Happy November! Before we know it, we will be serving a big ole’ turkey dinner with all the fixings’ and going around the table talking about what we are thankful for this year. Yup, Thanksgiving is just a few short weeks away and I love this time of year! Sure, I’m not a huge fan of the change in weather, but the holidays bring out something so special in people. Special in a good (and sometimes bad) way. But why do we have to wait for the holidays, to have gratitude in our lives? Why do we wait for a holiday, quite literally with “Thanks” in its name, to be thankful for the life we are given? And I’m not over here pointing fingers, because I’m guilty of the same thing for most of my life.
A little over a year ago, I began a daily practice that has changed my life. And if you’ve been around here long enough, you’ve heard me talk about it before; daily gratitude. I started a daily gratitude journal (amongst other things) and it has reminded me, each and everyday of how thankful I am for this life that I have been given. Not only has this practice made me reflect on the small things, but also the bigger picture.
So let me paint the picture… previous to this, we (I) would wait until the holidays to reflect and really dig into what made me happy that year. But here’s the thing, I would nearly blackout and couldn’t remember half of what happened that year and all the little things that made the big moments really shine. I wouldn’t remember all the small victories that led to big successes. So then at that annual Thanksgiving dinner, my response would typically go something like this, “I’m thankful for the roof over my head, a warm bed to sleep in and this great meal in front of us.” Ummm… excuse me what?!?
Ok, Ok before everyone gets on their high horse and says, “what are you not thankful for food and shelter and this and that?!?” Yes, of course, I am! But here’s the thing, I want to remember the small things, the small victories that led to the big success, that gave us things like food and shelter. And I want to remember the things like how grateful I am for my morning coffee in silence or how I hit another milestone at the gym, or how that conversation with a friend made me smile on that random day in May. Because the truth is, without the small gratitudes in our life, things like shelter and food on the table may not even be possible.
Keeping a daily gratitude journal has helped me to see the good in each and every day. Every morning, I write down five things that I am grateful for. Sometimes they are big and monumental but most days it looks a lot like this;
1. My morning coffee
2. Only hitting the snooze button twice
3. Not getting a parking ticket even though my meter was expired
4. Henry dancing to “Baby Shark”
5. My new Fall candle
A lot of little things that make up the bigger picture. Finding gratitude in the small things, are what brings me the most joy! So when I am reflecting on my year and what I have to be thankful for, well I have 1,825 things I could say. And when I am having a hard time finding gratitude in my day, I look back in my journal and am reminded of how grateful I really am.
So here is my challenge to you: Starting today through the month of November, start your day writing down five things you are grateful for. Five things that just made you smile. Find gratitude on even the worst days. And don’t just stop at the end of November. See how this practice may help you find a little more to smile about and a LOT more to be thankful for. And not just this time of year, but each and every day we are on this earth. Because every single day we on this earth, is something to celebrate. Even if it’s just smiling over not getting a parking ticket or listening to “Baby Shark” for the one-millionth time.
Much Love and Lots of Thanks!