Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that represents so much more for me than just turkey, pie, and catching up with friends and family (though all of those are amazing, let’s be real). To me, the Thanksgiving holiday is a celebration of exactly how we should aim to live our lives- with a spirit of thankfulness. Growing up, I remember sitting in the congregation at Living Word Community Church in Dumont, NJ with my mom, listening to our Pastor, Frank Bollela, preach on living life with an attitude of gratitude. Choosing each and every day to be mindful, to take stock of the blessings in our lives, and to always, always find a reason to give thanks, has resonated with me from a very early age.
How fortunate are we….
Just say that to yourself for a second. What initially comes to your mind? For me, it’s a flood of thoughts that I can’t type quick enough. How fortunate are we to live in a country that affords us the freedom to not just think as we wish, but to type it, share it, discuss it, live it, give it, succeed in it, celebrate it, be it. How fortunate are we to have roofs over our heads. How fortunate are we to have woken up this morning. How fortunate are we to be parents. How fortunate are we to travel. How fortunate are we for the food we are able to eat, for the opportunities we are able to give our children, for the friends and family that love us unconditionally. How fortunate are we… how fortunate are we.
Too often we get stuck in the rut of our lives, heck, I know I’m guilty of it. Complaining, wishing the hours away, fixating on the future instead of living in the present. We like to think we’re truly living our days, but sometimes I know I question it. As I get older, it’s becoming far more apparent to me how very important our daily attitudes are in the grand scheme of our lives. There’s a quote that I’ve seen floating around that talks about how our days ultimately are what make up our lives and thus instructs to live them accordingly. As a parent of two small humans, I know that life isn’t always easy. In fact, most days, and at times- entire seasons, are just incredibly hard. Some days, the weight of it all is crushing. My body will ache, I will long for the girl I used to be, I will wonder where life is taking me.
And then, the little hand reaches for mine.
The dog does something to make me laugh. A ladybug lands. The sunshine that’s been hiding all morning will peak it’s way through the clouds and light up the room. I will think how pretty the house looks in the winter light. I will look down at the tired child who has been fussing all day and see his beautiful long eyelashes only moving with the breath of his chest. My reminders always appear.
How fortunate am I.
No matter where any of us are in life, we all have reasons to be thankful. Even in the midst of our darkest days, there is always light waiting to be found. I am choosing today, and every day, to live my life with a spirit of Thanksgiving in my heart. No matter what life throws my way, I am striving to start and end my days with an attitude of gratitude. While I know it won’t cure me of life’s hardships, I know that living with gratitude in the heart helps make life easier. It’s something simple, and something free, that almost always ends in feeling better. Join me in giving thanks, not just this Thanksgiving, but each and every day of the remainder of this year. See if it helps, see if it works, and maybe, just maybe, join me on a year of Thanksgiving in 2018. I’ll be blogging my journey in the pursuit of thankfulness and hope you’ll follow along! In the meantime… gobble gobble!!