I love Thanksgiving. I mean, who doesn't? Turkey, family, football, pumpkin spice lattes.... it's pretty much a holiday WIN. I love to just stuff myself silly with food and then spend way too long on the couch, watching tv, napping, chatting, or all of the above. It's like a little slice of heaven...
Every year on Thanksgiving day, I've made a habit of taking a few quiet moments to myself and reflecting upon my blessings. With each passing year there are so many more things to be thankful for, and mentally noting those things is quite cathartic for me, as I'm sure it is for many of you. Nearly every pumpkin spice latte I've indulged in has reminded me that Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and as a result, my thoughts have turned to thankfulness and what it really means to be thankful.
While recognizing your blessings is a huge step toward true thankfulness, it's only one piece of the equation. It seems to me that action is required in most cases. I mean, if you're truly thankful for something, shouldn't your actions show it? Take the Thanksgiving Day cook, for instance. I love me some good food, and you know I always have my fill on Thanksgiving day. When I take my moment of thanksgiving and think about how thankful I am for the good food, perhaps that will motivate me to verbalize my thanks. Or better yet, I may show my thanks by doing the dishes and letting the cook take a rest. If I only think about how thankful I am for the food, maybe I haven't really become thankful. Maybe I'm just a little lazy.
I've been thinking about that a lot lately. I mean, I keep saying that I'm thankful for things, but many times you wouldn't know it by my actions. In fact, sometimes my actions and attitudes seem to indicate a root of ungratefulness for the very things for which I say I am thankful. You know what I mean? Have you every felt that way?
So this year, I'm making a conscious effort to do things a little differently. Sure, I will still have my quiet time of deep reflection on my blessings and hopefully I'll verbalize where verbalization is appropriate. But instead of letting it end there, I want to have a true heart of gratefulness that motivates me to action. So instead of just telling my husband Jon that I'm grateful for him, maybe I'll make sure he changes a few less dirty diapers and has a few more moments of relaxation... not because it's my job to change diapers, but because I'm truly thankful he always helps with those diapers and I want him to know how much I appreciate him. And maybe instead of just thinking about how nice a person she is, maybe I'll send an old fashioned letter to the amazingly talented photographer who once took me to lunch and inspired me more than she could ever know by just chatting with me about photography. The more I think about it, the more things I want to do to show so many people in my life how grateful I am for them.
One of the things that I'm so thankful for this year is you. Yes, you. And I want to show it. I feel so honored that you take the time to read what I've written, comment on my notes, or even chat with me in person about what you've read. It means the world to me, without a doubt. Your encouragement has oftentimes kept me going when I lack the strength to do so. So, as a small token of my appreciation, I'm holding a little contest (I used to do these all the time in the beginning and I'm not sure why I stopped!). All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post and fill in the blanks to this statement:
I am truly thankful for ___________ and I'm going to show it by ______________.
I'll choose a winner at random (not based on content... I hardly think I could be non-biased if I chose based on content since I know so many of you personally:) who will receive a $50 iTunes gift card. The contest will end at midnight on Thanksgiving Day and the winner will be announced on the following Friday.
I truly wish you the most wonderful of Thanksgivings. Enjoy your loved ones (and your dinner) to the fullest. Bless and be blessed. Experience true thanksgiving.