On Being Thankful

It’s almost time to celebrate what is arguably my favorite holiday — Thanksgiving. And though the menu my dad will be cooking up is going to be incredible, I love Thanksgiving because it’s a welcome pause before craziness starts. For me, it’s about savoring every second. Trust me when I say my Christmas spirit gets going starting Black Friday, but I love Thanksgiving because it’s relaxed and communal — a low-key celebration before I really, truly get into “holiday mode.”

I’m of the opinion that giving thanks should be a daily activity, not just a one-day reflection type of thing. It comes down to recognizing and appreciating your worth every day. It involves analyzing yourself and your feelings, because truth be told, life is messy and it’s easy to wake up feeling “meh” sometimes.

Being thankful isn’t easy. But feeling thankless isn’t easy either. I’m of the opinion that negative energy takes so much more out of us than positivity energy does, so I guess my question to you is, why do we spend so much time floundering in it? I’m going to share with you my 3-step little reminders that I try to use to be thankful every day:

1. It’s about appreciating the little things.

The second the leaves changed colors a few weeks back, all my friends knew about it. Seriously. I went around practically cheering it from the rooftops. The same think happened when my sorority house decided to serve quiche for dinner one Friday. Yes, these things are small and go unnoticed. But the thing is, these things we  take for granted are missed opportunities of thanks and happiness! For me, “appreciating the little things” is age-old adage because my mom fervently drilled it into my head from an early age, but only now do I truly understand how powerful it can be. So be thankful for your morning cup of coffee, that cute dog you saw on your morning run, that the jar of peanut butter isn’t empty yet, and that your phone battery lasted all day. It may seem silly at first, but thanks — like anything — is a skill, and it takes practice.

 

2. It’s about recognizing when you need a break.

So sometimes life stinks. It just does. Or at least, you feel like it does. And that’s part of the process. So on those days, I like to be thankful for Netflix and popcorn and plop myself on the couch and take a breath, even if it’s a 20-minute breath. Life can throw a lot at you, and in my experience, “a lot” can come all at once. I call these my “funks.” The important thing is that my funks remain short, and I get out of them by reminding myself all the things I have to be thankful (and trust me when I say, I have wayyyyyyyy more to be thankful for than not).

 

3. It’s about sharing gratitude with others.

This is the especially cool part. Half of being thankful is sharing it with other people. Gratitude is a gift in an of itself — one of the most genuine you can give. It makes the other person feel warm and fuzzy, it makes you feel warm and fuzzy, it’s a mutual warm and fuzzy experience. It’s totally shameless, and literally nothing bad can come of telling another person “thank you.” I love that. So, to spread some thanks: To all of you for reading this, thank you! Gracias! Merci! Grazi! Arigato! Danke! I am so appreciative for you this holiday season. I’m thankful for my family, my closest friends, for being able to go to UC Berkeley, and for the life I’m going to keep living.

 

Here’s a special shout-out to the three people I’m especially thankful to see later today, because your girl is flying home for Thanksgiving!

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XOXO,

-H

 

 

Feature photo taken from here.

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