I can remember sitting around the table and my sister-in-law asking everyone for their highs and lows of the day. She wanted to know the high point and the low point of each persons day. It was a great way to connect with each other, to share some important aspects of what happened that day and how you were feeling about it. On Thanksgiving, she would ask each of us to state what we were grateful for that day. She was ahead of her time in terms of understanding the benefits of expressing gratitude.
I’ve read about a gratitude exercise where every day you write down on a slip of paper something for which you are grateful. At the end of the year you can pull out those slips of paper and review them. Right here in My Little Blue Kayak, I have written about gratitude many times, including here and here. It seems that being grateful is all the rage!
When I was a kid we celebrated Thanksgiving in the traditional American way. Our family got together and prepared a delicious turkey dinner with all of the fixings. It doesn’t sound like a big deal but thinking back it was a complicated process that all of us engaged in. Think of an orchestra where every musician brings their special talents; knows what to play and when to play it in order to create a masterpiece!
My honey is not a complainer. When the going gets tough she doesn’t whine or moan; she just keeps plodding along until the task is done. She has missed 3 weeks of playing tennis due to a shoulder injury and now is sick with a cold. She still isn’t really complaining but I know she is hurting and feels crappy.
Last week I wanted to plant the seed that maybe she should go see her doctor about the shoulder. We chatted for a few minutes and then moved on. Before I left the room, I asked if she was ok and she just looked at me like I was a bit crazy. “No, I’m not ok, I am hurting.”
I just wrapped up my tough month of work that I wrote about early last month. In that blog post I detailed some of the things I planned to do to stay sane. I am happy to report I finished the month without pulling out my hair, losing my cool or having any type of breakdown. But I didn’t do it alone! I had lots of help to stay sane while working a lot of hours in an environment that doesn’t nourish my soul.