It has been over a year since I lost my best friend of nearly forty years to illness. She had the ability to make me laugh when all I really wanted to do was cry. Conversely, when I did cry, she was right there to offer tissues and a listening ear (and a bowl of ice cream). I remember the times she would offer her last french fry to me and never had any issues with telling me things I could use for self-improvement in a spirit of love. She was a true friend. She taught me about life and the value of unconditional love. I am thankful for our friendship and the time we had in each others lives.
As we enter the home stretch towards the Thanksgiving holiday, I encourage you to think about your life and marvel on what causes you to be thankful. Is it your family, or your health? Are you thankful for your home, your career or your finances? Or perhaps you are thankful you took a walk yesterday which put you one step closer to your overall health goals. Maybe you are thankful for the peace you feel despite everything that may seem to be going wrong in your life right now. Or maybe, just maybe, you are thankful for the delicious meal you will enjoy in just a few days. Whatever your reason, relish in that moment. Experience the feeling of thankfulness and then share it. Share it by telling others why you are thankful. Moreover, share the feeling of being thankful.
Numerous studies have been conducted on the effects of feeling thankful and how it positively impacts our mood and health. Yes, there are a number of concerns in our world, country and society on which we could focus. I am sure I do not need to point out that we do that on a daily basis. Let's instead make the concerted effort to focus on the good in people, the positive experiences and the reasons which cause us to feel thankful. This suggestion is by no means an attempt to minimize any of the recent tragedies we have experienced in our world. It is simply a request to temporarily refocus our energy.
Each day when I return home from work, I can count on at least one pair of little feet running to the door to greet me, with open arms and a big smile. In that moment, I feel thankful. The concerns of the day melt away and I am reminded of what is most important. As I allow myself to be enveloped by those little arms, I choose to be present in that space, in that moment in time. It feels good.
As you make your way to your holiday destination and navigate the holiday traffic, remind yourself of why you are thankful. Life may not be exactly the way you want it but there is hope in tomorrow. We all need a little hope and the ability to feel thankful.
Shatanese Reese is a freelance blogger who lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband and their six children. Shatanese enjoys walks on the beach and color-rich sunrises. Her goal is to find inspiration in the every day happenings of life.
Check out Shatanese on YouTube.