a different kind of thankful list

a different kind of thankful list

i love thanksgiving. 

but, i do get a little bit overwhelmed by all the the grateful & thankful lists and “what are you thankful for” etc. etc. etc. all over the internet and world during this month.

this isn’t because i don’t care about gratitude, it’s the opposite. it’s because i try so hard to focus on gratitude every day of the entire year, so when november rolls around i feel pressured like THIS is the time to talk and show gratitude all packed into one holiday…and it feels like i need to have some amazing, all-inclusive thankful list to sum up everything i’m grateful for. this stresses me out because i could never sum up everything in one list, post, day, week, month, or year! every day of life is beautiful and has something to be thankful for, and i am constantly in awe of the blessings of this life.

so this year, i’m taking a deep breath and realizing that this is simply the time to reflect on the gratitude we should be feeling and showing all year round. i’m realizing that i don’t need to make grand lists of all the many and obvious things i am grateful for, like our jobs and family and house and health. these are so incredible, but like i said- they are the obvious ones i am saying thank you for in my heart every single day and waking moment. that continues even stronger in november, but this year in this post i am focusing on smaller gifts that i truly am thankful for right now…i want more specific things in my 2013 thanksgiving list, so that when i look back i remember the special and unique things i took time to truly appreciate this year through this wonderful holiday. 

this list is also different because it has some things that i might not have been grateful for normally, but this season has made me change my perspective on them and realize the positives about them. 

this week in my TFA class, i asked my students to tell me one thing they are grateful for. mostly every student said, “my family” … “a roof over my head” … etc…which are wonderful things! but then, one student said, “i’m grateful for my ADHD because it means i have so much energy and enthusiasm all the time!” everyone laughed and i smiled and thought what a beautiful thing that was to be grateful. he was taking something that could be negative or challenging and expressing gratitude for the positive side of it. and that, i think, is what thanksgiving season should do for all of us.

so, i don’t need to have EVERYTHING in this thankful list. i need to have it in my heart, but i can step back and just list some different and special thankful items for right now. 
so here we go..a little bit of a different thankful list..where i am truly trying to find new things to be grateful for, other than the major things i strive to have gratitude for all year round. 
{i am firstly thankful for you for reading all of that rambling!!}

2013 thankful list
  • plans that change. i am grateful that although we are planners and put effort and thought into our future, unexpected things still happen. it keeps life exciting, and reminds me i’m not always in charge. it’s a big serving of humble pie that ends up turning out for the best later. 
  • g chat. i know it sounds funny! but g chat gets me through the day sometimes. my friends + hubby and i can all write little things to each other and i love coming back to my computer at work and seeing the gmail tab flashing “chase says…” “kendall says….” “anna says…” “di says…” “abby says…” it brightens my day and also you’d be surprised at some of the deep chats you can have on there!
  • differences. lately i’ve appreciated differences more than i ever have before… differences of opinion allowing me to have some of the best conversations. differences in experience teaching me new things. our sweet little newborn nephew being different and even more special because of it. differences are what make us all unique and what makes life interesting.
  • serendipity. for being my favorite word and favorite thing. i have experienced so many happy coincidences lately, and there’s nothing better.
  • comfortable silence. the sign of a good relationship. most thankful for this on nights when i get home from work + a long night of grad school and come in the door to my husband who just welcomes me with open arms and lays on the couch and just lets us sit and relax…and eat kettle corn. no words necessary.
  • california. for being our current home and making us feel loved & welcome… and warm{er} this winter.
  • challenges. seriously, sounds cheesy but i am grateful for you. you make me feel like i’m doing something with my life and you’re teaching me that the hardest things in life are usually the most worthwhile.
  • june. for making me so excited for you…you are when i finish TFA, grad school, and a few other crazy things. excited for a change and new chapter..{and to celebrate two years!} also grateful for the hard work that will come in between now and then.
  • the gopro. for capturing our life better than ever this year. we have some amazing memories recorded thanks to you!
  • dishes. for being proof that i get to cook, that we eat well, and that my husband does them after the meal :)
  • airplanes. i can’t be writing on the “well-traveled wife” and not mention gratitude for my favorite thing- travel! grateful for airplanes for a) taking us all over the world. b) always making me giddy to be on them. c) giving out biscoff cookies. d) taking us home today to be with family for thanksgiving.
i love this life so much. the good days, the hard days, 
all of it is just pretty remarkable if you step back 
and realize how blessed you are. i love thanksgiving 
even more now that i think i’ve finally unlocked 
what it means for me– pushing extra gratitude 
into the areas of life where it might be 
harder to show it all year round.
so thank you, thanksgiving, for changing our focus, 
for providing the BEST food, 
for being a reason to go home and be with loved ones, 
and for kicking off the holidays. {i see you, christmas.}
happy thanksgiving to all! 

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