Gratitude is usually defined as a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation. “Thank you” probably ranks right up there with the first sentences you taught your children to say right? Why? Not only because it is the polite thing to do, but because we all need to feel appreciated. Thankful people are just more pleasant to be around. Right? Sure! And heck, if that alone is not enough reason to be more thankful, and to teach our children to be more thankful, scientists have linked gratitude to mental and physical well-being. Uh huh. It's true! These studies show that truly grateful people report higher levels of life satisfaction, vitality, and optimism while also feeling less depressed and stressed during those inevitable rough patches. The best thing you can do to help your children develop a thankful heart is to be a good role model. Feel grateful and you will radiate gratitude! It will positively ooze from every pore!
Remember to say thank you to your children when they clean up their rooms, even if the job they do is not exactly up to your specifications or even those of the local board of health. Say thanks to the rookie waitress who, although trying her very best, still forgets your baked potato & brings you a regular Coke instead of a Diet Coke. 3 separate times. Say thank you to your wife for always being there for you, yes, even when you leave your boxers on the bathroom floor and toothpaste in the sink.
As you lay your head on the pillow each night, think about the good things, the often little, overlooked things that made you smile, laugh, and feel good. Those things are there, I promise you that. Even in the midst of frustration, emotional pain and sorrow, they are there.
A beautiful sunset, a cooling breeze on a sticky Summer night. Perfectly brewed iced tea, a good, really engrossing book, a song that gets your foot tapping in spite of yourself. Oh but life can be so sweet when we take the time to be thankful for those small things that all alone, never seem to amount to much. But put them all together and oh what magic they can perform in our lives.
At Thanksgiving, and every day, I am filled with gratitude for those things that lift my spirits, sustain me and lighten my heart...my husband, my children, my brother, sister in law and nephew. My Mom and the memories of my father and my mother & father in law. Our friends who truly are family to us. The family's pets...Kipper, Lucy, Henry, Abby and Casey.
And our little home, Rabbit Run Cottage, and the dear neighbors who surround us. These are my most precious blessings...well those and my collection of Brian Dennehy movies but that goes without saying right?
I am also so very thankful to have each and every one of you, my dear blogging friends, in my life. You bring me joy, laughter, inspiration, support and love. Each of you owns a piece of my heart...now and forever. Happy Thanksgiving...may God bless you and all those you love.
Love and hugs,