It's been a slow week--as to be expected--we've got family coming into town and Thanksgiving preparations are well under way. I love the preparation and anticipation of holidays almost as much as the holidays thesemselves. But one thing I realize I haven't been doing much of lately, is taking time to stop and focus on gratitude. Last year I made a gratitude tree for our family to write things we're thankful for on leaves and place them on the tree. We had discussions about gratitude and I wrote a little piece on the blog about gratitude for the sake of gratitude. I haven't done any of those things this year. Which would be fine if I was actually thinking about gratitude in my heart...but I haven't been.
So as I start some baking today and as I'm running around doing errands, cleaning the house for company I'm going to to take some time to be mindful of all the things I'm grateful for in my heart. I tend to run on the high strung side, especially when it comes to holidays. I want everything to look just so, I want it to be special... but it's not worth it if I'm letting little frustrations get in the way of the joy.
I've said this before and I'll say it again, gratitude is the key to a happy life. Not being grateful 'because it could always be worse' but being grateful because there is always something to be grateful for. As we explained to our girls last year, gratitude can change your day, your week, your life...not because it actually changes your circumstances, but it changes how you see your circumstances. It can take effort to practice real gratitude, but for me it has always been a transformative experience. So as I am cleaning today I'll remember what a gift it is to have a home, and as I watch dishes pile up tomorrow I'll say a prayer of gratitude that I have food to eat and a family to eat that food with. As I try to keep noisy kids from waking up a sleeping baby I'll remember how each one of them were babies once and doesn't it all go so fast? I so often get caught up in the frustration of messes, noise, and chaos but really, all of these things are evidence of the amazing, lovely people I get to share my life with.
Gratitude is like glasses for my heart...it helps me see things as they really are.
And if all else fails, we've always got Adele.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.