In our effort to put 2020 behind us and ring in 2021, the holidays may seem even more important. Jack o’ lanterns have quickly been replaced with wreaths, and holiday music is on repeat. It’s almost easy to overlook Thanksgiving in the rush toward the end of the year, but I invite you to slow down. The holiday that urges us to give thanks for our blessings may be a sore note for those of us particularly affected these past months. I understand, trust me, my family has also felt the strain of this year, but as the year nears an end I am beginning to remember some wisdom that was once handed down to me. While November 27th is Thanksgiving, living a life of continued gratitude keeps you in the spirit all year round.  Yes, I know this sounds a bit like a bad self-help book or a Hallmark Christmas card you found in the back of your junk drawer – but hear me out.


At the beginning of the year, at the onset of Covid, I was online and I spotted a book I had to have “I NEED A DRINK, an inner truth journal”. I intended to use it as a means to vent about all that was going on in the world. Yet, as soon as I purchased it I was challenged by a friend to begin a gratitude journal. This is the same friend who suckers me into making a vision board every January. Given Covid-19 wasn’t on any of our vision boards, I wouldn’t say I had much faith in this suggestion. Not one to back down from a challenge (and I was in quarantine), I accepted.


Each day I had to search for something to be grateful for, and sometimes I couldn’t find it in me to write anything more than a line or two. The economy, COVID, the ongoing news cycle all made it hard to see straight. I started off small and somedays I had to stretch it (“I am grateful for coffee, so I don’t doze off during this Zoom meeting”). It sucked but somehow I stuck with it and slowly I began to see things differently. My perspective began to shift and my journal entries grew longer. My need “for a drink” decreased as I started to look at the positive much easier than I had before. 


Listen, I am a cynic who acknowledges I need self-improvement. I mean, you won’t’ find me in the Self Help section of Barnes & Noble (because I have a Kindle), but there is something to be said about an attitude of gratitude. My friend gave me a gift that I didn’t know I needed and could never repay, so I’m paying it forward. 


I invite you to purchase a journal, something you want to write in, and take a moment a day to reflect. What do you have to be grateful for this year, and just the big things that we so often say around the Thanksgiving table. Take a moment and highlight the small things – those often overlooked. You’d be surprised how small things can make a big difference.


Try it.


You can thank me later.