I love the concept of Thanksgiving! I love the fact that families and friends get together just for the sake of spending time together, without any gifts or presents to be purchased and exchanged. In many ways, it is a holiday that I prefer over Christmas because it is strictly about being appreciative and acknowledging what we have and the people around us. It can sometimes be too easy to forget to be thankful and grateful when we live in countries such as the US or France where in so many ways, we are so privileged.
At the same time, learning to be thankful and grateful on a daily basis can bring so much. I learned that a few years ago when I first heard about the Gratitude Journal.
My understanding of it is that if you take some time every day to focus on the positive things that may have crossed your path that day, no matter how random it might seems, you will subconsciously be able to shift your attitude and thought process and, progressively, you will bring much positivity into your life. So I did start writing every night before going to sleep. Some days it was easy to find little things for which to be grateful: if I look back to what I wrote in my first journal, there were a few lines about warm and comfy flannel sheets, sunny days, or little gestures from friends or coworkers. Sometimes, it was a little more difficult to think of something to write and that painful lack of inspiration helped fuel the daily search for little random acts of kindness. I still remember fondly the day I returned to my car to see that someone had picked up the glove I most likely had dropped earlier to place it on my door handle. Little by little, I could notice the shift: how my brain was constantly trying to pay attention to all the good things that were happening around me in order to have something to write down at the end of the day. I do believe that in many ways, that daily exercise helped me become a more positive person.
So today, even though I am still trying to move on after having lost a job that I really enjoyed, I cannot help but feeling thankful for the fact that, thanks to a decision that I did not have to take and that I know would have ultimately been extremely difficult for me, I will no longer spend my days in a negative and critical environment. I feel relieved and I am starting to see this as an opportunity to start on a new path.
I may not be celebrating Thanksgiving this year but I will most certainly not forget to be thankful.