When you zero in on the small stuff, the thanks just flow.
Posted in , Nov 13, 2015
I’m still hard at work at my Gratitude Challenge–giving thanks every day until Thanksgiving. Now that I’m in the swing of things, the thanks are coming more easily. Especially when it comes to the little things, like the new sandwich bread I discovered at the supermarket this past week.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why on earth is sandwich bread important? It’s just bread!
But I wonder if that’s one of the secrets to being grateful year-round. Sometimes we’re so focused on the big things–career, family, relationships, finding purpose–that you forgot all about the seemingly insignificant things. Like the commute that did go right. Or an unusually comfortable pair of shoes. Or the perfect cup of coffee.
I noticed that when I zeroed in on the small stuff, though, the thanks just flowed out of me.
What do you think? Do you tend to give thanks for the big stuff, the small stuff or both?
Gratitude Challenge, Days 5-8
1) A Brooklyn mix-up.
On Saturday, I had a meeting in Brooklyn at 1:15 p.m. Brooklyn is just minutes from where I live in Manhattan, but it always seems far, far away, so I never venture out there. Well, the person I was supposed to meet there never showed–a calendar mix-up. I could’ve gone home, but how often was I in Brooklyn? I explored the neighborhood, even made my own charm necklace at a local jewelry shop (really, there is no more Brooklyn thing to do!). I felt like I was on vacation. If it weren’t for that scheduling mistake, I would’ve never discovered a new world just a few subway stops away.
2) Our nation’s veterans.
All month, Guideposts has been honoring U.S. veterans. I don’t have any family members who’ve served in the U.S. military. But I’m thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to work on some pretty amazing veteran stories as a Mysterious Ways editor–from the POW who was reunited with his rescuer to the soldier who heard a mysterious voice in the midst of battle.
3) A well-loved song.
You know how certain songs just remind you of happy time in your life? The other day, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship popped into my head. It brought back such nice memories. When I was little, my sisters and I would visit our cousins in New Jersey, a two-hour drive from home that seemed like an eternity. Our cousin Mark was only a few years older, but he was basically a celebrity in our eyes! We’d build LEGO cities, play Monopoly for hours and try to out-joke each other. For whatever reason, Mark was always playing Starship. So, nowadays, whenever I hear one of their songs, I’m brought right back to that idyllic time.
I found these new sandwich “pita pockets”–yes, the infamous sandwich bread I referenced above!–at the grocery store and they’ve completely revolutionized my boring salads. I actually look forward to eating healthy lunches now!
5) A sister and roommate extraordinaire.
I talk about my family a lot, so I suppose it’s no surprise that I’m thankful for them! Still, they always surprise me with their kindness. I live with my sisters, Kristin and Priscilla. Last weekend, Priscilla was doing laundry and included my pile of laundry with her bunch. It was 10 at night and the laundry was still going. Meanwhile, I fell asleep on the couch. “Just leave my laundry in a bag somewhere,” I told Priscilla, delirious as I headed to bed. When I woke up in the morning, all my laundry was folded and waiting outside my bedroom door. What a sister!