The air is cool and the leaves have finally changed here in Ohio. This means we are in the heart of fall, embracing the sweater weather along with jackets and boots… and all things pumpkin flavored. For a lot of us Mid-West folks, we view this time as just another season. Soon enough it will be winter, and then spring, and summer and the cycle continues. But what many of us in the US are also taught is to be thankful this time of year. To give thanks, and to truly appreciate our lives and what has been given to us and what we have worked for. But what if we acted as if Thanksgiving were every month? I’m not suggesting eating a buffet of turkey, stuffing, or other delicious festive food, but to take that time every so often to just be thankful.
Here are five things to be thankful for all year long.
- Your Health – Now I know some of us experience health issues at times, are dealing with a variety of them continually, or could very well develop health issues in the future. What I’m suggesting is being thankful for what health issues you don’t have, and be happy for the health that you do. If you can walk, but your knees hurt think about those who may not be able to walk at all. If you can still play sports, go for a run, chase around grandkids, etc. that’s something to be happy about. And I suggest taking full advantage of your health while you have it. Something my grandma has always said is, “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” and I think she makes a good point.
- Your Abilities – This can range for any individual. Just the fact that you are able is a gift in itself. If you are able to think, and to feel, to hear, to listen and to speak – be thankful. These abilities are so effortless and basic for many humans, but may not come so easy to others. And then all additional abilities are added bonuses. So appreciate them all!
- Your Family, Friends or Significant Other – How wonderful is it to love or to be loved. Or maybe liked or to be liked. Cherish your relationships and put some effort in to them while you’re at it. Be thankful that people take the time to talk to you and are interested in what you have to say. I’ve learned as an adult that you’ll meet plenty of people who could care less. So don’t take for granted the ones who do care – the person or people who you can call late at night or at random to vent. Or the person or people you can rely on at those difficult times in life. These individuals have to care about you, as I assume you care about them. Remember that, and give thanks to each one.
- Your Job – As much as getting up in the morning, driving to work in traffic, staying late sometimes, and the stress that one can endure is not the most appealing – a job is something to be thankful for. There are plenty of individuals who would love to have what you have, believe it or not. And although a job can be tiring, challenging, and some days busier than others, it is the way you provide for yourself or your family. But don’t only be thankful – be good at what you do. Find ways to enjoy the 40 plus hours you might put into the work week. Be sure not to forget that – it’s how you afford the house you live in, the car you drive and the food you eat.
- Yourself – This may seem selfish but self- love is quite important. I’m not talking about thinking you’re the greatest of all time. Because not to burst anyone’s bubble, you’re not. But…you should be thankful that you exist and that you’re doing your best day to day. I find nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself and ultimately being thankful that you are… who you are.