It’s that time of year again.
That’s right. Thanksgiving.
Our excuse to be major gluttons while watching football games, dodging familial landmines, and sleeping off hangovers in time to catch the early deals on Black Friday.
If you’ve been following my site, you’ll note that there’s a lot going on in that last statement that doesn’t fit into my picture of the holidays.
Thanksgiving can be and should be so much more than what it’s become.
Black Friday disturbs me. The one time I worked retail on that particular day was enough to haunt me for the rest of my life. I quit my job shortly thereafter.
Does owning that new television at half the price truly make you happy? What makes this year’s deal better than last year’s deal? Why are you cutting the quality time with your family short so that you can engage in bitter sometimes violent battles with others over something you don’t actually need?
Maybe I’m coming off a bit righteous. If so, than I don’t apologize.
I’ve spent the better part of this year digging into the why’s and how’s of happiness to try and get a better understanding of what makes me tick. It’s an ongoing process that often leaves me feeling confused, but that level of self-awareness has opened me up to thoughts that typically fall outside the lines. I grasp at the potential for something bigger and much more profound. Life is meant for living, and pursuing money for the sake of owning things isn’t living.
Sure, I have material wants, and as much as I hate it, money is a necessity. But I’ve found the moments that bring me the most joy and truly made me feel full, had nothing to do with a deal on a pair of boots.
Watching my best friend walk down the aisle with her mother on her wedding day will be a memory I hold forever. Sitting down and wrapping my arms around my knees as I take in the breathtaking beauty of the rocky landscapes in Utah brought me a deeper connection with nature and the world around me. My mind was never clearer as it was in those silent moments of observation.
If you’re one of the millions who is anxiously waiting for Friday, I won’t tell you to stop what you’re doing. And despite what this post sounds like, I’m not judging. Do you.
But don’t sacrifice the opportunity to experience some truly wonderful moments that will stay with you forever in favor of something that’s fleeting.
I shared most of my gratitude journal with the public this year as a way to keep me grounded and focused on the power of saying thank you on a regular basis. There are times when it’s a challenge to find the upside, but when I finally do, it’s always worth the effort.
This Thursday is the big one for gratitude and when it’s your turn to say what you’re thankful for, take full advantage of the chance to share what’s important to you with the people you love.
Put all of yourself in that time. Eat. Laugh. Share. Be present.
Make the choice truly celebrate the holiday from beginning to end. You’ll realize as time goes on that the parts that stick with you are the ones that didn’t cost a dime.
How are you celebrating Thanksgiving?
What are you thankful for this year?
Note: I spent last Thanksgiving sharing a live feed of my healthy recipes throughout the day. As much fun as I had posting pictures and recipes, I realized that I could not and would not repeat that format this year. It goes to my point: Thanksgiving is about spending time with family and creating memories. That doesn’t include me whipping out a camera every five seconds. I’m stepping out from behind the keyboard and my phone to share an inside joke with my sister or to learn cooking tips from my mom. And you should do the same! Unplug for a little while! We’ll all meet up back here eventually.
If you’d like to take a look at some of these healthy dishes for Thanksgiving, then go ahead and check them out here.
If you’re looking for something different for dessert, then take a look at this chocolate pumpkin torte!
I’ll be back here to share my gratitude journal on Thursday. I hope you’ll feel inspired to share yours as well.
HAVE A HAPPY AND HEALTHY THANKSGIVING!
Keep paying it forward, now and always.