“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Some days are just stellar. Things go as planned. You are able to sashay from task to task, flawlessly. Days when all of your dealings mesh beautifully with your private life. Days that leave you feeling accomplished, fulfilled, and worthy. Days that fill you with a true sense of wonderful.
Then there are the other days.
Days when you do not feel much motivation at all. When your best-laid plans go out the window before the day’s first cup of coffee has yet to even been brewed.
When important tasks unexpectedly go array. When you get that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. When the urge to feel sorry for yourself and honestly just want to go back to bed and to sleep the day away feels like the most natural thing to do.
We’ve all been there. We all get it.
Is it usually at this point, when we may be feeling our worst, that a well-meaning soul will tell you to keep your chin up and soldier through your next few days until you reach either personal peace or the weekend, or whichever comes first.
And yes, maybe the simplest and most effective way to turn such a day, week or even month around into something more positive and certainly more bearable, is to turn your focus away from your perceived personal shortcomings and instead dwell on an attitude of gratitude and a sense of intentional thankfulness. You know the hope for the best, fake-it-until-you-make-it school of thought.
While this may be the most logical way to turn such a day around this is only a short-term fix.
In order to truly live a life of intention and joy it to believe you are worthy of such happiness. And the most effective way of sustaining this belief is the daily practice of being thankful for the awesome, amazing, wonderful things already in your life.
Because even if things look tough it’s those moments of humbling clarity that will enable you to persevere on. You see, the spark of thankfulness lights every step along your path. It gives long term structure to momentary setbacks and gives you sustaining hope to those otherwise abysmal circumstances of everyday minutia. Every day of your life.
It is for that same reason, my inner need to keep my spark of thankfulness alive, that I maintain a list of what I am most thankful for in my journal, purse, bulletin board, on my desk at home, and sometimes even on my person when I choose to wear uplifting clothing as well. This way I know I am always surrounding myself with an attitude of gratitude.
So today, I’d like to share a small list of 10 simple, fundamental things, that I feel grateful and thankful for in my life for. I usually only reflect on one or two of these things when in need, but I thought a list like this one could be helpful both for you and for me in our current season of thanks.
While every item on this list may not be applicable in your life, feel free to glean what will work for your own life and situation, and then create your own list as well. So, here goes.
1) A roof over my head.
I live in the United Stated, a country where the winters are cold and snowy and the fall and often spring can be quite rainy. Where the summers are humid and blustery. All seasons that require adequate housing, shelter, and shade.
For me, few things are more comforting than the sense of having a warm home and a roof over my head each and every day.
I know that having a roof over my own head is a true blessing, because according to the United Nations – an estimated 100 million people are homeless worldwide, and as many as 1.6 billion people lack adequate housing internationally, including an estimated 564,708 people that are homeless on any given night in the United States, over half of which are children.
I also know I have built a life with a man who pledged before his God to provide for myself and the family we would create together, who has made sure I have never gone a day in our marriage without a roof over my head.
I am also a woman who can earn a living providing a roof over her head, and that of my family. For I am one of only ten percent of women worldwide who hold multiple degrees, including a professional degree.
I also thankful to have been afforded the opportunity to turn this blog into a means of helping to support my family, and myself because all of my life, my memories, and my business is contained under my home’s roof. The very roof I sit under while writing this piece. And for this, I am one of the lucky ones.
2) Drinkable water.
I love water. So does my body and I drink plenty of it every day. It is certainly something I take for granted as well. I know that clean, potable drinking water is not a given for many people in this world. According to water.org– an estimated 780 million people lack access to safe drinking water. I am blessed to live in a country, and a community, that while sometimes is fallible in its safe water practices, most Americans can drink regulated, safe, filtered water right from their home tap.
3) I won’t go hungry.
When it comes to food, I have so much to be utterly thankful for. Not only do the vast majority of my childhood memories involve some measure of food but that of my overall cultural identity as well. Add to this that as the maven of my own home, I am constantly surrounded by a stockpile of healthy, nutritious, fortifying food options. So much so that I can seasonally donate food to others in need.
In fact, I am so blessed by food that in a few short weeks I will be one of the many Americans that will celebrate a holiday based on the idea of being thankful to break bread with those near and dear. A holiday historically rooted in the celebration of empathy, diversity, and the shared story of the overcoming of community adversity.
I also know that according to the World Food Bank– an estimated 795 million people in the world will not have enough food to eat at this very moment in time. That’s about 1:9 people on earth. The vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 percent of the world’s population is currently undernourished.
I am blessed to not one of those statistics, and it is my obligation to be both mindful of their situation, and my own. And to give back. For this knowledge and opportunity, I am thankful.
4) I can enjoy the small pleasures of life.
A sunrise. A relaxing walk by our town’s lakes. A crisp Autumn day when the trees are filled with leaves of vibrant, spectacular color. Many a day has turned around just by having felt the sun’s warming radiance upon my face after days filled with dreary, gray clouds.
I am able to cherish the splendors of this world. Without charge or provocation. Freely. For this, I am blessed.
5) Access to the internet.
As a child, when I wanted to learn about something, I needed to ask permission to walk to my public library or be at the mercy for whatever information could be ascertained from my family at home.
Boy times have changed! Things are so different now in my short thirty-three years on this planet and despite the internet being an iatrical part of my everyday life it’s still an amazing thing to behold.
With the internet, I can learn about pretty much anything online. I gain new skills. Create new habits to make my life happier. I can take coursework. I can make a living. I can connect with friends and family the world over. And there is the opportunity to connect with people I would otherwise never have been able to meet.
I also live in a country where my internet consumption is not limited, my knowledge is not censored, and my opportunities are limitless. And just for being an American, I am afforded free access to internet services at every public library in this country. That’s a lot to be thankful for.
6) My family, of origin and choice.
I have a small, close, tight-knit family, and family of choice. A family that loves, supports, and cares for me. A family of truth-tellers and proactive provokers. People that breathe life into my days. People that humble me. People I am utterly thankful for. Each and every day.
7) My health.
Despite my best efforts, I do not have the indestructible body of Superman. Sometimes I get sick. Sometimes I feel rundown. Sometimes I feel off my game. But the majority of the time I have lead a healthy life.
Even now as I am working off excess weight due to laziness and a sedentary nature, my body has never failed me. And I know that if I treat my body well and get plenty of sleep, work out and eat healthy then my body rewards me with vitality and energy.
My body gives me so much to be thankful for that I often take for granted that my body, my temple, helps me to do everything – see, listen, walk, write, hug, kiss, think, and experience my little corner of the universe – every day. For that, I’m blessed.
8) The kindness of strangers.
Every day I receive supportive emails and messages from people all around the world that I have never met, but who chose to read my blog, follow my social media accounts, and subscribe to my newsletter. Their expressions of well-wishing make me more grateful than ever in my life.
In my life, I have been ill, despaired, and utterly despondent only a handful of times. More still, these experiences haves made me stronger, mentally and emotionally, and have given me the gifts of discernment and appreciation. I’ve led a very semi-charmed life. For that, I am blessed beyond measure.
10) I am alive.
I have, like everyone else, been in situations where an accident or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, would have left me seconds away from no longer being in this world. Had I had been born in another time or in another place, my existence would be greatly different. But here I am. I have this moment and day and hopefully many days still to come.
This is an amazing thing. And this, my life, my days, my moments, are my greatest blessing of all.
So, that’s my list. Those are the things I am truly most grateful and thankful for. My daily blessings. My reasons for shining even on the worst of days. I hope this list has been a blessing to you as well.
And while we are all currently caught up in the spirit of promise and change, be sure to check out the shirt I am wearing above, one of my most favorite shirts, Cents of Style’s Thankful. Grateful. Blessed. Graphic T-Shirt!
Currently, Cents of Style is celebrating this Fashion Friday Story weekend by offering you the new Thankful. Grateful. Blessed. Graphic T-Shirt FREE with any $25 or more purchase and FREE SHIPPING when you use promotional code THANKFUL1 at checkout.
This is an awesome time to go through your holiday list and pick out several items for family and friends as any purchase on the site that totals $25 qualifies for the free t-shirt. Or if you are looking for an awesome, stylish tee to wear Thanksgiving Day, that’s great too!
So, everyone, I hope this list leaves you with a few ideas on you can go about your day in a more thankful, grateful, and dare I say stylish manner! And if I could ask you all one thing, be sure to drop me a line below and let know what you feel grateful for too?
Here’s to today,
Please note, I received a complimentary tee from Cents of Style. I am also a Cents of Style affiliate. I was not compensated for my opinions or my post. All sales through my link help my site and my family, and I’d be grateful you using them. Thank you.