I’m at John’s family’s home for Thanksgiving this year, and the other day before we drove to Austin, he told me, “We have this tradition we do where we go around the table and name the things we’re thankful for, just so you know.” I kind of laughed and told him that I’m fairly certain most families dating back to the pilgrims that celebrate Thanksgiving, if not all of them, do this exact same thing. It’s a tradition I’ve always loved doing, though, and it was comforting to know I’d get to continue it with his family.
If yours does this roundtable reciting of blessings, you know the usual responses: family, friends, significant others, a roof over our heads, food on the table, careers, health, success, being together. All incredible joys and privileges to have in life, but sometimes it’s easy to overlook these — especially the smaller, everyday details that can uplift and brighten a regular, mundane day. In honor of the day of gratitude, turkey, and the best side dishes I eat all year, I wanted to list a few little things that I wouldn’t be nearly as happy about life without. What are your little, everyday things you’re grateful for that sometimes we might take for granted or forget?
- Piper getting me up at 7 on the dot every day, including weekends, without which I wouldn’t have nearly as productive of mornings as I do with this sweet pup, nor would I see half as many sunrises.
- Also, while we’re on the subject of Piper, her mischievous-one-second, angelic-the-next behavior can drive me a little crazy sometimes, but the nighttime moments when she hops on my bed, snuggles into the crevices of my legs, and falls asleep make me wonder how I did life without her.
- A firm knowledge of my passion for writing, and the ability to pursue it in a creative way, even on my most discouraged, unmotivated days.
- Walks around neighborhoods I’ve never been to before, popping into and learning about new little shops and bars and food places.
- A man who treats me with such respect and admiration that, in turn, has taught me to treat myself with that much respect and admiration. And he cooks. It’s all amazing.
- Norah Jones and A Fine Frenzy Pandora stations. (All you creatives, these are the perfect soundtracks to make things to.)
- Lazy Sundays with football, beer, and cuddling. And snacks. Always snacks.
- An urgency to exercise, not because I need or want to change my body, but because it maintains my sanity and preserves my future health.
- A comfy home to sit down and cozy up with a book and glass of wine in after a long day.
- Exploring new cities and the ability to travel to places I’ve always wanted to go — which is everywhere.
It’s a good life we all live, even on the bad days. It could always be worse, and it’s no fun to think about it that way when we’re down and out, but a good thing to do every day is acknowledge the small things that make your life respectively more wonderful than it could be without them. We’re all lucky and talented and set for success, as long as you think that’s the truth. Happy Thanksgiving, and keep remembering the small gems that make your life beautiful.