Thanksgiving 2017

by Jamie Sanford on November 23, 2017

Here we go again, with the time flying by more quickly than any of us would like. The holidays have officially arrived.

It seems like the right time to revisit my gratitude practice and how it is going. I will admit to not often enough focusing on it, but I still benefit from the foundation of gratitude that I built for myself. I am, in general, extremely grateful for all of the things I have received from the universe as well as the things I have that I’ve worked hard to have or achieve.

For anyone who needs help, let’s start with really low-level, basic gratitude stuff. Starting to look at your life a little bit differently will lead you on a different path.

  • You are alive and breathing and reading a blog post. You can breathe, and see. How many people have you already outlived?
  • You have a computer or other device with which to read this blog post. Your privilege is starting to show. Do you see where this is going?

Let’s level up a bit. Here are some of my own gratitude list items.

  • According to survey data, 40% of Americans would be in financial crisis if they suddenly were presented with a bill of $400 or more. I am not in that 40%. Will and I have worked hard to do all of the important adult financial stuff that you are “supposed” to do, and the reason that we can do that is because we make enough money to do so. So many people are not in this scenario.
  • I have a home that is filled with the things I love and the human I love the most in the world.
  • My health, for the most part, is quite good, despite all of my efforts to ruin it. (Hello, upcoming goals.)
  • I have made it to adult life with some of the most amazing friendships intact, with people I’ve known for 20 or more years. What they add to my life is immeasurable.
  • I laugh every day. Multiple times.

I could go in and make this list longer, but that isn’t what this is about. For me, it is being present in the gratitude and having that contribute greatly to my happiness.

I do believe that for many people, happiness is a choice. (Click the link for much more on this topic.) If you focus on things you are unhappy about, you’ll be unhappy about everything. If you focus on the good stuff, you’ll realize just how much good stuff there is, and hopefully you can pair that with recognizing your own luck/privilege/good fortune/whatever you want to call it.

Take an extra moment today to create your own mental gratitude list. Good luck!

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