I am going to start with some sage words from Mahatma Gahndi,
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
Yes, I am one of those people who believe your thoughts can change the world. I spend time daily appreciating and being grateful for all that I have and I can’t say enough how this makes a huge difference in life. Sure, I could spend this time being envious of what others have or lamenting on what I don’t have and I actually think that this kind of negative thinking is easier to come by. It takes some work and discipline to view my glass as half-full, but it’s well worth it. The month of November, complete with Thanksgiving is a great time to take time to reflect what you are grateful for and start training your mind to look to the positive.
I’ve put together a selection of things that I am appreciative and grateful for representing each day of November:
- My husband; my soul mate, my biggest supporter, my biggest challenger and my best friend.
- My children; how lucky I am to have them in my life. Regardless of what each day brings, I remember caring and loving them is the most important and most fulfilling role I have.
- My extended family; what great love and support I get from them. One of the many reasons we choose to stay living in our hometown is because that we know “it takes a village.” It’s invaluable that we can call Memere or Tante or Auntie for help when needed.
- My friends; although life gets busy and time flies by when we can get together for a lunch or share a quick laugh, well, that is just priceless.
- Hand-me-downs; speaking of great friends – how great is it to get a bag of clothes or toys that your friend’s children have outgrown but that are just right for your kiddos?
- A good cup of coffee; speaking of kiddos . . when one of them in particular does not like to sleep a hot cup of coffee (or two, okay maybe three) can do wonders the next day!
- Four seasons; living in a place with changing seasons really makes me appreciate a perfect weather day – whether that be sunny and 85 degrees in the Summer or 20 degrees and the perfect snow for a snowball fight in the Winter. Even ‘mud season’ makes you more appreciative of that first warm Spring day.
- Having a job where I get to be creative, meet lots of people and feel like the work I am doing is meaningful.
- A great upbringing; I grew up surrounded by unconditional love with lots of family gatherings with Grandparents and Aunts, Uncles and cousins. It was such a great childhood and instilled in me strong family values.
- Holidays off and vacation time. Some people have to work on holidays. I know I was one of them for a long while. Although I really love my work, I also value time off from work.
- Kids’ art; my refrigerator and office walls are plastered with art from my kids. I just love glancing at their work and how they express themselves.
- People who hold the door for you. Everyone seems to be so busy and often their focus is internal. It’s a small but such a nice gesture when someone takes the time to hold a door open for you.
- A true “laugh out loud” moment; not just a little grunt but taking the time to enjoy the humor and a good ole belly laugh.
- Scarfs; I just love them and how cozy and comforting they feel.
- Great conversations; I might struggle with ‘small talk’ but I enjoy chats where I learn more about someone or that are thought-provoking.
- Incredible teachers. A teacher can make or break a school year for a child. Their responsibilities are huge and their influence over children is wide. I am so thankful that my kids have been blessed with some really amazing teachers.
- When my young boys are having so much fun that they don’t want to leave – even if it is to go trick or treating! (Papa and Grammy – this one is for you!)
- Good books; you know the kind that when you get to the last page you are a bit sad that it’s over?
- Hidden gems; there are little stores and coffee shops and even waterfalls all over the North Country that we visit and it feels like it’s there just for us. There are few other people, if any, but what it has to offer is simply amazing and you can’t figure out why more people aren’t there but feel fortunate that you are there.
- Our house. It’s a perpetual work in progress and there is not enough counter space or storage . . .but it doesn’t matter. It’s our home and it’s always great to return there.
- Sleeping in. This doesn’t happen a lot, but on occasion when we don’t have to get up and go first thing in the morning for something or other, my husband lets me sleep in and I get up at 8:15. While this used to be early for me . .. now it is an absolute luxury.
- Anyone who is good to my children. It’s tough to be a kid today. If you are one of the many adults who have brightened one of my kids’ days just a little, I am grateful to you.
- My children looking out for each other. When I see the girls encouraging their little brothers or even my youngest son telling me why his older brother should have another cup of juice after he spilled his is just so sweet. Family had to look out for family and to see that love and loyalty already is heartwarming.
- Great service; whether it’s at a restaurant or the cashier at the grocery store. I know your job is not always easy but it’s great to be greeted by a genuinely warm and friendly smile.
- Having a car that is reliable. Have you ever had a car that had trouble starting or maybe didn’t start when it got too cold? If you did, then you know what I am talking about. It’s nice to turn the key to the ignition, regardless of the elements and hear the purr of your engine.
- Community spirit. I love going to events that support causes or a member of the community. It’s great to see people coming together for a common good and there is no shortage of such events in this area.
- Volunteers. People give of their time and talents in various ways. Some people volunteer at the schools or to coach youth sports. I have the privilege of getting to meet CASA volunteers through my work. There are more than 400 people in the state that are in the background, not receiving any public recognition or honor for getting to know and advocating for children in their communities that have been abused or neglected. We hear a lot of horrific stories, but for every heartbreaking story there is an example of incredible people making important positive differences in the world.
- The Holidays. Our family just enjoyed Halloween and we are gearing up to make the most of this holiday season. It’s such a special time of year and a time to celebrate with family and friends.
- Random acts of kindness. Need I say more? Whether you do something kind for another or are the recipient of it – it’s wonderful!
- Serendipity. How cool is it when you run into an old friend when you least expect it or go to the store and one of your favorite things is on sale and it’s the last one. I love these happy accidents.
So, what are you grateful for? Be sure to share and don’t be afraid to tell the people in your life that you are appreciative of how important they are to you.