Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thank You

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for 4 reasons:

There's the food, of course, and any excuse for a great meal is a good day for me.  

Then there's the gathering of family and friends.  When I was growing up, Thanksgiving was an opportunity to invite whomever had no other plans to gather in a kind of odd mix, for better or for worse. I still have that kind of "the more the merrier" attitude, even though our family is like any other family in all that that implies.

Another thing I love about this holiday is the absence of gift-giving. I've come to think that the forced expectation of giving and receiving gifts actually detracts from the experience of generosity and gratitude.

Which brings me finally to gratitude. The entire expectation of this day is to be thankful which is a very good thing.  In fact, this experiment is worth a try: promise yourself that at the end of every day you will write down 10 things you were grateful for that day. The amazing thing about this exercise is that it puts you in the world in a different way. You are intentionally focusing on all things things for which you are thankful because you have that list to do later in the evening. When you do this, there is less room for your unhappiness simply because you have changed your focus. The result is the expansive and comforting experience that gratitude brings. And don't worry....there will be time later for the gripes.


Laura Stanfill said...

Those are four great reasons, Liz! Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Liz said...

thanks, laura. hope you had a great holiday.