In November, several of my Facebook friends (they are real friends too) and Elena started posting one thing they are thankful for every day or week as a Thanksgiving project. I could not remember the day of the week for Elena's thankful thing on BT so I just post my things whenever I think of them.
Thanksgiving came and went, but I'm still posting the things.
Trying to think of a relatively new thing every day (or every couple of days) has been a good exercise. It makes me stop and notice little happy things where perhaps in the past I would have rushed right by. I see decorations, pretty trees, how the fish gets excited when he sees me coming. [I am thinking right now that I should be looking for more of these things] Looking for the thankful thing makes me look for the bright side of a bad mood, a bad situation, a disappointment, everything. One morning recently, I got up in a terribly ugly mood. Everything about me was foul and I just hated myself. I got on the bike trainer (a stand for the bike so we can ride indoors) and rode my heart out. I added some extra "personality" minutes the way we used to give the kids personality naps before dinner. It worked! That day I was thankful for endorphins and their capacity to smooth the bumps and for Doug for setting up the trainer for me.
A similar thing happened when we got the new Christmas tree. Our previous tree (both trees are fake, by the way) was a stop-gap measure that we bought when we realized that Annika would be pulling up on or near the tree at her first Christmas. The potential for disaster was too scary to imagine with a heavy real tree, so we got the fake one, planning to replace it with a "good one" after the holidays. That was in 2003. Things don't move fast at our house. Doug found some trees on sale this year at Sams and brought one home the day after Thanksgiving. The new tree is more telephone pole-shaped than tent-shaped and it did not make my heart sing. So, I jumped on my bike and then took a nice, cool run and though the tree had not improved in my estimation, the kids were REALLY excited (jumping up and down) about decorating it. And that day I was thankful for Dr. Seuss and the Grinch saying that "perhaps Christmas means a little bit more."
It is interesting, though, that most of my thankful things are repeating themes. My family, running, my family, running, friends, my family, running, work, my family etc. . . I think, perhaps, that they are so extra-great that I keep coming back to them for my thankful thing. Then again, it could be because I am subconsciously making up for the years of not thinking of the thankful thing.