At a conference I attended this summer, a keynote speaker gave a talk about thankfulness. She referred to a study which found people who meditate on five specific things per day they are grateful for are 25% happier. I’m not exactly sure how happiness is measured (although it’s explained in the full text), but I can tell you from personal experience that focusing on the good happening around me rather than the negative changes my perspective.
So I came home from the conference and excitedly told Patrick about this new piece of information I learned and thus was born The Thankful Game.
The Thankful Game is easy: you simply go around the table and each person tells what he or she is thankful for that day. It can be one thing or it can be ten things. It can be as simple as thankfulness for sunshine to as deep as the thankfulness you have for your family.
So today I’m going to play The 2017 Thankful Game with you and I hope you’ll play along with me.
This year I’m thankful for friendships…
thankful for unlikely friends,
old friends and new friends,
friends who are far away but still feel near,
friends who always pick up the phone.
This year I’m thankful for my full-time job…
for my co-workers who keep me sane,
for my patients who keep me coming back,
for a place about which I can simultaneously complain and adore,
for teaching me practical skills and life lessons.
This year I’m thankful for a little boy…
who is not so very little
who is sweet and smart and determined,
whose adventurous spirit and kind heart
have made me grateful to become a part of his life.
This year I’m thankful for shelter…
for more than one place to call “home,”
for food always in my pantry,
for warmth in the winter and A/C in the summer.
For reliable transportation and a stable job.
This year I’m thankful for family…
for knowing they’ll always be there,
for welcoming new additions;
for the laughter and tears and hugs,
for traveling miles because we miss each other and it’s worth it.
This year I’m thankful for heartbreak…
which led me to a future beyond my imagination
and made me grateful for who I have now.
Which – although painful – didn’t steal my capacity for love,
but created a space for unbelievably beautiful new beginnings.
This year I’m thankful for the mess…
because someone was there to make it
and someone always helped me clean it up;
because the mess always made my heart so full,
because there was a home to make messy.
This year I’m thankful for love…
this whole-body, unconditional feeling
which is given as it is received;
which has been unbelievably scary,
but too good to pass up.
This year I’m thankful for next year…
for the new friends I’ll meet,
for the new family I’ll have,
for the new home where I’ll live,
for the new opportunities I’ll chase.
Today, this last day of 2017, I challenge you to play The Thankful Game with yourself or with those you love. And may 2018 bring you many, many reasons to be thankful.
With love from Peas and Hoppiness.