Photo: Pricilla Du Preez, Unsplash
How is it already November and not only November, but the last few days of November? We are nearing the very end of 2022 and I am blown away. The past two years have been a game changer in the best and worst ways. We’ve seen so much and now in the United States…we hit this particular month. Historically, this month is notorious and painful…it serves as a marker to the beginning of an attempt to annihilate a certain group of people. The marker is the fourth Thursday of the month and it is called Thanksgiving. Personally, I call it Tofurkey Day and look it purely as a day to cook with my mother and bake a cake. Some choose this month to break down reasons to be grateful and I love that idea.
This many years on the Earth and I have not taken part in that joyful process. Why? Well at times I feel I am too busy…other times I acknowledge that I give thanks on a regular basis…but why not track it in this manner? It would provide an additional occasion to offer thanks and the vast majority of us would benefit from that. Last year, we discussed holiday boundary setting https://www.inspiredboldness.com/post/the-holidaze-boundary-setting-like-a-bad-ass and I will not be repeating that blog, but please feel free to read it.
It can be notably challenging to think of reasons to be grateful during times of hardship or strife…but we must refocus on the things that are good, lovely and beautiful. This does NOT mean not to work on changing the things that make you unhappy or displeased in some way. Oh nooooo work to change that…and be grateful you have the opportunity to work to change those things. Leave procrastination for someone or something else and give thanks now. Give thanks for the smallest things in addition to the larger things.
You may wonder why you should be grateful and express gratitude and that is fair. Well, Harvard researchers tell us that gratitude holds a connection to happiness. They also let us know that gratitude can improve our relationships as well as our health. Gratitude can also help us through those challenging situations we have faced or will face. Researchers in New Zealand and folks over at Psychology Today advise that gratitude improves self esteem and mental health. YOU get better because of gratitude. And, if you are like me…the goal is to level up. No competition…just you trying and doing better. It’s you supporting you to be the best version of you. And, gratitude is a tool that can help you to re-center what is truly worthy of your time and energy.
What is most worthy depends purely on you. You and no one else. Someone may attempt to judge you on what you feel gratitude for, but honestly it is not their business. This is all you, Boo. Are you grateful for money? A loving family? Recovery? Opportunity and options? Your ability to…wear super high heels, dance for hours, eat a strict vegan diet? Friends? A job? A boss that doesn’t suck horribly? Exceptionally good health? Your loved one surviving? Assistive devices? People that put their shopping carts back? Having knees like Megan? Having a cup holder in your car? Your fur baby? A doctor that actually listens to your concerns? Good hugs? Good sex? Safety? An impressive vacuum cleaner? Prayer? Meditation? The ocean, rivers or lakes? The BEST cup of coffee?
Photo: Ann, Unsplash
I can tell you that I am grateful for running water in my home. I’ve never been without running water except the few times I attempted camping or if the City needs to turn it off every few years to do some form of maintenance work. However, I am so grateful that not only does my water run whenever I want it, but it is also clean.
I think gratitude is multifaceted. With my example of clean and running water…I express my own thanks for it…consider the folks that go to work and maintain the systems. I consider the folks who do not have access to clean and running water and I also use less. I am so grateful for the presence of this clean and running water which is necessary for all life that I do my best not to waste it. I do not run water while brushing my teeth, the laundry and dishwasher are full when they run, I literally turn the water off in the middle of the shower when I am cleansing my body.
Random? Perhaps, but it is an expression of the gratitude I feel. Think along the lines of a beautiful flower…picking it vs allowing it to remain in place. Allowing it to remain will be more inconvenient, but it will allow it to last longer for more enjoyment. Plant the right one and you may even see a Hummingbird come by and then you can give any more thanks for the absolute creativity in nature.
So, what are you thankful for? I hope you have many, many things that bring you gratitude. And, if you don’t I challenge you to look a bit deeper into the smallest areas of your life. The things that you may not even notice or maybe even take for granted. Think on those things and build up to larger things/people/places/experiences for which you are grateful. If you can start with the larger things, that is fantastic but don’t let the small things fall to the side.
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