The Year of Thanksgiving

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I always try to write a Thanksgiving post. It helps me put my life in perspective. There are so many things for me to be thankful for, and a lot of time I end up overlooking them. I’ve gotten used to not having to worry about food and shelter, so sometimes I forget how lucky I am to have it.

This year has been a little different than most though. I’m not longer struggling as much with my health. I don’t feel stuck in slow motion. A lot of exciting and meaningful things have happened to me this year and I’ve felt fully present for all of it. I don’t mean to say that I’ve been thankful for each and everything in my life as I should be, but I do mean that I’ve been more grateful over all.

You think about your shelter when you’re buying your first home. You think about love a lot when your getting engaged and married. You think about how wonderful all the people in your life are when you have them all together in one giant room for a party.

It’s just been a little different this year, and I’ve been better because of it.

Between all the sickness and sadness that surrounded it the last few years have been a wild ride. There have been good things, but everything seemed to have a heavy shadow. These years happen to the best of us, and they’ll happen to me again, that’s one of the reasons this year was so important. We need years like this to remind us how lucky we are and how much we have to be thankful for. And whether you believe it or not, years of Thanksgiving happen to us all as well. We only need to keep working upwards, they’ll eventually come.

While you’re waiting make a list of all the things your grateful for, you might find that the year of Thanksgiving doesn’t need to be the best year of your life, it might just need to be a year that you’re aware of everything.

Now that things have settled down I’m going to try to make next yea a year if Thanksgiving to, so that I can enjoy this gratitude everyday, even in the darkness, because man, does it make you feel alive.

A giving of thanks:

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Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I know everyone and their mother makes a post about what they are thankful for, but I love it, whether it is repetitive or not, because I love reading peoples posts and finding other things that I fail to be grateful for on a daily bases. It’s so important to give thanks and I’m glad we’ve created a holiday around it, after all I believe gratitude and perspective are two big keys to happiness.

So without farther ado here is what I’m thankful for on this Thanksgiving:

2018. I’m thankful to be alive in this year. No matter what bad we have going on, (there is always a lot of it) I’m thankful to be alive at a time where the global poverty rate is dropping faster than it ever has. I’m thankful to have transportation, technology, grocery stores, medication, vaccines, running water, organizations that help the needy, and organized systems of living that improve our quality of life.

My family. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. I’m thankful that no matter what happens I know I can lean on them when I’m weak. It’s wonderful to have this much support and this much love pouring in from the very people who know me best.

Love. This year has blessed me with romantic love, something I’ve been praying for for a while. I’m beyond thankful that Chris has walked into my life and that I have a partner to take on the world with. I’m thankful he is the kind of man I’ve always needed, not to mention wanted. I’m thankful God didn’t listen to me when I tried to take control of his timing during my dating years.

Growth. I’m thankful that we aren’t stuck in our lives or our opinions. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to grow my opinions, change my stances. I’m glad I can move on from things not meant for me. I’m thankful that I’m not stagnant, that I’m not who I was a year ago, or ten years ago. I’m glad I get to keep getting better, and if I get worse, that I’m able to correct it later on.

Work. I’m thankful to be able to work (I wasn’t able to for a long time) and I’m thankful to be working a job I love. I’m thankful for good co-workers and good bosses. I’m thankful to be able to make my own living and not have to rely on a system that often fails. I’m thankful that I can see the benefits of my labor.

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Key factors in happiness: Gratitude and perspective

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I think one of the most important factors to happiness is perspective and the ability to develop and nurture it before a long amount of time has passed.

Given time and distance we can see how the trail of bad things were leading us to something good. It changes our mind on whether the bad times were worth it and most of us submit to the age old truth that those things needed to happen to us. If we’re able to keep that mindset in the present it changes our reaction to negative events. We start to see them as brutal necessities that will lead us exactly were we need to go.

It’s a hard mindset to keep though, and it is always easier said than done. One thing that greatly helps us cultivate perspective in the present is gratitude.

Giving thanks daily keeps our mind centered on the good. It helps us maintain a positive outlook on the future by realizing if there is good hidden throughout our terrible day, there will be far more when the darkness starts to fade.

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