Thanksgiving is a distinctly American holiday, yet it's universal in its premise: Give thanks for all that you have. It's something that I do a lot - give thanks - and I wonder if it's easier the longer I live. I think it is because the older we get, the more life experiences we have. And life experiences - well they can be of the happy variety, or not. And when they are not, we begin to see that for which we can be truly thankful.
I am thankful for every day that I wake up . . .
I am thankful for the roof over my head and the food on my table . . .
I am thankful that I have a job . . .
I am thankful that I have health insurance . . .
I am thankful that I am an American citizen . . .
I am thankful for the wonderful friends I have . . .
I am thankful for my wacky family . . .
I am thankful that I can read . . .
I am thankful that I can read music . . .
You see, the list is long, and once you get started, you will likely find that you could go on for quite some time. Awhile ago it was popular to write a gratitude journal - where you would write down five things every day for which you were grateful. There is merit in this. Great merit. For the more we cultivate a habit of gratefulness, the more we will have to be grateful for. Yes, really.
It doesn't take much - just a notebook or journal and your writing utensil of choice. I did this once, back in the day - and it's time for me to do it again. What do you say? Will you take up your pen and begin to really know your life? No need to answer out loud unless you feel like it - no one is keeping tabs on you, except you :-)
Remember, we can choose. Every day we have the choice to be happy - the choice to be thankful for what we have. Every day, we can choose joy, even in the midst of sorrow, even if only for a moment. Even in the worst pain or grief there is something in our days to be thankful about. On the hard days, it can be tough to find five things, but they are there. I know this from personal experience. And it's pretty amazing to write this stuff down - to become cognizant of it, and then watch your life change before your eyes as you embrace this simple tool.
Happy Thanksgiving :-)
p.s. I'm also thankful that I know how to knit, and I am thankful that I have a pretty nice stash of yarn. AND, I am thankful for my friends, Tammy and Christa and the idea we have been cooking up - head on over to Year of Stash Socks - 2011 and see what I have been teasing about for the last month. I hope you'll want to play, too :-)