By Sydni Whitfield, Staff Writer
November 8, 2023
As the Thanksgiving season approaches, I am taking time to reflect on all the blessings in my life. For me, Thanksgiving has always been a time of looking forward to the Christmas season: seeing family, enjoying all the lights and drinking hot chocolate by a fireplace. I have noticed that I usually think of Thanksgiving as just a day. The day comes, we see loved ones, we eat a hearty meal and we spend the day resting in our gratitude. This year, however, I am aiming to make this month a season of gratitude. This caused me to evaluate how I can add thankfulness to my daily life.
1. Write it down. One day last week, I spent time thinking about what I am grateful for and made a challenge for myself. I set a timer for five minutes and wrote out everything I am grateful for and did not stop writing until the timer went off. Looking back at my list, I saw things I never would have thought to write down if it wasn’t for this challenge. Doing this can help you remember all there is to be thankful for.
2. Recognize what you have. Often, we forget how lucky we are to have access to many things in our lives that we take for granted. This month, I have the goal to partake in more fasts so I can truly appreciate what I do have. As someone who loves to hike and backpack, my favorite part of the trip is missing the fresh food, the stove and the heating or air conditioning that I so regularly take for granted. I am aiming to make it a goal to fast from social media and other aspects of my day-to-day life in order to fully recognize the good things that I don’t always see.
3. Acknowledge growth. Looking back on where you came from can help you realize how far you have come. In this season, I am also taking time to acknowledge where I have grown. As I approach my junior year of college, I think back to my freshman year self. I have grown in ways I never would have thought possible.
4. Act on your gratitude. We often go too long without thanking the people in our lives. I think to myself all the time how lucky I am to have certain people in my life, but I often neglect telling them because I assume they already know. Now, when I think about someone and how they have impacted me in my life, I either want to send them a text, email them or better yet, give them a quick call. Doing this can not only make someone else’s day, but it can also help you reflect on your own feelings of gratitude.
By incorporating these small steps, I hope to see the feeling of thankfulness permeate my life not only for the next month and season, but for the forseeable future. This November, I hope that you’ll join me in taking steps to ensure that the Thanksgiving season is one of true gratitude and thankfulness.