This is the time of year for giving thanks, so it’s no surprise that I’m about to lay out exactly what I’m thankful for in this post. Before I do, I will point out that practicing gratitude on a daily basis is something I’ve aspired to do over the years. At one time, I arranged for each of my kids and my husband to have their own gratitude journal. I personalized each journal with their name followed by a heart ♡ that I drew myself. The plan was for us to write or draw what we were grateful for when the urge hit.
Looking back, that was my attempt to instill the love of journaling into my kids. To my chagrin (I may be exaggerating), I don’t know what happened to those journals. I was just kidding myself thinking my husband would do it, but for a time I think he used it to write his notes from church. I’m not even sure where mine is, but I’ve had so many journals over the years it’s likely somewhere. My daughter loves paper, notebooks, and journals, and she never really learned to use the whole book before starting a new one. Occasionally, a journal that’s been missing or forgotten would pop up in a corner after months. That’s the case with these gratitude journals. One popped up a few months ago and I thought to myself, “Oh look. I remember you”, and kept on walking.
In the world we live in today, there is so much competition, so many choices, and so many opinions. I sometimes get frustrated reading the comments section on social media posts because people can be rude, mean, and thoughtless. There are also many pleasant, thought provoking, and affirming comments, but I hate it when I get blind sighted by mean, rude, thoughtless ones. It does give indication of how people across the world think, even if folks are hiding behind a different persona than when not on social media. All of this can be overwhelming, making it difficult to hear our own voices. I suspect that if I’m feeling it, someone else is too.
I did a quick superficial google search to compare the definitions of gratitude and thankful and they are generally synonymous. A very slight difference is that the definition of the word gratitude includes the word “expression” (i.e., expression of gratitude). Thankful is described as a “state of being” (i.e., of being grateful/pleased). Both can be used as an expression and both can be used as a state of being. Feel free to research these nuances on your own, but I’ve used them synonymously in this post.
It is so important to be grateful for the little things as much as we are grateful for the big ones. This year, I’ve been living more in the present than ever before. Here’s a short list of what I’m thankful for:
- God bestowing His love and favor on me
- Waking up
- The love and support from family, friends, and all my social connections (church, fitness)
- My mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical (actively working on the breast cancer) health
- Cooking nutritious food that tastes good for my family…like the homemade sweet potato pie I made shown in the picture 😉
- Our cozy home
- Creating memories with my loved ones
- My little, furry nuggets of love (i.e., my 2 kittens and cat. (Update: the cat, Baby, passed away.)
- Being a compassionate person and choosing a career in social work that serves people that are marginalized, poor, and unseen/forgotten
- Doctors, nurses, and other medical and health professionals that truly care about what they do
- The wealth of information that is available and accessible
- Living in the USA
Happy Thanksgiving! Update: Happy “week after” Thanksgiving! I hope you spend every day expressing gratitude.