November 2011

365 Days of Thanks

"Yet, why is it that it becomes so easy to lose focus of these areas of thanks, as the days move further and further from the actual holiday?"

Thanksgiving has come and gone. We are now rapidly approaching the next holiday season although the weight of Thanksgiving may still be resting with some of us. As previously noted, Thanksgiving is often the time of year we recap on the previous months and give thanks for the positive things and people in our lives. Yet, why is it that it becomes so easy to lose focus of these areas of thanks, as the days move further and further from the actual holiday?

I cannot deny that I am guilty of moving forward and losing sight of the numerous things I say “thank you” for on Thanksgiving. Although we have not quite hit the time of New Year’s resolutions, for me, today I am making my own resolution – to give thanks each and every day for the things in my life…big or small, seemingly significant or not. Acknowledging those pieces of my life, I believe, will allow me to appreciate each day to the fullest; for there will come a day, where those pieces will change…will fade away and be lost in the eternal portal of time; only held onto by their memories, those invisible lasting prints left on a heart, mind or soul.

To make this change, I wanted to look back at the five days since my last post. What am I thankful for? I can easily allow thoughts to pass through my mind, giving silent thanks for each. Yet, part of this process, I believe…is not only taking a moment each day to be thankful, but also to verbalize what it is that I am thankful for. I cannot guarantee that verbalizing my thanks will impact anyone or anything, including the people or things for which I am thankful.  However, what impact does not saying it have?

So here I am…step one.

November 25th – Friday DAY 1

What am I thankful for? – I am thankful for my co-workers. My smartest co-workers opted to take the day after Thanksgiving off. The rest of us managed to fight through the turkey coma, roll into work at a reasonable time, and suffer through the eight hours together. We laughed, joked, ate more turkey, got a little work done and overall, managed to get through this “day after the holiday” together…with grace, humor and general appreciation for the cohesiveness of us all.

The Day of Thanks…A Day After

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. It’s the day after Thanksgiving and the impact of turkey and all the fixins’ is probably upon each of us. I must say….Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days in general. The food, family, friends, football and rest couldn’t come at a better time of the year. Spending all day in the kitchen in preparation is well worth it, when that finished product sits proudly on the table. I enjoyed my day and enjoyed hearing many people talk about the things they are thankful for.

Listening to these thanks inevitably reminds me of the various things in my life, for which I am thankful. Sure…I am thankful for the basic tangible things…the TV that keeps me entertained, the I-pod that keeps me rockin’, the clothes that keep me warm and semi-stylish, the car that gets me here and there, the Keurig that gets me started each day and keeps me going, the x-box that keeps me feelin’ like a kid, and  the jewelry that serves as my adult “bling”.  But it is days like Thanksgiving where stepping back and looking at your life and the life of others, hopefully makes us think outside of the box and look at the things in life that matter…and appreciate those things.  I interacted with two individuals on Thanksgiving who have each lost a parent….a mother and a father. 

Thankful for Thanksgiving

It gives me positive pause.

With Thanksgiving approaching, we should all stop forgetting about our little problems. So what if the house is a mess? So what if you have too much to do? We spend so much time wishing that our lives could be better, more fulfilled, easier. It's nice to have a day during which we're required to slow down and remember what's good in our lives in the present, in the here and now.

Here are some of the things for which I'm going to be thankful this Thanksgiving season.

Target's "Black Friday" starts at midnight

And it has some workers in a tizzy.

Black Friday is a disgusting tradition in which you rouse yourself from your post-tryptophan haze, drive to your nearest shopping destination and battle other women for that need-to-have teddy bear. It ruins the good feelings of Thanksgiving--a holiday all about giving and loving and sharing--and makes you feed the capitalist machine's gaping mouth.

Create Your Own Thanksgiving Tradition

Every year, we have turkey, gravy, stuffing, and the rest of the trimmings at our annual family Thanksgiving dinner. A few family members are usually working in retail, and another works as a home health aide, so they may have to leave early—but we’re all usually together, which is the most important thing to me. Still, the same annual food can get boring, and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut of doing the same thing every year. Why not spice it up and create your own new traditions this year?

Make Some Room In That Waistband – There’s A Lot More To Eat

Thanksgiving is a couple weeks away.  We slowly plan our holiday menus and prepare for the feast. The day we spend time with loved ones, eating more food than our bodies seem to be able to handle, falling asleep in the recliner, with the faint sounds of whistles and cheers from the football game playing on the television. We nap for a period of time, wake up from our turkey coma, and maneuver our way back to the kitchen to eat a little more.

Thanksgiving is a great holiday but can pose quite the stressor if you are one of those individuals trying to watch their weight or eat as healthy as possible. With the mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing, gravy, and casseroles calling your name from across the room, ignoring their anguished pleas…is about as hard as Plymouth Rock itself.

Given that earplugs or earmuffs throughout the meal, can make you look like the “strange relative” that everyone talks about when you leave…it may be best to come up with a different alternative to ignoring the urge to splurge on the unhealthy.

Making things unhealthy does not have to be a complicated process. It may simply mean a little less “processed” and a bit more natural. Take the infamous green bean casserole for example. It calls for green beans, cream of chicken/mushroom soup, and French fried onions. I cannot dispute its deliciousness, yet just because its primary ingredient is a vegetable, doesn’t make it healthy. Like I said, keep it more natural.