Wednesday, November 21

how to be thankful

So it's no secret. Thanksgiving is tomorrow. And everyone and their dog is out and about sharing what they are thankful for. So last night I started to write out a list of things that I am thankful for. I had written down a whopping 2.5 things ...

When somehow my mind began to wander.
My mind wandered to the pile of laundry downstairs.
I thought about all the things I need to do this weekend.
You know, like cook TG dinner. I'm kidding. I would die.
My mind wandered to some of the things I don't have.
I thought about the crappy car that I drive.
I thought about better jobs.
Better paychecks.
Better talents.

And then BAM. Sherman barked at me.
And reminded me how truly lucky I am. I am so very grateful for this life.
Not because it's perfect. But because it's my life. And it's a pretty darn good {unpredictable, funny, awesome, sometimes challenging} life. I'm thankful for my family. For Dan. And for Sherman. For our amazing parents and sisters and brothers. And for our humble little home. For our health. And good friends. And yes, even my amazing car. That still runs. Hallelujah!

And so ... for those of us *cough, cough* who need instructions on how to be thankful, I thought I'd share some with you. Did you know Wiki has instructions on how to be thankful? They do ...
1. Relax. It's hard to cultivate a sense of gratitude when you're angry, frustrated, or anxious. If these are issues that you struggle with, it's important to resolve them, as they're formidable barriers to thankfulness.

2. Live in the moment. If you're too busy dwelling on the past or thinking about the future, you won't be able to fully notice how fantastic things are right now. Plus, thinking about the past and future opens the door to comparison, which is the only way you can perceive something as not good enough. What you have now is all that exists, and comparing that to something that doesn't exist anymore (or yet) is an easy way to foster dissatisfaction and torture yourself. Like the old saying goes "Past is History, Future is a Mystery and Today is Gift and hence it is called the Present". Enjoy today, this moment and don't postpone your enjoyment.
3. Start with your senses. The most basic pleasures in life are usually accessible to us all the time, but they slip out of our consciousness because we get so used to them. Learn to notice the little things, and deliberately appreciate them. Look around. Notice beautiful shapes, colors, and details. Notice things you normally take for granted. Think of all the little things you'd miss if you were blind. It's often the most minute joys that are missed the most.

4. Cherish any kind of lightheartedness in your life. Things like laughter, affection, and playfulness are fleeting. Once a relationship has degraded so that those things don't spontaneously occur anymore, it's very hard to get them back. You might know that from experience. So treat those moments with care (especially with kids, who are at the peak of lightheartedness). Don't be the person who takes life too seriously, who doesn't have time to have fun, or who has no sense of humor.
5. Take a vacation. There's some truth to the saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder". Ideally, you shouldn't have to separate yourself from something (or someone) in order to appreciate it or them (that can lead to a vicious cycle). But it can be a good way to trigger your sense of gratitude just once in a while.

6. Keep a gratitude journal. Challenge yourself to write down five new things every day that you're grateful for. It'll be easy in the beginning, but soon you'll discover that you have to increase your awareness to keep on.
And #7 {from yours truly} ...
Get a dog.
You will be thankful. So very thankful.

Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving with those you love.
See ya next week. :)

34 comments:

  1. What a unique take on the thankful post! Look at Sherman looking all handsome!

    ReplyDelete
  2. i'm thankful that you regularly are on here, putting up posts like this.
    consistency is key!! hahaha

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is so cute and beautiful. :) I especially like the last tip. ;) haha. I'm thankful too for my lovely pooch. Have a great Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I will get a dog. I'm gonna get YOUR dog. He needs to be home with me. I am not a doggy person but everytime I see photos of him... I want him. GAH! Chocolate lab?? I gotta get one!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like Wiki's idea of how to be thankful! Take a vacation?! I'm ready! Let's Go!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, I love this! You are just the cutest (and funniest!) thing. You brighten my day.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oooh I actually have a gratitude journal. As soon as I wake up every morning I go ahead and jot down 10 things I am grateful and I also jot down as many wonderful moments from the previous day. Needless to say, I definitely started my day with a smile. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good post, love all the photos!!! Your dog is adorable. I want one.

    Xo-L

    simplylowcountry.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love this...and I couldn't agree more about the Dog part. I asked my hubby last night what our life would be without our dog...can't even IMAGINE! Happy T-Givs Tiff :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. ahhh, such a beautiful post. we have so much to be thankful for!

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
  11. What in the world did we ever do before wiki? I think I'm going to be thankful for that today. And for pictures of lab puppies.

    Hope you have a great day tomorrow!

    PS- I mentioned you in my vlog today. And this time, I didn't need Shay to remind me that I shouted you out.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I loved this post! These are such good reminders. And you're right, it can be all to easy to just not focus on what we have right in front of us, and to complain. In fact, I wrote a similar post on my blog today. But, I just stopped to really think and yeah, we're pretty blessed people. As for the dog? I'm still working on that...Hubs hasn't warmed up to the fact yet. I'm trying to convince him that his happiness levels will significantly increase if he bought me a dog ;)

    Anyways...Happy Thanksgiving, friend!

    ReplyDelete
  13. ahhhh! The picture of baby Sherman! I love him so much. Now I'm going back up to read the rest of the post.

    ReplyDelete
  14. ok, sorry you're getting two emails/comments from me, but I just read the rest of the post and I'm sure glad I did. I even paused my podcast! So funny that you actually found a wiki answer for how to be thankful. How wonderful is this quote "Past is History, Future is a Mystery and Today is Gift and hence it is called the Present" Genius! I've never heard it before. Thanks for your positivity this morning. I'm definitely Thankful!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love this post! It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we forget to sit back and really realize all the great things we have in our lives! Thank you for this little reminder!

    Hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love this post, I think "get a dog" is probably one of the best suggestions on here:)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Happy Thanksgiving, Sherman!! Oh, and Tiff & Dan as well :)

    "Get a dog"- that is the best way to keep your whole WORLD in perspective, isn't it?!?

    ReplyDelete
  18. I, of course, am totally a fan of #7. I don't know if you meant to or not but your second paragraph is in the shape of a heart and I really love it.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you guys! I hope Sherm gets some turkey.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm thankful for my dogs!! Even if Cotton did wake up at midnight and three and four and six. His cute little face makes it worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Serioulsy exactly what I needed to read today. I have been having a bit of trouble this week with focusing a lot of my energy, time, thoughts, and heart on something/someone from my past instead of enjoying the beautiful things that are happening right now in my life. Thanks for that slap back to the present!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Happy Thanksgiving to you too! :) I'm thankful for your happy, sunshiny, lovable, caring, and funny blog. You are the bee's knees!!

    P.S. - question for Beekeeper Dan... do bees in fact have knees?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Happy TG!! And yes, getting a dog should definitely be on the list!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love the gratitude journal idea.. Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love this post, Tiff. Seriously, it's so easy to get caught up in the things we WISH we had when really so much of what we have is exactly what we need.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love the "start with your senses". It's so true...we all have so much to be thankful for!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Happy Thanks giving.
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. AWE ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL

    XO, Adropofbliss.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. i LOVE this post. what an encouragement! thank you for being so real!

    ReplyDelete
  29. THANK YOU for this. I didn't need it, but it made me more aware of my things or people or whatnot to be thankful for... and i tend to take things for granted and forget so thank you for reminding me to laugh and have a sense of humor- I need to lighten up!

    ReplyDelete
  30. OH Sherm looks so cute in these pictures. I love the idea of a gratitude journal. Just simply recognizing what I have to be grateful for makes my day so much better.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Such a handsome devil to bring you back to your senses. Hope you had a wonderful weekend. I did, with my two furry boys and my man. xo

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love this post. Sometimes we all need a nudge about what it is we are most thankful for.

    So - thank you for posting it.

    ReplyDelete
  33. You have really good energy! :) (It's nice to find fellow dog lovers and blogs that make you smile.)

    And Sherman! Omg adorable!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Love your blog pretty lady. That pup is to die for! I want to hug him. I'd love to button swap if you're interested.

    ReplyDelete