Yeah, I know. Yet another post about being thankful. They do crop up this time of year. But, I’m taking it a little differently this year (at least I think I am). For over a year now, at the end of the day, I’ve been writing down 10 things I’m grateful for that day. It’s been everything from my husband (every minute of every day), my family, a fan-freaking-tastic parking spot out front, my cats (we lost three this year and one moved in with us, so it’s been an interesting year in terms of felines), my students, my colleagues, the sunny day, getting out to walk, whatever. I started doing this because I read several different pieces that discussed the creation of well-being and positive attitude that comes with deliberate recognition of what you’re grateful for. You know, beyond the yadda yadda of course I’m grateful for my husband. The idea here is to recognize and think about all the little things that crossed your path that day that did indeed make it a little better, or brighter even if only for that moment. The small child who smiles at you and waves, the dog who is so happy you scritched her ears, the chance encounter with your neighbors, that sort of thing.
So, this Thanksgiving week, I’m grateful for all the usual things, friends, family, my health, etc. But looking back on what I’ve written down for the last year plus, I’m very grateful I started consciously thinking about all those small, daily occurrences that make the moment or the day just thatmuch nicer and brighter.
To illustrate: I just got back from picking up our turkey at Whole Foods. I waffled between walking and driving. I’m lucky enough that the store is an easy 15-20 minute walk. But, I’d be bringing back a 15 lb. turkey. And, we don’t have one of those granny carts. So, I decided to drive. My initial thoughts were, OK, this isn’t as bad as I expected, even with all the set up for the Thanksgiving Day parade (oh, yeah, we’re in detour central for that thing). Those initial thoughts were very quickly trampled. I quick ducked off the street I was on and meandered my way back down towards the store. Grateful I know the sneaky routes. Success! After dealing with some twat who was blocking the parking garage entrance (grateful for the patience levels I’ve achieved), I got into the store. Got my turkey. Grateful for the nice woman who’s job it was today to deal with that. Got my cider. Grateful for the funny woman at the checkout. Got back home easily, and yes, grateful for the kick-ass parking spot. And, finally, grateful I do not have to go back out into the chaos that is Philadelphia today. If I do, I will walk and I’m grateful that walking is an option. I’m also grateful that the current, and sole remaining cat, Max, is happy that I’m sitting next to him on the couch writing this post.
I’m also grateful that we can host and have our friends over for our “orphans Thanksgiving.” And, last but never least, I’m grateful I have five days off of work, lots of time for writing, and only one week left in the semester. Whoo-hoo!
What are you grateful for today?