Mindful Monday: Thanksgiving Edition
Happy Thanksgiving week! Anyone else love this holiday? The whole concept of taking a pause to think about what you are thankful for is so powerful. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how we should all check in and find gratitude more often!
But sometimes saying what you are thankful for out loud can feel a little competitive. Have you ever felt this way? I distinctly remember one Thanksgiving when I slightly panicked every time I thought about what I was going to say when it was my turn to share with the table. I hadn’t gotten an acting job in a long time, I was lonely in a new city without my friends nearby, and the relationship I was in since college was falling apart. Oh, and I decided to start a blog (what’s that?! ?). Basically, I was completely unsure of where my life was going. So what was I going to say I was thankful for? Compared to other people, I wasn’t as #blessed!
But if I switched off that comparison game, everything changed. Sure, someone else might have been vocal about being “blessed” that year because of a killer career, a big group of friends, an upcoming wedding, or expecting a baby. All things to be thankful for! But that shouldn’t diminish anything else on your list or mine. That year, I decided to say I was thankful for my family, a beautiful meal, my health, and possibilities. These may seem smaller or less “impressive” than others – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t significant. And I try to remember that on each Thanksgiving, and every day in between.
I have a lot to be thankful for this year. And so many people would look at my life from the outside and think, I wish I had that much to be grateful for! I love my family, I love my boyfriend, my 4 best girlfriends and I have been friends for over 12 years, I’m financially stable, and I went full time with my blog this year (dream job!). But even still, these past few months have presented a lot of challenges that I haven’t opened up to you guys about. Along with that, even though I am not interested in rushing big life events, I’m 31. And that means that people ask me when I’m getting married and starting a family like a lot of other people my age. Justifying why you are cool with your “different” life path can get exhausting ?
But here’s the real reason why I’m bringing all of this up. It’s because I’ve learned this over the years.
Gratitude is not a competition.
What do I mean by that? Simply that there is not a threshold of blessings that you have to reach in order to be grateful. I have seen people with so little be the most grateful people in the world. And I know people who have dealt with immense grief and loss, yet still maintain positivity and hopefulness. On the other hand, I’ve seen people with so much take everything they have for granted.
So this Thanksgiving, whether everything is going your way or not, turn off the noise and be present. Take out a journal and write down every little thing you are thankful for. Even if it’s as simple as sunshine or yoga or chocolate. I’m willing to bet you can write a longer list than you thought. And for at least one day, live in that. Let go of your frustration around circumstances that are outside of your control. If your Facebook feed is making you feel behind or inadequate, get off your phone! Savor everything on that list you wrote, no matter how big or small. That’s what I’m going to do ❤️
What are you grateful for this year?
PS. You might also like 30 Things I Learned Before 30, Why I Quit My Job To Become a Full Time Blogger, and 5 Thanksgiving Side Dishes.