...dare to smile gratefully.
Which came first. November and Thanksgiving? Or November and "National Gratitude Month"? Unlike the proverbial Chicken/Egg quandary...I answer that with a resounding DUH! However, gratitude is more than just saying "thank you". Gratitude is shifting the power from looking at the negative in our lives, to appreciating the positive. The ultimate mood enhancer, no prescription required. Gratitude turns what we have, into MORE than enough. It's an amazing super power we all possess, should we decide to use it. So instead of eating that Christmas Tree shaped Reeses Cup (seriously...how quickly those Reeses Pumpkins have morphed!) to put me in a good mood...I'm going to opt for gratitude.
What I am grateful for today:
1. Grand daughter time. Instead of focusing on the physical distance between us, I'm choosing to appreciate the sheer joy of having her in my life DESPITE the distance. For now it is the daily photographs Thing #2 sends me, very long car trips, and Frontier Airlines. And then there is the sheer amount of shopping I do for Grand #1 because...it helps me feel connected (not to mention how cute baby girl clothes are!). You do what you can do, and I am grateful I can do it.
2. Cell phones. Whether it is the daily Grand #1 photos, the funny group texts with the Fam, the multiple daily "Whatcha up to?" messages from the Better Half, or the "I'm so stressed" college texts from Thing #3...I'm thankful for the daily connection to those I love.
3. My favorite television shows (I'm too embarrassed to publicly tell a what they are). BUT, they darn well provide me with a cheap vacation from my life AND make me realize what I great life I truly have. Not to mention, they are great advertisements and reminders of the peril's of too much plastic surgery! Holy "Mr. Freeze" Batman!
4. Random acts of kindness. It's food for my soul to see there are people who exist that are good, just for the sake of being good. For no external rewards or acknowledgements. They help me strive to reach the bar they have set to be a better person.
5. The Presidential election. Granted, this one takes more effort to summon up gratitude for. It certainly has resulted in ugliness, intolerance, and vitriol spewed from both sides. It's been a whirlwind of emotion all around. I have not been able to log into any social media without seeing some sort of political warfare. Polite debate is one thing. Name calling is another. Despite all this, I am grateful. It reminds me how different people are in their experiences and backgrounds, which rightfully colors their varied viewpoints and opinions. Personally, I have gained far more from those who have challenged my viewpoints, than by those who agree with them. I am encouraged by how MANY are invested, involved, and voting in this election. And lastly, I am grateful because this whole election season has been a personal exercise in tolerance and self control (two things I ALWAYS need to exercise because they have been known to fail me on occasion). And perhaps most glaringly...I'm grateful it is all over on Tuesday. Regardless of your stance, please VOTE!
And yes, I AM grateful for those Reeses peanut butter Christmas trees that were pumpkins up until this week. If not for them, I'd be eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's and then mad at myself because I chose "Chunky Monkey" instead of "The Tonight Dough". Which just goes to show there is ALWAYS something to show gratitude for, if you look hard enough.
Here's where I "link up" today