Recently, I’ve been collecting the submission boxes from the Gratitude List Project.  We’ve received almost 200 submissions of gratitude from local community members.  I needed to pick them up to begin brainstorming a display for our local holiday event.  But even more than the “work” reason – there was something poetic about sifting through sentiments of gratitude in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

This will be the first time in quite a few years where I won’t be working over the Thanksgiving holiday.  In my previous career, I supported major retail clients through their busiest time of year.  I compromised my days off and family time to ensure clients were happy and promotions were advertised adequately.  Because I spent the days multitasking, splitting my focus – the holiday was filled with chaos, compromise and stress.  It also didn’t allow me to be present in the true meaning of the holiday.

This year, I am determined to be physically and mentally present for the Thanksgiving holiday.  I want to make an effort to view the day through the lens of Gratitude.  I want to slow down, look around, and breath in the memory making happening all around me.

So, to everyone out there who is running around, traveling, working, hosting, preparing, etc – TAKE A BEAT.  It could be five minutes. You can spare five minutes, right? Look up from the chaos and the cooking to really understand how lucky you are.  Create a mental (or physical) list of those things you’re grateful for in life.  Try telling those closest to you just how grateful you are to blessed by their presence in your life.  You might be surprised how much the small act of practicing gratitude can transform your holiday!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!