Like most people in this country I have so much to be thankful for. I'm healthy and happy, have a healthy, loving family (including our furry children) and wonderful friends, a roof over my head and a garden, food on the table, a good job that I really like, and I really am so thankful for all of that. I try to be mindful of that not just at Thanksgiving, but every single day. But there was a time in my life when I didn't know how to do that, so I started a gratitude journal. Every day I would look for three things to be grateful for, so I could write them in my journal. I didn't let myself use all the usual stuff; my health, the health of my children and loved ones, etc. Not that I wasn't thankful for those things. Just the opposite. Those are the things we're all grateful for. That part was easy. So I looked for all the little things, the things I was missing every day, and never wrote the same thing twice. I'll be honest - there were days when the fact that I got two green lights in a row counted as something to be grateful for. But as time went on I started finding five or eight things every day. Then dozens of things every day! Things like the color of sunlight late on a fall afternoon, or when I dug up what I thought was a dead toad while gardening, and then right before my eyes he "came back to life" after his winter's hibernation! Like the time I cut into a zucchini and the seeds were lined up in a heart shape, or like when you smile at a stranger's baby and she smiles back (or the stranger smiles back, for that matter). Like the hundreds of little tiny things that are right in front of me every day, if I just look for them. I don't write in the journal any more. I don't feel like I need to any more. But I do pay attention, and I do notice, and I am thankful. Each and every time.
Happy Thanksgiving to my friends (both here and in blogland) and beloved family!