Practicing gratitude is a discipline that we all benefit from. November is a built-in time to reflect on blessings. Rather than thinking of all the things you need to shop for, examine right where you are and what is already in front of you. The people around you matter. Have you thanked them for what they bring to your life?
Sometimes it’s a quick smile at the coffee shop or wave in the school carpool lane. Or, it may be a coworker that always shows kindness as she genuinely asks how your weekend was. In the murkiness of a stressful time of year, there’s usually at least one person that makes you feel special. They may do this by being friendly, helpful, dependable or thoughtful. Now is the time to be bold and thank them.
Say thank you to the people you encounter in daily life that make you feel #BLESSED:
…to the family member or roommate who picked up last minute groceries (even if it’s ice cream).
At the end of the day, heading on one more errand can feel like an impossible task. You already fought traffic and it’s too cold outside, but you need diapers or dinner stuff. If you have a friend, spouse, teenager or roommate that makes that trek for a last minute item, thank them.
…to the friend who sometimes Facetimes you just to check in and see how you are doing.
We all have responsibilities, obligations and errands that take up our time and energy. But sometimes there are friends who pause their lives to step back and ask about yours. For those people who share emotional energy and show their thoughtfulness, say thank you.
…to your kids’ teachers who sometimes spend holidays grading and lesson planning.
Parenting can be a bit of a group project, and teachers are responsible for hours upon hours of nurturing your children. They dedicate their lives to making sure they are responsible for educating your child to the best of their abilities – which often means early mornings and late nights. Thank them.
…to the pet sitter who you depend on to watch your fur babies.
You know that trusted pet sitter who plays parents to your animals while you are out of town? They might even take your dogs on walks when you have to pull 10 hour shifts. For every time they’ve made sure that Scruffy or Mittens is fed, taken outside, and returned safely home, thank them.
…to that same produce stocker you seem to run into at the grocery store every week.
Do you ever go on streaks where the same grocery store employee seems to be helping you week after week? That person may take an extra minute to ask you about your day, compliment your earrings and commend your choice of beer. Let them know that you see them too.
…to your boss who approved your (last minute) time off request.
You remember that email from 2 months ago where your boss told you to send your holiday time off request? You never replied! If you’re lucky enough to still have your time approved even though it’s busy season, make sure you express your thanks.
…to your workout instructor.
Sometimes it’s that Orange Theory coach that keeps you motivated through a fitness class and keeps you driven by choosing the best music. It might just be the smile you get from the person scanning your badge at your gym or possibly your walking crew. Say thank you to the people that help maintain your daily wellness.
…to the aunt, uncle or other relative who always sends greeting cards and remembers birthdays.
Getting a greeting card in the mail is always a treat. Do you have a relative that remembers your birthday every year? It might be that they have better organizational skills, or they love picking out the perfect card. Either way, they have made a commitment to showing how much they care. Thank them.
…to the spouse that reminds you to make sure your work clothes are clean before Monday morning.
Laundry is a necessary evil. For all those procrastinators who let the pile of dirty clothes grow into a mountain before starting the washing process, a little reminder goes a long way. Do you have someone that keeps you from showing up in those clothes that are starting to smell funny? Say thanks.
…to the daycare staff or nanny that pours their time into nurturing your littles.
Knowing your infants and toddlers are in good hands makes life so much easier. Life is good when you are able to leave your littles for part of the day and trust that they are safe and cared for. As you make it through the long workday and return to pick up the littles, say thank to the people you entrust with their care.
It might take one moment of courage to be bold and say thank you. It can look different for each person. You could get a gift certificate or bake some goodies. You could make a card or write a note with a thank you stamp. Sometimes, it’s enough to stop and tell someone thank you for the impact they make on your life. How you choose to communicate your gratitude is up to you. The message of thanks is a gift that anyone can give.
As you feel the weight of the holiday season grow, consider what you are thankful for.