Happy Thanksgiving!

I am going to take an environment sabbatical in order to send out a happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  I am so glad that this holiday is actually here!  I am more of a Christmas enthusiast, but I am trying to embrace Thanksgiving more this year. I am actually responsible for a little of the cooking (I am contributing fettuccine since I don’t eat turkey or ham)

If you have to go to the grocery store or mall at any time during the break, you might notice how crazed everyone looks.  I went earlier in the week, and people looked like they were ready to pull all of their hair out in order to avoid Thanksgiving preparations.  That is true in most cases.  People are not able to actually enjoy the holidays anymore because they have become such a circus of crazed commercialism.  I used to hate when people called Thanksgiving and Christmas a commercial-based holiday, but it is true.  I do believe in traditions during the holidays, but this year I want my priorities to be different.  Maybe that is the key to having a truly happy holiday experience.  What if people actually gave thanks during Thanksgiving, instead of being stressed about a perfect turkey?  What if people focused on family instead of being obsessed with the football score?

I focus on myself and my problems far too much.  It is kind of ridiculous to think that most people never enjoy the amount of food that is available to me on an average day.  (Just think about this, the average American ate 17.5 pounds of Turkey in 2007.  For more interesting turkey trivia, click here.)  Wow.  I don’t really know how to fix this, but it is definitely something that needs to be processed.

In church on Sunday, our preacher discussed the concept of gratitude, and how beneficial it is to every aspect of our lives.  Living life with gratitude allows you to see the world in a more positive light, and doing so consistently can have huge effects on personal perspective.  Especially in a tough financial time, it is so important to be thankful for what we have.  Instead of focusing on wanting more, I am going to try to consider how blessed I am as it is.

If you are interested in the science of grateful thinking, Robert Emmons’ book Thanks! describes in detail the benefits of gratitude on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of life.  Here is a link to a book review originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Again, have a happy Thanksgiving!  Enjoy life!

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