November has rolled around again (or sneaked up on us, is more like it) bringing it with it the beauty of fall and thoughts of Thanksgiving. (It’s also brought, as it does every year, premature Christmas preparations. But I’m one of those people who starts singing Christmas songs in October, so there are no complaints on my part.)
Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and gratefulness. In a perfect world, this reflection would happen on a day-to-day basis, but at least we do have one season a year to make us take a closer look at our lives and appreciate all the things in it. Too often do we walk around allowing the negativity of the world get under our skin, too often do we let our expectation of life get in the way of truly enjoying the moment we are living in. We forget to look around us and appreciate the things that life has given us. It’s such a pity, really, because taking a moment out of our day just to be grateful for one thing, no matter how small, can make a great difference in our attitudes and thus greatly changing the outcome of our day.
In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday coming up, and generally just as a self-therapeutic practice, I’ve started keeping a journal of gratefulness. Every day I take a look at my life and pick one thing that I’m grateful for and write about it. It can be something as small as a cup of tea and the entry can be as long as three sentences long because it’s really just the act of bringing awareness to the small everyday blessings that counts. It helps to remind us that though we may not always get what we want, we always get what we need and that we really don’t need very much to be happy and satisfied with our lives. Not to sound like my mother, but there are so many people out there that are happy with less than what we have. It’s good to practice giving thanks because life itself in so many ways is a privilege.
So, I’ve decided that, as of this month, I’m going to start a new segment here based off of my gratefulness journal. I want to regularly share a piece of something I’m grateful for and, hopefully, encourage some of you to also take just a short moment of your day to find something to be thankful for. In a short time, you’ll find that you’ll start feeling more positive. Life may not turn rose-colored, but we can learn to appreciate it in all its shades, even the darker ones.
Today, since I already mentioned it, I’m grateful for tea. I love tea. I love its different flavors and the way there’s different kinds of teas for different occasions. But what I like most about tea is that no matter which kind you’re drinking, there’s always something soothing about it. No one drinks a cup of tea in a rush. There’s something about tea that pulls your attention to it. The different layers of flavor, the way it goes down smoothly, the way it seems to put the world on pause for a second to take in every sip. Maybe that’s really just me, but I love tea the way some people swear by coffee. But because of my issues with anxiety, I try to stay away from coffee. (I know tea also has caffeine, but tea has never brought me to the edge of a panic attack the way coffee has.) Drinking tea is almost like a spiritual, meditational experience for me. Doctor Who believes that there’s no ailment that can’t be cured by tea and I second that idea.
But enough about my love affair with tea–what are you grateful for today? Feel free to share in the comments!