Gratitude is often like a holiday, it comes once a year. When you think of Thanksgiving, surely the first thing you think of is thankfulness and gratitude. Well, and turkey.
But overall, it’s the day when we get with the ones closest to us and celebrate how thankful we are for each other (and turkey!) and we practice that feeling of gratitude all day.
This past Thanksgiving for me was one of the worst days that I can remember. I cooked dinner for myself and my father – a Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes (!!!!), lima beans, green beans, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce – you name it, it was made. He stayed in bed most of the day, and when he did get up, he went over to a friend’s house instead of eating what I had made.
I stopped looking at the meal that I had made as an accomplishment, and turned it into something that “wasn’t good enough” – a feeling I’ve had since I was in my early teens. To make it all even worse, it was on THANKSGIVING – the day when you are supposed to be with the ones you love, and give thanks for the things you have.
Add that to the things that I blamed myself for.
For the duration of the day, I picked apart everything that I had done, both with the dinner, and things that had nothing to do with the situation at all. “Why didn’t I finish school?!” “Why did I let things with The Ex fall apart?” “Why am I gaining weight?” The ideas ranged in topic – but they all had one toxic thing in common: They all focused on things about myself that I found to be negative, but wasn’t doing anything about. Each thing that I thought about was something that I felt the need to complain about, but couldn’t muster up the courage or desire to make a change.
I was so comfortable in negativity, that positivity wasn’t even appealing most of the time.
There is no one on this planet who is completely happy with everything about themselves or their life situation. Everyone wants something more than what they already have. This idea of never being satisfied is both a gift and a curse. On one hand, it makes you appear to be someone who never gives up, and always aims for the next step above where you are. However, without some level of satisfaction and gratitude for what you already have, you’re selling yourself short.
For me, where I am now isn’t where I want to end up, but it’s exactly where I wanted to be a year ago. When things were falling apart around me, I just wanted to feel happy. I just wanted to feel accepted. I just wanted to feel ME. Now that I do, I’ve found it incredibly important to practice a combination of gratitude and action – being proud of where I am, but always moving forward to the next level.
I’ve had a few rough days recently.
I’m doubting my life direction, and honestly even my ability to achieve all of the things I want to with the baggage that I bring. I haven’t had 24 hours of a completely good mood in as long as I can remember, but I am also happy more hours than I am sad. It’s a give and take of sorts. In honor of practicing gratitude, I want to share a list of things that I’m grateful for right now.
These are the things that I focus on that I have at this very moment – rather than the things that I don’t have.
I am grateful for having a job in a time in which many people do not.
I am grateful for having a fulfilling relationship with my mom, though it may be rocky at times.
I am grateful for always having exactly what I need. It might not always be everything that I want, but my necessities are always taken care of.
I am grateful to be living in a house with two of my very good friends who make me feel loved, appreciated, and wanted.
I am grateful for my ever growing writing skills and that I am able to contribute to several clients to better develop their companies.
I am grateful for my sense of humor that can bring others out of a bad mood.
I am grateful for YOU, readers, who’s ideas and validation that I am not alone help me get through some very difficult days.
I am most grateful that I was able to overcome extreme depression and come to a point where I don’t look forward to the end of each day, but to the beginning of tomorrow’s new journey.
Okay, now you go!
So, my lovely friends, I’d love for you to make a list of 5 (or MORE!!) things that you’re grateful for right now, no matter your life circumstances. Share them with me in the comments!
If you decide to blog about it, leave me a link to the blog so I can read it. Make it a habit this week, as I will be, to remember the things that you do have, while still working toward the things that you want.