Thanksgiving is almost here and I have been more pensive than usual. It has been a year of highs and lows and perhaps it is the lows that have evoked this introspection. In previous years, I have not always been so aware of the precious memories that are created each holiday season. I have taken a lot for granted in the past and I want to change that. Many people are used to making some kind of resolution on January 1 with the hope of making it the best year yet. Instead of waiting for January 1 to begin my reflection, I thought I would use my current mental and emotional state to begin putting some thoughts into action for this season of love.
THE GOLDEN RULE: It’s been an emotional year for me. Deaths, divorce and illness abounded and it’s impossible for these incidences not to affect you. If there is one lesson I have learned this past year it is to treat others the way you would like to be treated. Be kind and compassionate. We don’t know what’s in store for us. We never know what day will be our last and when I look back on my life, I hope to be able to say that I strove to be kind to others. This also means being kind to people you don’t like and remembering that not everyone likes you either (and that is okay.)
GRATITUDE: No matter how bad of a day I’ve had, there is always something to be thankful for. We overlook things like a hot shower, healthy teeth, a pumping heart and being able to call a close friend or relative for a chat. Sometimes I can get caught in a spiral of negative thinking and my goal is to name at least one thing I am thankful for every day.
I thought I’d leave you with a list of ten things I am grateful for to set the tone for the season. I hope it will inspire you to do the same.
1. I’m thankful for my education. So many people can’t afford college and I have to thank my parents for sending me to Chapel Hill and paying for a private dorm. In hindsight, that private dorm bit was pretty unnecessary but they knew I wanted to live there and I did make some great friends because of it.
2. On a different note, if it weren’t for my parents’ encouragement and support in school, I may have never made it to UNC! They made sure I had math tutoring (twice a week for YEARS), because let’s just say that math is not my strong suit. For this reason, I believe that kids are really capable of anything with proper instruction and of course, willpower.
3. I’m thankful for my oily skin. I used to hate it (getting acne at 29 is a still a thing), but now I know that oily skin ages a little more slowly. I’ll take whatever I can get.
4. I’m thankful for friends that I can be myself around and not feel like I have to impress them. The older I get, the more I realize that friendship should never be competitive or jealous in nature.
5. I am thankful for my job. I have made some wonderful friends over the years and have learned skills that I will have for a lifetime. I also met my husband there!
6. I am thankful for my husband who works around the clock because he wants to be a great attorney and provide for us so that we never have to worry about our next meal. I am also thankful that he sees the value in date nights and vacations!
7. I am thankful for my ability to cook! There is really nothing more satisfying to me than watching people devour food that I made. It’s the most gratifying thing ever!
8. I am thankful for my sense of rhythm and ability to dance. It makes music so much more fun and life that much more fulfilling.
9. I’m thankful for a healthy body that allows me move how I please.
10. Last but not least, I am thankful for travel! Travel is a luxury in itself and I am very blessed to have been able to see that parts of the world that I have at my age.
Gratitude breeds positivity. What are you grateful for?