The stores are adorned in their holiday finery, beckoning all to spend, spend, spend! Does that just drive you insane?
Before we know it, the topic of the day will center on turkey and trimmings, out of town guests and Black Friday sales! I, for one, am grateful for the reminder that the holidays are upon us. It has been a difficult year for most with extreme weather, power failures, County budget woes and the like—so reminders of a festive season are a small sample of something to be grateful for.
Now, many of your are probably looking at the coming weeks of merriment as an added hassle to an already hectic schedule; be that as it may, if you adjust your thinking, it can truly be the most wonderful time of the year. The first rule is to appreciate all we have and not to complain about what we don’t have! If you get that, then you are more than halfway to really enjoying the season and, more importantly, the rest of your life.
Second: plan ahead, but that is a topic of another blog, so back to gratitude.
I agree that it is difficult to express and feel gratitude when we are blocked by stress and worry, and in this life, every moment we face the possibility of challenges. But having said that, triumph is the flip side of those challenges. We put so much pressure on ourselves by living in a world of idealistic expectation that when those fantasy expectations are not met, we fill with disappointment and more worry. Be grateful for disappointment, though—it removes fantasy, allowing us to move towards our goals in a more realistic manner. When our expectations equal our reality, we can truly achieve and appreciate what we have. Be grateful for what you have. Put that long list of holidays tasks—not to mention the extra expenses the holidays bring—aside, and be grateful for the pleasure of sharing the holiday with family and friends.
If you are alone for the holidays, share the precious gift of your time with those less fortunate by volunteering at a local soup kitchen. Visit a senior center, adopt a family for the season! Imagine filling another with your energy—for gratitude is best when shared; it thrives when passed along. Be grateful for the privilege of celebrating your faith in any manner you choose, for we are blessed to live in a country that allows us such freedom. Instead of complaining about preparing that huge turkey dinner and the houseful of guests too lazy to assistant you in the clean up, be grateful for the ways and means to provide. Everyone knows that negative energy is bad for your health, but did you know that gratitude makes you happier and healthier?
Of course there will always be times when life’s problems blind us to joy and happiness, but a good way to combat this is making a gratitude list or journal. It will help focus and center you. Take a look at the beauty surrounding us. Be grateful for Nature's gifts. The trees, although almost bare now, seem to open up the sky, allowing the Sun to shut its eye at dusk in a more beautiful way this time of year! I’m so grateful for that—what do you have to be grateful for?
'Till next time... remember, Magic Happens!