With everyone showing appreciation and sharing gratefulness, it's easy to be thankful on a day like Thanksgiving. It's the other 364 days in a year that can be tough. And what I'm most thankful for this year, is that I'm finally finding a way to live Thanksgiving every day. I've learned that the quote above as absolute truth.
To backtrack a bit, this year has had it's share of downs and bad news. The challenges that have come our way have and will change my life dramatically. Without getting into detail about the specifics, because the real point is the outcome, it is true what they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. While the struggles of the current situation aren't over, my outlook is positive. Excited, even. And I feel happier, love deeper and live with an open heart. I've learned so much about myself over the last few months and more than ever before, I appreciate every moment, not taking for granted for a second that our lives can and do change in an instant and we may never have these moments again, or at least in the same way. In a way it makes things feel bittersweet, but on the flipside it makes me laugh a little louder, dance a little sillier, and hug my loved ones a little tighter when the day is over. I'm starting to feel like an expert on making the best of a bad situation, and that's something to be proud of. They say that happiness is a journey, not a destination, and I have finally felt that. Life is not perfect, but it's still amazing. My daily happiness and thankful heart come from finding joy in even the simplest things. So how do I do it? Perspective and Faith.
Maybe you've got this life thing figured out already (kudos!) but if you feel the need for a little support and thoughts of gratefulness through tough times here are some of the tools that helped me on this journey:
- In less than favorable situations, asking myself "What experience does this make possible?" was tremendously helpful for creating a shift in perspective.
- Instead of "why me", try "why not me". We're all human, no better or more special than anyone else.
- A few good quotes for strength on down days, like one about happiness, remembering that worry changes nothing, and a favorite scripture.
- Choose your response. Try not to immediately react, but try a different thought first. It can be as simple as being grateful that you are healthy enough to walk and stand for a little while longer instead of being annoyed at the long line in front of you.
- Say yes to things you want, and no to things you don't. "Busy" is often an overused excuse. If you feel aren't feeling fulfilled with your current commitments, change it, stop it. Do the most of what makes you the happiest. It's ok to say no.
These are just a start but I do hope they're useful for you. And now would be the perfect time for me to say thanks to you dear reader - for following along with me on this journey of life, and sharing your stories in return. I wish you the happiest of Thanksgiving's!
P.S. What I was (am still am) thankful for last year, and the year before. Plus, two Thanksgiving's later, I'm still in love with this.