“The secret to having it all is knowing you already do”
This morning, I was reading about gratitude and how important it is to focus on the things we’ve been given versus the things we haven’t. Its so easy to make a list of things we want or need (guilty of to-dos that turn into wish-lists over here 🙋🏽♀️). But how often do we make a list of things we already have and are thankful for? I know the answer for me is not enough.
So this holiday season, I’ve decided I’m going to make *those* kinds of lists more often. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t already have notes here and there for Christmas gifts or items I need for my apartment. And truth be told, I love giving presents as much as I enjoy receiving them. There’s something about finding that perfect gift and letting that person know how much you’ve thought about them that truly brings me joy. Growing up, I could hardly stand waiting for friends to open up the presents I had gotten them. I’m sort of the same way today :). Gift giving does truly make me happy and I don’t believe it’s wrong. I do, however, believe that the emphasis we put on presents makes all of the difference.
As I type this post, the beginnings of Black Friday have already begun to crowd my inbox. Advertisements and commercials have been showing for weeks. And the Christmas decor seems to sneak out earlier and earlier each year. Don’t even get me started on Christmas music before Thanksgiving week. I’m certainly no grinch, but its starting to feel like there’s no time or space between Thanksgiving and Christmas anymore. It is definitely a pet-peeve of mine, mainly because I believe if we focused on the true themes of Thanksgiving, the meaning of Christmas (and the entire holiday season as a whole) would probably change for a lot of us.
It seems the older I get, the more I appreciate Thanksgiving. I also realize now that it can be just as stressful as Christmas (cooking for 40 isn’t easy–thank you Aunt Tricia for hosting this year)! However, I love that the focus is on spending time with family, friends, and a little football (HOTTY TODDY!). That’s it. No expectations, no presents, no where to be in a hurry. It really grounds me and reminds me of what is truly important in life: the things that no amount of money can buy.
I’m lucky that I have a family that enjoys Thanksgiving traditions and emphasizes spending time together. And I’m even more fortunate that every few years the number of people attending grows 🤗. It’s always amazing to me to see how things and people have changed over the years. Time isn’t stopping for any of us, and that notion makes the moments like this even more precious.
I genuinely think that one of the ‘secrets’ to having it all is being grateful for what’s sitting right under your nose. It’s far easier to be happy when the glass is half full. It sounds pretty simple, but the society we live in really makes it hard somedays. I am by no means claiming that I’ll stop shopping or even wanting things that may not be necessities. But I am going to make a conscious effort to practice gratitude during this holiday season and in everyday life.
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading and have a fabulous Black Friday!xx Hannah