“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward
Since this weekend is the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, I thought it appropriate to say thank you for some of the things I am grateful for in my life. If you have never taken a moment to just sit and make a list of the things you are grateful for and why you are grateful for them, I highly recommend it…especially when you are having a bad day or are feeling a bit depressed…it is amazing how uplifting, re-centering, and rejuvenating making such a simple list can be. That’s also why so many people promote having a daily gratitude journal. I have been keeping a gratitude journal – writing down one thing every day for which I am thankful – for almost a year now and it truly has helped me appreciate the blessings in my life much more fully and deeply than I ever have before. Check out my daily gratitude journal here.
In an effort to not make this the longest blog ever, I am only going to list the 10 things for which I am most grateful today. I am not specifically listing my friends and family, the roof over my head, my job, my health, etc. as I am grateful for those things every day…but rather I am choosing to focus on some of the more simple things in life…the small things if you will…that bring a smile to my face and joy to my life. Often I find that when you can be grateful for these things life just seems to be a little better every day and so-called obstacles in your life become much less troublesome.
* I am thankful for the view from my back porch…the beauty and majesty of nature is breath-taking and awe-inspiring. It reminds me daily of just how small I am in this great universe and of just how much I have to be thankful for…it is truly humbling.
* I am thankful for creativity and the many venues through which I am afforded the opportunity to express mine as I feel so much more alive when I am able to express myself creatively.
* I am thankful for a delicious cup of coffee or hot tea in the morning as I wake up and prepare to face my day. It’s a simple pleasure many take for granted…but I try to sit quietly and enjoy each sip knowing that being able to do so is a blessing in and of itself.
* I am thankful for the spirit of the holidays. As the Christmas season comes, I am grateful for the spirit of the season itself…when people are more likely to act out of loving kindness toward others. I am grateful for that spirit…and I pray it would last longer than just the Christmas season.
* I am thankful for damp, dreary days. Yep, I am grateful for even those yucky days! Nothing motivates me more to curl up with a good book and a nice cup of hot tea than one of those drab, rainy days…as I love a good excuse for reading!
* I am thankful for sunrises (and sunsets). There is no more beautiful way to start (or end) a day than to watch the amazing light show put on by the sun as it awakens each morning (or goes to sleep each night). Such a glorious array of colors stretching across the horizon…so mesmerizing…so marvelous.
* I am thankful for the sound of birds singing in the spring (a funny thing to write about since we are settling into winter right now). There is just something about the sound of birds in the spring, more than any other time of the year, that just makes me smile. Not sure I can explain it…but I sure do like it!
* I am thankful for technology. Frustrating as it can be at times when it doesn’t work quite right, with it the world is a smaller place where we can all interact and learn from one another in so many amazing ways. It provides us with not only a means for communication, but it also serves as a bridge between time, space, cultures, languages, etc. Technology opens doors for many people that otherwise would remain closed.
* I am thankful for home-made holiday treats. Pumpkin roll, apple pie, snicker doodle cookies, gingerbread, etc. There is nothing quite like all those yummy home-made goodies! I admit that I am still perplexed as to how they get so much love in those holidays treats because I have never been able to find a bottle of love on the spice shelf in the grocery store, but I am pretty sure that is the ingredient that makes all the difference!
* I am thankful for the people I meet every day. Some make me smile instantly, while others challenge me to remain positive. Some inspire me, while others push me to confront my biases and prejudices. Some remind me of the beauty of life, while others test my belief in the goodness of humans. Regardless though I am grateful for them all…without each and every one of them I would never grow and expand and become a better person.
It is very possible, maybe even probable, that some of the things on my gratitude list would never make it onto your gratitude list and that’s okay. We all appreciate different things and therefore will be thankful for different things. Just remember that it is often our perspective and our attitudes about things that determine how we respond to those things. I work hard to be grateful for all things in my life, even the things that I didn’t ask for, want or need. Even those things that challenge us, try to hold us back, and/or bring us down have a purpose in life and deserve our gratitude…because without them we would never grow and never become the people we are meant to be.