Posts Tagged With: thanks

Attempting to Let Go of the Scrappy Turkey

I’d like to introduce you to our turkey, born almost twenty years ago in Oklahoma. He’s looking worn around the edges and the middle. As you can see, he’s experienced better days.

Scrappy Turkey's seen better days.

Scrappy Turkey’s seen better days.

Born into an impoverished life, this turkey brightened one or two Thanksgivings in spite of his motley appearance and bedraggled state.

This multi-kid-crafted guy sat on the kitchen table for the month of November, or part of the month if I remembered too late. Scraps of paper and a pencil or pen sat nearby for scribbling down a daily something each of us in the family felt grateful for. Inconsistent at best, we all threw in a few thoughts during the month. Running up to the actual day of thanks we might’ve thrown in a few extra to make up for what we didn’t contribute during the busy month preceding.

Then sometime during the day, that fourth Thursday in November, we’d reach in to the turkey’s cavernous gallon sized innards and pull out those scraps of paper. And someone would read what our family felt counted as blessings, gratitudes, good things. We’d have a few brief moments of thoughtful gratitude or laughter and then get on to the pie or leftovers.

Some of the actual scraps of paper with blessings written down.

Some of the actual scraps of paper with blessings written down.

Some of those scraps I’ve saved all these years in the cardboard box labeled Thanksgiving decor. Every year when I pull out that box and set out my little scarecrows, faux fall leaves, and wicker pumpkins, I think about finally setting this poor old turkey free. But I can’t make myself do it. Sure, he’s too scraggly and chintzy to set out as a decoration, so he stays in the box. He long ago exceeded his usefulness and cuteness. But memories hover in and on and around the fowl little guy. How do I let him go?

Maybe this can count as a memorial of that brief span that our homemade turkey spent time on the table reminding us of the blessed life we lived. Especially since that life, at times, seemed held together by paper bits and cardboard tubes and empty milk cartons. Sometimes life still feels that way, taped and glued together, barely holding on, scrunched and crumpled and not so magnificent as in other, better days.

How do you let go of symbols? At what point can you say goodbye and let that be good enough?You’d think it’d be easy to toss this barely recognizable turkey. But nope. Can’t quite do it.

Maybe it just isn’t time to say adieu. Not yet. Not this year. Maybe next November.

I’ll try to remember to set him out on the kitchen table next year, albeit rougher and scrunchier. And then, I’ll set some scraps of paper nearby and a pencil. I’ll toss in my gratitude, and ask MSH to do the same, and visitors, too. And then, after reading all those scraps on Thanksgiving day, maybe then, I can let him go.

We’ll see.

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

November Gratitude Invitational

 

I’ve already overbooked myself for November and we ‘re less than 24 hours into the month.

 

For instance I’ve accepted a walking challenge. This involves either several walking marathons or consistent walks every day for the entire month. Seems like a great idea since I need to get more outdoor time and exercise, so this is good. I already forgot this morning, must have something to do with sugar overload and a way too late bedtime.

 

photo-18 copy 18Also November is, once again AnClOuGaSoMo. Not familiar with this one? It’s been going on since MSH and I became a family. Seriously, he had a storage unit when we married back in the Neolithic Age.) It stands for Annual Clean Out the Garage Sometime Month. Which means I plan to clean out the garage, (yes, again already) sometime in the next 30 days. That could be scary or very cathartic. Or tragic, well, probably not really tragic. I just don’t really want to do that much work.  Maybe I’ll just shove it all out into the driveway and post a big garage sale sign. Except I despise garage sales.

 

There’s some convoluted travel plans mixed in the schedule this month, too.

 

And there’s the Thanksgiving holiday!!  A delightful holiday which involves a day of baking pies, and a separate day of cooking, and a day of recovery, and lots of shopping and cleaning ahead of time. All that for a few glorious hours of Family and Friends, noise and love bouncing off the walls, dishes piled high, dessert overload and abundant joy.

 

Otherwise, it’s simply a normal month with the usual comings and goings and dervish-like whirling.

 

I love me some November! Why? Besides all of the above reasons?

 

For me November rotates around gratitude every single day.

 

So, once again, I’m committing right here, out loud in front of everybody, that every day this month I’m going to blog or Facebook or both, something that I’m grateful for.  And I’ll still do my usual Gratituesday posts.

 

That sounds like a lot but if I’m only mentioning one thing a day and I’m not going into elaborate explanations, then I can succeed. Right?

 

At the same time I’m setting up this challenge, correct that, invitation,  I’m throwing this challenge/invitation out to anyone who’s  interested in joining me.

 

I’ve written a bit about the benefits of adding gratitude to your life on this post. If you want to see if I really know what I’m talking about or if I’m just blowing smoke, you could  join in with me. One thing a day. That’s all. Unless you want to overachieve and do three or five.

 

It doesn’t have happen publicly. You don’t have to post on Facebook or Twitter or a Blog. That’s just how I do it so I feel like I have some accountability. You can simply get out a sheet of paper or a little notebook and list your daily item that makes you smile, brings you joy, lifts your spirits, puts a zing in your step or makes your heart go purr.

 

Gratitude changes everything

Gratitude changes everything (Photo credit: symphony of love)

At the end of the month what will you have? At the very least, a list of thirty great things about your life. Or more likely, you’ll have gained a slightly changed perspective about how your life does not stink. Or even better, you’ll see life through a lens of thankfulness.

 

Think of it. If ten of us did this there’d be three hundred grateful vibes mixed up in the universe of grouchiness. If fifty of us did it there’d be fifteen hundred thankful thoughts floating about. If a hundred people joined in there’d be three thousand smiles to offset all the frowns that exist out there.

 

Don’t you want to try it? Ah, come on, say yes!

 

Say, “Today I’m thankful for _____” and fill in the blank, every day, all month-long. You can do this!

 

It can’t hurt.

 

Give it a try.

 

Two other posts I wrote that sort of tie in, that you might want to check out.

 

Related articles by other cool bloggers that show I’m not the least bit original and that this idea rocks.

 

Categories: Gratitude, Happiness | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

More Than Words

Hey! It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m having a hard time coming up with a gratituesday. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got blessing out the wazoo. Narrowing down the gratitude to one thing befuddles me today.

Here’s some words I’ve encountered lately that have taken on added meaning. Most of them capture  my current state of mind. The words themselves seem ordinary, but the heft and weight behind the words carries me through.

Here’s one my of favorite happy words. I’ve been lucky in this area. Three brothers who’ve gone through some rough times and have emerged like rock stars!  Parents who’ve persevered and continued to love. A husband, children, grands. It’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

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I’ve seen recent examples of this word in my siblings, my dad, my mom, my children.

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This word captures how I feel when I’m around my family, or friends. Or when I’m writing. Lack of a weight to carry or illumination, either definition of Light fits my mood.

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The meat of the thing, the center, the prime motivator, the engine, the strength, where love symbolically lives.

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Got plenty of these in a variety of forms, shapes and sizes. I’m especially thankful for the three sweet “littles” in my life. Got a brand new one I get to hold in just a few hours.

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I have three of these. Each one as different as possible from the other. And yet, we find common ground in so many places. They’ve been a source of strength to me. They’ve been an example of selflessness and service over a long stretch. They keep the boat they’re on moving through whatever weather the seas and wind blow their way.

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I think this word says enough all by itself.

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What it’s all about, right? Got a ton of it in my life. Probably more than my fair share. Hoping I’m giving it as well as I’m getting it.

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More the center of things than the heart, the word mother encapsulates all that is good and beautiful and healthy in my life. I owe her everything. I’m grateful that she’s okay and getting better every day.

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Yeah, I know I started with this word. Everything would seem kind of pointless without this. So I’m extra grateful today for this one.

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And here’s someone else’s words to summarize today’s gratitude.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”—   Melody Beattie

Feasting today on a full plate and a cup overflowing!

Categories: Family, Gratitude, Gratituesday, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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