Every now and then we have Thanksgiving dinner at our house. Turkey, stuffing, and all the other trimmings that are usually sequestered to the fourth Thursday in November. We do it because we like turkey and because I tend to have trouble following the rules. If someone tells me Thanksgiving dinner is to be relegated to only one day out of the calendar year, you can bet I’ll usurp authority and have it more times than that.
Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks, yet why do we celebrate that only once a year? Are we celebrating thanklessness the other 364 days? Probably not, but if we aren’t somewhat mindful of our attitude toward gratitude, we can get sidetracked. This year, we’re trying something new.
No, we’re not having Thanksgiving dinner every night of the week. Though I could probably be persuaded to have pumpkin pie on Tuesdays. Instead we’re trying to focus our minds on thankfulness every day of the year in 2015. A friend of ours designed some pretty calendars she’s dubbed “A Year of Thanks.” You can find them here. It’s a simple concept, really. You hang up the calendar (preferably where you can see it on a daily basis) and jot down something you’re thankful for each day.
Since we started using ours, I find myself redirecting my thoughts when I’m really frustrated. Instead of spending several minutes complaining (out loud or to myself) about something that’s going wrong, I remind myself of what I’m thankful for. A lot of times, I’m reminded of the small things I’m thankful for. Like a good cup of coffee, sleeping late on the weekend, having my favorite snack, or ordering pizza after work when we’re too tired to cook.
How many times do we get caught up in the heavy things in life and forget to be thankful for all the little things? Like the local barista knowing exactly how you like your coffee or when you get to relax after a long day by watching your favorite television show. Isn’t it the small stuff that makes up a really great life?
We may have only one designated day of the year to celebrate Thanksgiving, but it doesn’t mean we can’t be thankful every day of the year. You might even find yourself writing small so you can fit more than one thing into each day. I know I have.
There are all sorts of ways to be mindful of what you’re thankful for. Whether you use a traditional journal, an app for your smart phone, Kristy’s calendar, or even jot things you’re thankful for on your wall calendar, I encourage you to try it in 2015. It just might change your life.