In November, our thoughts turn to gratitude for friends, family, and home, whether that is where we grew up or where we live now. And why? Because for most of us gratitude is irrevocably connected with Thanksgiving. While watching football and eating a feast featuring turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy are most often associated with the holiday, giving thanks is why it was instituted. So, I thought I’d share these questions that will remind us of who we are grateful for, and why we are grateful.
- Name a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
- Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
- Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
- Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
- Think of five people you enjoy spending time with or who inspire you.
Now you have a list of people who have made a difference in your life. I challenge you to take a few minutes and let some of them know you appreciate them and exactly how they’ve made in your life.
Choose several who you are still in contact with, or whose contact information you can find. (Looking on Facebook or doing a Google search can often provide contact information quite simply.)
Once you have a way to contact them, take some time to write a letter to these wonderful people who have had a positive impact on your life. It doesn’t have to be complicated; just a note on pretty stationery, or an email, or even a text or a chat. Be sure to cover how and why they inspire you, what you have learned from them, and how you want to incorporate their example into your life.
Who knows, they may want to come visit just to see you! Feeling grateful is good, and studies have shown that serving others and being grateful have health benefits, too.
Personally, I have a long list of people I am grateful for in my life, Kelly especially, which is why I included the picture of him carving a Thanksgiving day turkey; and while I may not get personal thank you notes, cards, emails, texts, written to everyone, please know I am indeed grateful by how my life has been enriched by so many wonderful people, whether they be family members, friends, or acquaintances. Thank you for being a part of my life and making this world a better place, simply by being here.
Next, now that you’ve got people you are grateful for covered, make a list of the experiences and things you have that your are grateful for at this time. Then, when you are feeling down, stressed, frustrated, etc., get out the list and read it for an instant pick-me-up.
Please feel free to leave a comment and share your experience with reaching out in gratitude.