I love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday. There are no unreasonable expectations. There are no gifts to buy, no overtly religious connotations, no pressure to reminisce or take stock in my complacent routine resolving it will all be different next year (no, really it will!).
This Thanksgiving, I’ll get together with good friends, eat a delicious meal and then take my dog to walk it off in the crisp autumn air through piles of leaves. What could be more joyful than that?
While my friends and I don’t offer up thanks in a round-robin discussion at the dinner table, I like to take a moment to recognize what I am thankful for. Actually I do it every day. Studies have shown that gratitude makes you feel better. Focusing on the good things instead of dwelling on the bad always boosts my happiness. So a while back I started writing five things every day that I was thankful for. It doesn’t have to be big. In fact, the most gratitude often comes from recognizing the smallest things. A guy on the subway offered me his seat. The cup of coffee I got that morning was particularly good. At work no one called me to ask stupid questions.
Some days it can be hard to find five things or I repeat the same five things day after day. But then I find myself searching for something to be grateful about and that makes me more aware throughout the day. It’s so much better to be looking for good things to happen to you instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop.
So on this day, I’m grateful:
- I remembered my lunch sitting on the counter this morning.
- the clouds have cleared, leaving a pretty blue sky.
- an editor emailed to let me know she had my address wrong which is why I haven’t received payment for an article.
- my dog, Reggie, didn’t greet my neighbor by jumping on him.
- you are reading this right now.