The Perfect Time to Visit Your Gratitude

This is Thanksgiving week in the U.S. It’s a time when many of us remember to feel and express gratitude. It seems frivolous in 2020—especially when you recall that more than 259,000 U.S. residents and over 1.4 million worldwide have died of COVID-19. Plus, at home and across the world, there are racial injustices and rampant abuses of power, not to mention the political messes. Yet, perhaps this is the perfect time to visit your gratitude.

Illustration of a sign behind pumpkins and gourds. The sign says Happy Thanksgiving--perhaps the perfect time to visit your gratitude

Showing Thanks Makes Others Happy

We all want to be noticed. It’s part of our nature. I’ll be you’ve noticed that being ignored doesn’t feel good. Being noticed means that you are of value. Even if it’s only for holding the door open for the elderly man with his hands full. Being noticed, being thanked feels good.

When you take a moment out of your day to recognize someone for being there—it makes them feel good. A simple thank you to the clerk at the store, the postal service worker, the nurse at the clinic, or your neighbor will be appreciated and remembered. Watch them smile. Bet it makes you smile, too.

Being Thankful Makes You a More Positive Person

two glasses of water--one half full the other full.

Gratitude doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You don’t have to bounce around and effuse thankfulness all over the place. Simply appreciating the things and people around you is enough. That appreciation promotes optimism.

Feeling thankful reduces toxic emotions like envy, jealousy, resentment, and frustration. According to Psychology Today, practicing gratitude increases happiness and reduces depression.

When you look for the things you appreciate, you realize how much you have. It’s fun to enumerate those things. Look at the 20 Weird Things I’m Grateful For.

Gratitude Improves Physical Health

Did you know grateful people report fewer aches and pains? Appreciating your physical health also means you probably take better care of yourself. According to MayoClinic.Org, practicing thankfulness improves sleep, boosts your immunity, and decreases your risk of disease.

A little gratitude each day decreases stress and increases resilience. Even during the worst times. 

Find Your Gratitude

A photo looking down on a cup of coffee, some sprigs of mint, and some cookies on a round wooden cutting board with a handwritten note that urges you to enjoy the little things-perhaps the perfect time to visit your gratitude

Don’t feel bad is you can’t always feel grateful. Even an optimist like me can struggle to remain grateful and positive during the kinds of stressors we’ve had this year. But you can find things you’re grateful for—all you have to do is look.

When I look around me, I see many things for which I’m grateful.

  • My two yorkies are sometimes annoying, but an endless supply of affection and entertainment.
  • My office—it’s not big and it’s not fancy—but it’s a space where I can work.
  • Having a roof over my head. There are so many who don’t have that luxury.
  • Clean water to drink.
  • And so many other things! And that’s not counting the most important things—friends and family and acquaintances. I am feeling grateful, thankful, and blessed.

Thank You

a kalidescope with a note that reads thanks for existing in my little galaxy

I am always amazed that other people read my posts. It delights me and energizes me to write better posts. And when you comment or share my posts—I am so very grateful. Thank you for joining me here.

Whether you’re having a Thanksgiving or a routine Thursday, my wish is that you feel the power of gratitude in your day, your week, and your life.

I hope you practice gratitude every day. Remember, it reduces stress and toxic emotions. So now is the perfect time to visit your gratitude. And please look around the room you’re in right now and comment below about one thing in that room that you are grateful to have.

Remember and Be Grateful

It’s November. In the United States, that means Thanksgiving Day is coming. It’s a month, and a day, known for overeating, for much-hyped sports, for writers meeting crazy deadlines, for parades, and for Black Friday shopping. Am I saying those are bad things? Heck no. But they are signs that November can be crazy busy. In fact, many of us stay crazy busy all year. It just gets crazier in November (and December, too). But whatever your religion or the country where you live, remember and be grateful. 

If your month of Thanksgiving isn’t in November, you can still practice gratefulness. Get a jar or a bowl and designate it the bowl or the jar of thanks. Each day, beginning or end, write a note of thanks. (See the Art of Thank You). If that’s too much, write the date and one or two words that will help you remember what you chose to be grateful for that day.

Sometimes, when you’ve had a bad day, it might be difficult to find something to give thanks for. 

Quotes About Gratitude

Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.

Joseph B. Wirthlin

In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.

Cynthia Ozick

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”

Remember & Be grateful quote: "Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." by William Arthur Ward

If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.

Rabbi Harold Kushner

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

Oprah Winfrey
Image of Skyline with Quote by Alfred North Whitehead. Remember and be grateful. "No one who achieves success does so without the help of others."

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.

Brian Tracy

Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals.

If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more?

Roy T. Bennett

Remember and Be Grateful

I have blogged about gratitude in the past. Perhaps one of these posts will help you find your gratitude: Gratitude for Nature, Weird Things I’m Grateful for, and 13 Things for Which I Give Thanks

It’s Good for You

Research shows that being grateful is healthier. Read about it on Harvard Health  and on Psychology Today

Image of mountains in the clouds and sky with Mary Davis quote, "The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see." Remember and be grateful.

If you live with gratitude, you’ll have a much happier life. It will reduce your stress. It will be an antidote to the negatives that you may encounter.  So in the hustle and bustle of the coming months, fill your jar. Remember and be grateful.

20 Weird Things I’m Grateful For

The last day of November is here. Writers are scribbling words at a furious rate in a final push to win NANOWRIMO. Whether you “finished” or not, congrats to you. Your dedication is inspirational. Cuckoo, but inspirational. Speaking of Cuckoo, all November we hear about gratitude from every direction. Generally, the gratitude expressed is heartfelt and pretty sappy. Not that that’s wrong. I agree that gratitude is the key to happiness. But, we should be grateful for a million little things in our lives. I know I am. I try to express my gratitude every day. Today, I’m sharing 20 weird things that I’m grateful for.

20 weird things I'm grateful for-Taco Bell's $1 cravings menu

  1. Taco Bell’s $1 cravings menu—I know, but sometimes a girl’s gotta have a little something-something.
  2. Opposable thumbs—I had a painful bout of a trigger joint in my thumb a few months back. Made me truly appreciate how often an opposable thumb is used in life.
  3. The garage door repairman—a broken spring is no joke. This guy came the night before Thanksgiving, was pleasant, and had new springs in place in a jiffy.
  4. McGriddles—Sweet and spicy—I could eat these every day and soon I’d look like one. Soft and gooey on the outside and—well, you know.
  5. YouTube—I tell myself I’ll just watch this one bit of research, which leads to another, and another, oh, and there’s a song I’ve wanted to listen to, and isn’t that a cool DIY…
  6. Toilet Paper—I mean the alternatives aren’t my idea of comfortable.20 weird things I'm grateful for-TP
  7. Forever Stamps—Not having to buy one cent stamps is a boon to mankind—or Americans—or is it just me?
  8. Sunshine — seriously. December is so darn cloudy all the time. I get grumpy if I don’t see the sun every day. (Send more coffee!)
  9. Sticky Notes—I do not know what I did before sticky notes. I use them everywhere! Okay, not there or there, but lots of places.
  10. Gel Pens—a sensual glide of ink across a page, what author could ask for more?
  11. Libraries—one of those places where she goes in and will never be seen again—well, almost. I certainly spend a lot of time in our local ones.
  12. Deodorant—I use it daily. Now you’re grateful too, aren’t you?
  13. Trash Collectors—a job I would not want but someone has to do.
  14. Postal Service Workers—mine delivers the mail even though my tiny dogs sound like ferocious mad wolves on the other side of the door.
  15. Magnets—I love my refrigerator magnets.20 weird things I'm grateful for--refrigerator magnets
  16. Minions—They make me laugh and follow my orders. Any volunteers? Anyone?
  17. Hot water—both to bathe in and for making coffee. No, I don’t make coffee with my bath water. Sheesh.
  18. Elastic waistbands—the only kind to wear on Thanksgiving!
  19. Christmas movie marathons—The best exercise on a cold December day. A little cry here, a laugh there, and a feel-good ending. The endorphins really get a workout.
  20. Synthetic diamonds—After all, they are a girl’s second best friend, the cheap one who glitter just as good as the ‘spensive ones.

Actually there are a lot more than 20 weird things I’m grateful for but the whole list would be equivalent to a phone book or two (or three) in length. However, you can take a look at a sample of 13 things I’m grateful for here.

I hope you enjoyed my list of 20 weird things I’m grateful for. Won’t you join in on the weird things to be grateful for list? Of course, you do. Don’t you? Surely you have at least one weird thing you’re grateful for? *Don’t leave me standing here alone with all my weird exposed.*

A Virtual Thanksgiving Meal Road Trip

I started this post thinking I’d give you some statistics about Thanksgiving Day in America. A surprising discovery led me down a different path. I had fun doing the research for this one. Enjoy this virtual Thanksgiving meal road trip.

The Statistics

The first Thanksgiving was in 1621.

50 pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag tribesmen attended the three-day feast.

Today, 28% of Americans will have more than 12 people at the dinner table.

The average time preparing Thanksgiving dinner is 7 hours.

The average time eating the meal is 16 minutes.

Not surprising, I couldn’t find an average time to clean up after the meal.

But in the middle of this rather dry research, I came across a bit of fun. These are the American towns or townships you could visit on a virtual Thanksgiving Meal road trip.

Take a virtual Thanksgiving meal road trip with

The Main Dish

Turkey Creek, Arizona

Turkey city, Texas

Turkey town, North Carolina

Turkey Creek Village, LA

There are Turkey townships in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

The Side Dishes

Two Cranberry townships in PA (two different counties)

Cranberry, West Va

Cranberry, MD

Cranberry, NC

Roll, Az

I must say someone forgot the stuffing. Or do you call it dressing? The closest I got was Bread Loaf, Vermont. Anyone know of a town named after stuffing?

The Vegetables

Spuds, Florida

Potato Creek, South Dakota

Bean Station, Tennessee

Pea Patch Island, Delaware

Corn, Oklahoma

(There’s a town called Burnt Corn in Alabama, but I don’t want to jinx anyone with burnt side dishes on Thanksgiving—unless you like it that way.)

Red Onion, Kansas

The Beverages

Soda Springs, Idaho

Hot Coffee Mississippi

Coffee Springs, Alabama

Tea South Dakota

Cream Wisconsin

Beer Bottle Crossing, Idaho

The Deserts

Pumpkin, Georgia

Pumpkin Town, South Carolina

Pie Town, New Mexico

Walnut Creek, California

Pecan Gap, Texas

The Leftovers

Sandwich, Massachusetts

Sandwich, Illinois

Gnaw Bone, Indiana

Alas, there is no Wishbone that I could find.

I’m certain I didn’t find all the towns named after the traditional foods of an American Thanksgiving. Do you know of any in your state?

This virtual Thanksgiving meal road trip won’t take you any farther than your computer (phone or tablet), but more than 50 million Americans will travel to visit family on this holiday. Safe travels to all and have a happy and (not too) healthy Thanksgiving!

Grateful: A Love Song to the World

I am grateful for the world in which we live.

The blessings that I’ve received this year are many. Sure, I’ve had struggles. I will continue to be challenged and to face new challenges. In a way, I’m grateful for the struggles that I’ve had. As he says in the song, everything is a gift. It’s up to us how we see and use and appreciate (or not) that gift.

One of my most precious gifts is you, my loyal readers. Your loyalty, your comments, your gift of your time are so very appreciated. Thank you!