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30 Days of Gratitude–Thanksgiving Day Edition

Looks like I survived posting my 30 Days of Gratitude. I hope you took some time to pause and reflect on what you are grateful for this month and I hope you will continue the practice. Maybe not necessarily every single day. But try to pause every once in a while and check in with yourself. Surely there is something.

Today is the day the United States observes Thanksgiving. I will be celebrating with my family at my uncle’s house. We will have way too much food and hopefully just the right amount of wine. We will watch football. We will chitchat. Maybe we’ll play a game. I am sure we will have a wonderful time.

But more important than the food…

Today I am thankful for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Every year I watch the Parade. I didn’t get to see it all the way through until I was 28 because we were always driving up to my grandma and papa’s house for Thanksgiving. I’d get to watch the beginning, but we’d always leave about halfway through and I’d miss the rest. Now I live in the same town as my grandma, so I don’t have the hour long drive.

Everyone knows it’s my special thing. I wait all year for the Parade. So they let me watch it in peace.

I wake up early enough to make coffee and am sitting on the couch with a blanket absolutely ready to go at 9:00am. I usually tear up a bit at the shouts of “Let’s have a parade!” Then I just feel happy and hopeful and ready for the holiday season.

One last time–What are you thankful for today?

30 Days of Gratitude–Day 30

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

As a personal challenge to be more aware of all of my blessings in life, I am writing a post about one of those blessings every day for the 30 days prior to Thanksgiving. Some will be serious. Some will be silly. But they will all mean something to me personally. I invite you to join in, in the comments, in your own writing space, or simply in your head. So often we take for granted how much we have to be thankful for. It’s good to stop, reflect, and remember.


Today I am grateful for abundance.

I began this practice knowing that I had a lot to be grateful for.

Along the way, as I sat at my desk to write each post, I’d reflect on what had been going on or what was on the horizon. I discarded a lot of ideas as being too silly or too difficult to articulate. It brought to light a lot more than what is reflected in these posts.

I end the month in what feels like a much richer position. I feel like my attitude of gratitude has brought more good things into my life.

I’ve recognized the big things to be grateful for–family, friends, material circumstances–and have began seeing the smaller, the personal, in a clearer light. The big things provide a foundation and definitely make life rich. But I think the small things add several layers of additional richness that make life enjoyable. You just have to choose to see it.

I hope that it has been a rewarding month for you too and that you’ve been able to add to your list of things to be grateful for.

What are you grateful for today?

30 Days of Gratitude–Day 29

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

As a personal challenge to be more aware of all of my blessings in life, I am writing a post about one of those blessings every day for the 30 days prior to Thanksgiving. Some will be serious. Some will be silly. But they will all mean something to me personally. I invite you to join in, in the comments, in your own writing space, or simply in your head. So often we take for granted how much we have to be thankful for. It’s good to stop, reflect, and remember.


Today I am thankful for the opportunity to grow.

I think we are constantly presented with opportunities to grow and enrich our lives and it’s up to us to either embrace them or not.

Before beginning my quest to start teaching yoga, I was trying to be something that was really unfulfilling for me. I could have kept beating my head against a brick wall and being miserable all the time. But then I had the opportunity to enroll in teacher training. It was like light turned on and things didn’t seem so bleak any longer.

As this month of daily reminding myself of different things I am thankful for in life comes to a close, I look back and recognize that I’ve been presented with several opportunities to grow, some have been in small ways, others have been larger.

Sometimes growth occurs by reading a book that makes you think about something differently. Sometimes it happens when you decide to take the high road. Sometimes it happens when you decide to embrace a new challenge. And sometimes you don’t even recognize it until later.

What are you grateful for today?

30 Days of Gratitude–Day 28

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

As a personal challenge to be more aware of all of my blessings in life, I am writing a post about one of those blessings every day for the 30 days prior to Thanksgiving. Some will be serious. Some will be silly. But they will all mean something to me personally. I invite you to join in, in the comments, in your own writing space, or simply in your head. So often we take for granted how much we have to be thankful for. It’s good to stop, reflect, and remember.


Today I am thankful for Christmas music.

I’ve been listening to it periodically for a couple of days. I usually wait until after Thanksgiving, but this year Thanksgiving is late and it just feels like it’s time. I know a number of my friends have already decorated, so I think a lot of people are feeling like it’s time.

There is just something inherently, purely happy about Christmas music for me, though there certainly have been years I just wasn’t feeling Christmas music.

I mentioned it to one of my friends and she said she already has her tree up. She speculated that we’re both into Christmas this year because we aren’t miserable about our lives any longer. I think she’s right.

I’m able to think about the positive associations I have of Christmas music, instead of thinking about all of the stress we tend to add to Christmas–you know, getting the right gifts, not going over budget, then going over budget and being mad at ourselves, etc. I’m sure some of this stress will hit at some point.

But for right now, I’m able to think about the peace of sitting in front of the fireplace with the Christmas tree lit, listening to Christmas music with Steve. The simple pleasure of that.

This whole month, I keep coming back to simple pleasures.

What are you grateful for today?

30 Days of Gratitude–Day 27

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

As a personal challenge to be more aware of all of my blessings in life, I am writing a post about one of those blessings every day for the 30 days prior to Thanksgiving. Some will be serious. Some will be silly. But they will all mean something to me personally. I invite you to join in, in the comments, in your own writing space, or simply in your head. So often we take for granted how much we have to be thankful for. It’s good to stop, reflect, and remember.


This post was actually rather difficult to write because at this point in the month, I am looking closely at all parts of life and enjoying the moment. That doesn’t always translate into an articulable thing to be grateful for.

Today I am thankful for all of the ways I am able to simply enjoy life.

My coffee tastes better. I enjoy the company of those around me more. I feel lighter.

I feel like all of this is because I am taking the moment to look and enjoy.

I had a really bad habit of saving things for the right occasion, the special occasion (and occasionally it still pops up). So things would just sit on my shelves. Waiting. Collecting dust. Taking up space. Creating a mess.

Finally, I decided I needed to spend out. These things I was saving weren’t doing me any good just sitting there. Stuff was getting thrown away because it went bad waiting for me to use it.

Sometimes spending out means using it myself. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve used up a few face scrubs and partial bottles of lotion that had been just waiting.

Sometimes spending out means passing something off to someone who will enjoy it. I recently gave a bag of makeup and beauty product samples I wasn’t going to use to an acquaintance who has preteen daughters. It felt good to pass it along to someone who would have fun.

You have to move stuff out in order to make more space, both physically and intangibly.

So this month, I have been grateful for all of the moments of spending out because as a result, I’ve gotten to simply enjoy life.

What are you grateful for today?

30 Days of Gratitude–Day 26

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

As a personal challenge to be more aware of all of my blessings in life, I am writing a post about one of those blessings every day for the 30 days prior to Thanksgiving. Some will be serious. Some will be silly. But they will all mean something to me personally. I invite you to join in, in the comments, in your own writing space, or simply in your head. So often we take for granted how much we have to be thankful for. It’s good to stop, reflect, and remember.


Today I am grateful for cozy blankets and warm food and drink.

The weather has taken a bit of a turn for the icky today. Drizzling rain. Temps that might make it into the 40s, but we’ll see.

Though, to be fair and honest, this is the kind of cold weather that makes me think of the holidays. I think it’s supposed to warm back up for Thanksgiving though.

I digress…

I’m so glad that I can curl up in a blanket and stay warm, that I don’t have to leave the house today. I got the most fabulous blanket in my winter FabFitFun box. It feels like fur, but isn’t. It’s the perfect size for curling up with a book or for sharing on the couch. It will definitely get a lot of use this winter.

I think for lunch we’re having good ole Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup with plenty of crackers. I have a mug with the can label printed on it that I’ve used since I was a kid. I’m kind of excited.

The operative words for the day are “cozy” and “warm.”

What are you thankful for today?

30 Days of Gratitude–Day 25

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

As a personal challenge to be more aware of all of my blessings in life, I am writing a post about one of those blessings every day for the 30 days prior to Thanksgiving. Some will be serious. Some will be silly. But they will all mean something to me personally. I invite you to join in, in the comments, in your own writing space, or simply in your head. So often we take for granted how much we have to be thankful for. It’s good to stop, reflect, and remember.


Today I am thankful for the life-changing magic of books.

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

I’ve been on quite a reading tear lately. I am constantly starting books, reading a good chunk of them, then setting them aside for no real reason. A month ago, I decided to focus on books I’d read a significant amount of, finishing as many as I could by the end of the year. Then Steve upped the ante: he challenged me to read 52 books this year.

I had already read 34 by that point and I wasn’t starting from page 1 on these books, so I accepted the challenge. Yesterday I finished book 41. Still have quite a ways to go. But I feel like I can do it.

Books have been important to me ever since I could read. Some books I’ve read didn’t really make an impression. But others have been life-changing. They’ve had a profound quote. Changed my perspective on a topic, such as food. Took me away with an engrossing story. Introduced me to unforgettable characters or real people. Inspired me somehow.

What are you grateful for today?

30 Days of Gratitude–Day 24

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

As a personal challenge to be more aware of all of my blessings in life, I am writing a post about one of those blessings every day for the 30 days prior to Thanksgiving. Some will be serious. Some will be silly. But they will all mean something to me personally. I invite you to join in, in the comments, in your own writing space, or simply in your head. So often we take for granted how much we have to be thankful for. It’s good to stop, reflect, and remember.


A short one today…

Today I am thankful for my yoga mentors.

I encountered each of them at different points in my yoga journey. I’ve had the great fortune to take classes with each of them and I learned a lot. I feel like I’ve incorporated something from each of them in my own teaching style.

I am lucky to have such a wealth of mentors to learn from.

What are you thankful for today?

30 Days of Gratitude–Day 23

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

As a personal challenge to be more aware of all of my blessings in life, I am writing a post about one of those blessings every day for the 30 days prior to Thanksgiving. Some will be serious. Some will be silly. But they will all mean something to me personally. I invite you to join in, in the comments, in your own writing space, or simply in your head. So often we take for granted how much we have to be thankful for. It’s good to stop, reflect, and remember.


Today I am thankful for la dolce far niente–the sweetness of doing nothing.

I’m fortunate to be having one of those days today.

I don’t have to go anywhere or really do anything until much later. I am making lunch (chicken enchiladas), but I feel like the whole day is wide open and I enjoy cooking, so it doesn’t feel like a chore. I have a couple of items I want to accomplish, like writing a few blog posts, but otherwise I’m free to relax.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Today I am choosing to fill that time with finishing a book (The Hours by Michael Cunningham). It probably won’t take me all day to do, but I have no concrete plans for that remaining time.

That’s what I love best about days like today. I have the luxury of not being busy. I think there’s a tendency in the present day to attempt to fill all time with doing something that seems productive.

But, let me tell you, you need to indulge every once in a while in la dolce far niente! I’m not saying to shirk responsibilities. Do what you have to do, but don’t always strive to fill every moment of every day with something.

Take some time to just enjoy doing nothing.

What are you grateful for today?

30 Days of Gratitude–Day 22

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

As a personal challenge to be more aware of all of my blessings in life, I am writing a post about one of those blessings every day for the 30 days prior to Thanksgiving. Some will be serious. Some will be silly. But they will all mean something to me personally. I invite you to join in, in the comments, in your own writing space, or simply in your head. So often we take for granted how much we have to be thankful for. It’s good to stop, reflect, and remember.


Today I am grateful for music.

Music can be a great emotional outlet. I can always find a song or a playlist to go with my mood, even if the music becomes secondary to another activity, like reading or cooking or writing. Music can enhance or bring about a particular mood. If I’m feeling mellow, I’ll listen to some jazz. If I’m feeling combative and angsty, I’ll crank up Green Day’s American Idiot. If I want to feel cheerful (and it’s the right time of year), I’ll listen to Christmas music.

I think music helps form a connection between people. There are songs I remember singing along to with my parents when I was a little kid (“Baker Street” with my mom and “Sunset Grill” with my dad). When a Rolling Stones song comes on, Steve or I will say, “Hey, we’ve seen this live,” which calls back the really cool opportunity we had to see the Stones at the Indianapolis Speedway shortly after we started dating.

I have a subscription to Spotify and I love it. I have an internet friend, Heather, who is way more knowledgeable about music than I and she has made all of these fantastic playlists that I return to over and over. Because I work from home when I’m not teaching yoga, I am constantly playing one of her lists. I play Spotify lists when I teach yoga and they each create different moods for the class whether that’s energetic or contemplative or just sorta going with the flow.

What are you grateful for today?