Thanksgiving Gratitude

005Happy Thanksgiving! Like many people, I like to use this time of year to reflect on what I am grateful for. There are many ways that this can be approached. One way is celebration, like the holiday party we are having at Songbird on December 13. Another way is contrast, like the Girl Rising movie we showed Sunday night. A third way is the long list my son and I make every year of everything we are thankful for.

My son and I make our list on adding machine paper and hang it from the top of the stairs. We call things out, and I write them down on the list. The list contains everything we can think of, such as little useful everyday things like pencils and door knobs, things we enjoy like Chinse food and waterfalls, abstract things like emotions, and things we can’t do without like air and water.

I can do without most of these things, but I would miss them if I they were gone. Making the list helps remind me not to take anything for granted. Sunday night we showed the movie Girl Rising at Songbird, and I got the opportunity to see more clearly how many people live. That gave me even more of an opportunity to be grateful for everything that I have.

I am also grateful for everything that happens in my life. My life has been filled with ups and downs, but every down serves as a contrast to an up and makes me more grateful for what I have. Without everything that has happened in my life to date, I would not be the person I am today. While there have been many moments that I found difficult to be grateful for when they were occurring, I am grateful for them now.  Without everything that has occurred in my life, I would not have Songbird. I would not be living in a cohousing community in Sonoma County. I would not have a son. I would not be in the relationship I am in. These are only a few of the things I am grateful for. To see the rest of my list, you’ll have to come by my house!

What are some of the things you are grateful for? What do you do to feel it?