The search for thankfulness

It seems fitting to write about Thanksgiving (which is happening right now in Canada) as I sit in my pjs, still full from Thanksgiving dinner #2 (one more to go, and I ain't mad!), sipping coffee, watching a rerun of Will & Grace while my kids eat waffles and apple sauce and fight about playing video games.

I have a lot to be thankful for.

That could probably be the end of the post but I'll go on.

Thankfulness is such a relative term. What I am thankful for, may not be valued in the same way by someone else. In fact, my thankful items many not even be seen as important or relevant to you- but that's what makes them all the more essential to my life.

The mere idea of thankfulness- where we step away from ourself for a few minutes and see the things that may feel mundane or run-of-the-mill but really bring us the most centred, consistent, joyful interactions- is foreign and uncomfortable to me in a lot of ways. I tend to get bogged down in the details of life and go straight to the negatives. I cry a lot, I worry a lot and I get wrapped up in the "what ifs" and "why didn't I's". There have been dark moments in my life where I have completely forgotten the opportunities for "thank you's" that sit in front of me every single day. The small things that enrich my life even when they seem like a chore often end up being the most important. So I have started looking for daily thankfulness opportunities, like these:

The school drop-off - I get to kiss my kids and remind them how important they are to me. I get to set the tone for their daily interactions.
The grocery shopping - I get to choose what food I will feed my family so that they are never hungry. I can afford the food I need and the food I want without worry.
Cleaning bathrooms - I have 3 bathrooms in my beautiful home, which is more than I ever could have hoped for growing up. I have a family that gets to use those bathrooms every day and enjoy clean, safe water and privacy. 
Work- I have a job. It pays me money!!! What I do makes a difference in the lives of kids and I have the opportunity to go to my job every day.
Technology- How often have you heard that technology is killing the social interaction? For me, it has been the complete opposite. Every job offer I have received in the past 4 years - big and small -  has been because of a social media connection: someone saw my writing and asked me to write for them; someone connected with me on Twitter and asked me to be a guest on their show; someone liked my voice and asked me to create content for their business. The list could go on but suffice it to say that all of my 'successes' have been connected to being online in a real, authentic way. 
My commute- I have a short commute relatively speaking but, while commuting, I am ALONE. As a parent of two busy and loud boys, having a few minutes alone in my car to be alone with my thoughts is HUGE!!! (and truthfully, the fact that I can blast music I love without worrying about little ears picking up on swear words or asking me what sex is- that's the icing on the cake right there!).
The selfie stick- I know. But when I realize how many awesome pictures my kids will have to look back on once they are grown or once I have left this earth, I am thankful for all the times I forced my family to take a selfie. 
My sore back- Seems weird to be thankful for this, but I am. I recently hurt my back and, while the pain has been unrelenting, it has made me realize how thankful I am for my good health and how lucky I am to so rarely experience pain or illness.

Truthfully, thankfulness is work for me and learning to be thankful isn't easy. It's a daily work in progress, but I'm willing to put in the work that true thankfulness requires, because without it my life seems to lose that spark and sparkle that make it worthwhile. 

And, in the end, when I look at the world and the sacrifices and challenges others face, I know that thankfulness cannot just be lip service- I honestly and truly am thankful for the abundance of goodness in my life. 

My ridiculously good looking family's Thanksgiving selfie, care of the selfie stick.
They'll thank me, I'm sure. 


  1. Well said!! I am going to cast my vote on this thanksgiving day...seems very fitting!

  2. It's the little things. I kept a gratitude journal for a bit and just jotted down one or more things each day I was grateful for and it made a huge difference in my happiness and increased my focus on the positive.


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