to one day/year?

Linda Roszak Burton (executive coach, author and “gratitude advocate) is just one of the  citizens featured in this morning’s Baltimore Sun article on five residents who make gratitude a year -round priority. Although she loves how Thanksgiving ‘elevates’ the healing power of gratitude, she doesn’t think the effort should be limited to a single Thursday in November. ‘Let’s find ways to keep it stoked.'”

Arianna Huffington, Tony Robbins and Oprah told CNBC that they use gratitude to succeed. “What we focus on, what we put our attention on, really determines how we feel about that particular day or our life in general,” said Huffington

I realize that it’s hard to maintain an attitude of gratitude when Life keeps throwing things at you (she’s kind of a bitch). I have to admit that I’ve let her distract me from the blessings in my life, but that stops today. I’ve found a few websites that I think will help me get back on track.

Charles Burke recommends this Gratitude Exercise. For 10 days you write down 10 things that you are grateful and happy for in your life. “Success is a skill. Happiness is a skill. Gratitude is a skill. Like all skills, they must be practiced clumsily before they can be done naturally. So, if you’ll devote ten honest days to the practice of feeling true gratitude and happiness, I can promise you a dazzling new skill. A skill that just naturally attracts success like a magnet draws iron. Because nothing attracts good fortune and success like a joyous, grateful heart.”

Positivepyschology.com offers 13 Most Popular Gratitude Exercises and Activities: There are infinite ways to show our gratitude to others, to ourselves, and to a higher power or even “the universe” itself. However, it can be tough to get started without practical ideas. These gratitude exercises and activities are some of the most well-known and proven ways to practice and enhance your gratitude.

Or I might just pick up a gratitude journal. I have to admit that I’ve started several, but I think this might be the journal I’ve been waiting for (attitude? me? #Ipleadthefifth)

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And maybe, just maybe, I’ll try meditating again

Speaking from experience, I think we should all be grateful to USA Today for today’s list of foods which should never go into your garbage disposal, but tell me – what are you thankful for?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giving Thanks

thks6zppwwTomorrow is Thanksgiving – or, as we call it in my family, Black Friday eve 🙂

Like many who celebrate the holiday, our little threesome (no, not THAT kind of threesome) will gather together to eat too much,  drink too much, and watch too much football (as if there’s such a thing).

Every year, before diving into our loaded plates, each family member is invited to state one thing for which they’re grateful. Because I am a cynical/sarcastic sort, I usually pipe up with something along the lines of “I’m glad I’m not a turkey….”

This year will be different. This year, when it’s my turn to speak, I will raise my glass and tell my family that I am thankful for “almost”. No, you didn’t read that wrong.

al·most

 (ôl′mōst′, ôl-mōst′)

adv.

Slightly short of; not quite; nearly: almost time to go; was almost asleep; had almost finished.

Those of you who know me well (and those of you who don’t, but have been following my blog*) know that this year has been a rough one. TBH the past 2-3 years have been “less than pleasant”. In the past several years, I almost lost my daughter, almost lost my husband (twice), almost lost my house and almost lost my mind (which is bad, because it’s much too small to be wandering around lost and alone).

BUT

As they say, “Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades“. My family has  experienced so many blessings these last few years – we have received so much love and support from friends, family and even casual acquaintances , that I can’t help but be grateful.

They also say “That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” – and it’s true. We have emerged from this year even stronger.

BUT

Thank you Life, for my lessons. I’m strong enough now.

I have two questions for you, my loyal listeners (I was going to say “readers”, but it doesn’t flow) – Who are “they” and what are you grateful for?

*Thank you for following me! You are one of the many things for which I am very, very grateful

th7

image courtesy of 28 days of gratitude