This November, the hanni gang is focusing on the idea of gratitude. That seems appropriate given that November is also the month when we put on our stretchy pants and celebrate Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is beloved for the Macy’s Parade, more football games than any one person can watch, family gatherings, post-feast naps, and maybe taking a minute or two to express the things you are thankful for.
But when you stop and think about it, the act of being thankful is much like the holiday of Thanksgiving itself - it gives you the warm and fuzzies, but it’s really just a temporary thing that fades away quickly. When the sun sets on Turkey Day, it doesn’t take us very long to dive headfirst back into our old ways. Seemingly endless lines at the airport and hordes of manic Black Friday shoppers can transform our warm and fuzzy feelings into a panic-stricken rage.
Gratitude, on the other hand, is a concept that stays with us throughout the year and throughout our lives. If we consider it at the most basic level, being thankful is just a feeling, while being grateful is more of an action. It’s something we should strive to practice purposefully on a continuous basis. Gratesgiving should be an on-going event.
Saying “thank you” to someone is considered good manners and is something even small children are expected to do to show appreciation. How many times a day do you say thanks to people: the barista at Starbucks, the dry cleaner, the stranger who held the door for you? Probably more times than you can remember, because most of us do it without thinking. We just say it because we are expected to - we rarely mean it on anything more than a superficial level.
So this year, after the last turkey sandwich and slice of pumpkin pie have been eaten and you’re back to the grind, try to carve out time for a mini-celebration of gratitude each week or each month. Build upon the foundation of thankfulness; reflect on the people and experiences that have touched your lives and those that continue to do so. Make a point to stop and actually “be” grateful. Envelop yourself in those warm and fuzzies just as you would your softest, most comfortable pajamas, and let’s make Gratesgiving last all year long.