Last week we had a little “fakes-giving” with my family to celebrate together before Andrew and I move to Texas. We’ll have been there only a week when the real Thanksgiving comes around, and hopefully we’ll have the time to create our own little holiday tradition.
Our family Thanksgiving was the same as always, with all of the traditions we normally implement: my grandma’s shrimp dip as an appetizer, traditional dishes passed around the table, the antique turkey salt and pepper shakers on display, pie and coffee and intermittent napping in the living room after the meal. Our little group was small, and so going around the table to say what we were thankful for didn’t take long. But the answers were heartfelt.
It’s hard to choose just one thing to be thankful for: Family. Friendships. Silly pets. A warm, comfortable home. Food on the table and in the pantry. Money in the bank. The gifts of creativity, mobility, health, communication. A loving marriage. A new adventure.
But it is easy to be unaware of all of the many things I have to be grateful for, and to forget to make an effort to even be grateful. Cultivating a spirit of gratefulness in turn cultivates an attitude of awareness, of attention to detail. As I strive to notice all the people and things around me for which I am grateful, I notice more and more of the good stuff in life: the sunshine, the colors of the changing leaves, the magic in a kiss, the miracle of the sunset, the taste of a homemade pumpkin pie.
I’m not going to make a list, I’m not going to tweet or Instagram or blog #thirtydaysofthankfulness — even though I think it’s a great exercise — but this season I’m going to crowd out the fear and apprehension and worry that sneaks up with so much joy and awareness of the good that’s around. By slowing down and really noticing this life that so often flies by, I’ll be tending seeds of appreciation, of peace and of contentment, in my heart this season.
For the next few weeks things will be rather quiet around here as we move, unpack and settle into our new life. Bear with me through this process, as once I return I’ll have lots of updates and recipes and peeks at our new home. But in the meantime I’ll be trying my best to see the good things and really be grateful for them.