Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Gratitude Friday

I know that yesterday, Thanksgiving in the U.S., is when most bloggers make these sort of posts, but I skipped it yesterday, because gratitude for me isn’t just one day a year, it’s a regular practice — although, as such, it was really really hard not to post yesterday.

1. Humans of New York, especially the new book, which I’ve been savoring. This morning, I was looking at one image that had the most amazing caption, “She had the most beautiful awkwardness.”

2. Food of the season, things like apple pie, sweet potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts. Although, I am still missing fresh tomatoes.

3. A clean house. We always say one of the best things about having people over is how clean the house gets in preparation. I mean, I even dusted.

4. Sleeping in. I’ve been doing a lot of that this week, and Sam has been joining me. He gets up at 4:30 like we normally do, eats breakfast, goes potty, and runs back to bed with me.

5. Support, connection, companionship, and guidance. Family, friends, my Intuitive Eating book group, the Open Heart Project — Susan Piver did a beautiful video and meditation instruction about gratitude yesterday, talked about how the best way to show gratitude is to live a really good life.

foot stool or dog bed, whatever

foot stool, dog bed, whatever

Bonus Joy: Sam. On our walk yesterday, he did the cutest thing. He was tracking squirrels and I accidentally dropped his leash. I decided to let him keep going, see how far he would get. He was so intent on following the scent trail that he didn’t realize I wasn’t holding him. We were on campus (CSU) so I trusted he wouldn’t get too far or in too much trouble. Even if he found an actual squirrel to chase, they go up a tree pretty quickly. So he went maybe 25 feet, and then stopped to check in with the humans, only to realize they were way behind him. I gave him the hands out shoulder shrug that means “what are you doing?” and he gave me the head down ears back sign for “sorry, my bad” and hurried back to us, waiting for me to pick up his leash once he got close enough.

sometimes he gets into Dexter's bed and sleeps, it breaks my heart a little every time

sometimes he gets into Dexter’s bed and sleeps, it breaks my heart a little every time

Any moment like that which reinforces that we can trust each other is so good. Underneath his reactivity, his struggle to control his impulses, his surges of adrenaline and anxiety, his sometimes too muchness, Sam is the sweetest and most gentle of dogs. As I was with Dexter when we lost Obi, I’m glad to have this brief moment of time with just him, so I can really see, know him before another dog with its own needs comes to distract me.

Something Good

arterylobby1. A Photo Essay: Castle Crags on Rowdy Kitten, a beautiful act of remembering.

2. patterns + running + 10 hours of tv from Jessica Swift, a good reminder about the creative process, about balancing your effort with ease.

3. Obesity epidemic? Try hunger crisis. from Nourishing the Soul, which ends with “if we can recognize what it is we are truly hungry for, we might just be able to satiate ourselves.” Word. If you want more on this, you can always look to Rachel Cole, the Hunger Goddess.

4. On determining your worth from Susan Piver.

5. The Habits Of Supremely Happy People on Huffington Post.

6. your daily rock : cut yourself some slack and your daily rock : we are in this together.

7. Blessedly Imperfect on Painted Path.

arteryexit8. Things to remember on Superhero Life.

9. And I Know It’s Hard on Museful Things by Ken Robert.

10. I’m a F*cking Unicorn. (Or 10 Things to Do When You Get Fired for the First Time.) from Elephant Journal. I feel like I should start reading #6 to myself every morning and see what happens.

11. What, You Don’t Need Me? from Jonathan Fields. We should all aspire to this, no matter what sort of work, parenting, living we do.

12. Stop Juicing: It’s not healthy, it’s not virtuous, and it makes you seem like a jerk on Slate.

13. Good stuff from Seth Godin, The sound of confidence and #BlackFriday = media trap.

14. Program helps low-income elderly and disabled keep their pets on Today@CSU. This seems like a win-win situation, students away from home missing their own dogs or unable to have their own dog while in school and people with dogs who need help caring for them.

15. Things for My Stuff by Jason Good, one of the funniest boy bloggers around.

16. Florida State University AcaBelles – Royals (opb. Lorde).

17. Ward Miles – First Year, a dad films premature son’s miraculous first year. Of course the subject matter pulls at your heart strings, but I’m really sharing this because it’s a beautifully made film.

18. Kid President’s 20 Things We Should Say More Often. Seriously people, Kid President is one of the best things e v e r.

19. Good stuff from Buzzfeed: 38 Best DIY Food Gifts, and 29 Adorably Tiny Versions Of Normal-Sized Things, and 23 Signs You’re A Morning Person, and What It’s Like Being A New TA.

20. Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend, a really great TED Talk.

21. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: Shaved Brussel Sprout Slaw with Pink Grapefruit and a Maple Cider Vinaigrette (recipe), and Winter Recipes – salted caramel candies + kale chips + a sweet potato salad, and The Art of Getting Started Assignments, and Why Creative People Sometimes Make No Sense, and Our American Revolution.

22. The journey has to feel the way you want the destination to feel from Danielle LaPorte, in which she says,

You can’t contract your way to freedom.
You can’t punish your way to joy.
You can’t fight your way to inner peace.
The journey has to feel the way you want the destination to feel.

Oh, snap.

23. From Rowdy Kitten’s Happy Links list, My Uniform Life (in Five Easy Steps) and Blue Deer Forest Web Hosting and Blogging Services.

24. Everything I know about rest, I learned the hard way from Marianne Elliott.

25. The Necessary Art of Subtraction on Zen Habits.

26. From Positively Present Picks list, Essential Thanksgiving from The New York Times.

27. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: 10 Signs You’ve Found Your Calling and Yum! Holiday Stuffins That Will Knock Your Socks Off (recipe).

Letterpress from Impress Studio

Letterpress from Impress Studio

28. Kat McNally is hosting Reverb13 (I have two prompts in the series) and has a new website.

29. The New Black Friday with Sherry Richert Belul.

30. The True Meaning of Non-Attachment and How It Sets You Free from Always Well Within.

31. “Boredom is Rage Spread Thin.” Paul Tillich from Jeff Oaks.

32. 64 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Grief.

Letterpress from Impress Studio

Letterpress from Impress Studio

33. Wisdom from Lao Tzu,

In pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is acquired.
In pursuit of wisdom,
every day something is dropped.

34. This Dog Can Stack Anything On His Head. You’ll Die Laughing At What His Owner Has Tried. A dog in a hoodie gets me every time.

35. The Art of Cleanup: Ursus Wehrli Playfully Deconstructs and Reorders the Chaos of Life on Brain Pickings.

36. 7 Reasons to Stop Proving Yourself to Everyone Else from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

P.S. Spirit Road, Take Us Home: 100 Animal Card Readings to Usher in the New Year! a great offering from Rachael Maddox that I forgot to tell you about!


If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough. ~Meister Eckhart

Last Thanksgiving, looking for a prayer for giving thanks, I stumbled upon the World Hunger Grace from the Girl Scout “Our Chalet Song Book.”

For food in our world, where many walk in hunger,
For peace in our world, where many walk in fear,
For hope in our world, where many walk alone,
For light in our world, where many walk in darkness.
We give You thanks, O God.

With a bit of reworking, personalizing, this is the thanks I offer today:

For food in a world where many walk in hunger,
For health in a world where so many rest in dis-ease,
For friends in a world where many walk alone,
For faith in a world where many are confused by fear,
For freedom in a world where many are imprisoned,
For light in a world where many exist in darkness,
For kindness in a world where we aren’t always kind,
For the opportunity to help in a world where so many suffer,
I wholeheartedly and humbly give thanks.


Rather than share a list of what I am thankful for, I’m going to tell you a story.  Yesterday, I was in a big rush to get some errands done before I was supposed to meet with a friend. I went to the feed store to get dog food, the library to return a DVD and check out a book, and then to get groceries.

On the way out of the grocery store, I was irritated. I forgot to get hamburger for the dogs and bananas for the monkeys (that would be Sam and me), but I did not want to go directly back into that same store. I decided to make a quick stop at the grocery store that is right on the way home and get the rest of what I needed, but that meant hurrying even faster. Because I was really rushing now, I didn’t even acknowledge the Salvation Army bell ringer, even though he told me “Happy Thanksgiving.” And my internal dialogue was ugly and nasty on the way to my car, snarling at every person who got in my way and slowed me down.

Finally, I was in my car and headed to the next store. When I arrived, I reached for my purse…and it wasn’t there! I checked in the trunk, not there either. I had left my purse in the shopping cart in the basket return at the last store.

I told myself not to panic on the drive back, that it was the day before Thanksgiving and people were kind and honest, most of the time. And yet, the hurrying I did on the drive back was borderline road rage, following too close (to the point that people turned around and glared at me), going too fast, swerving, and changing lanes.

When I got back to the store, there were six customers in line at the service desk and I had to wait. I kept telling myself to stay calm, not to panic, not to get worked up over something that might not end up being true.  But, both of my pairs of prescription glasses where in there, credit cards, my driver’s license, calling cards, work keys, a usb drive with my writing and pictures on it. If it was really gone, I’d spend the rest of the day dealing with the process of canceling and replacing. When it was my turn at the counter, I asked if there was a lost & found, explained that I’d left my purse in a shopping cart in the parking lot about 15 minutes ago.  She asked me what my bag looked like, and leaned under the counter.

The feeling that flooded me when I saw my purse in her hands, heard her say “they brought it in right after you left,” wasn’t relief, it was sadness and shame. If I had been being mindful, like I always say is so important to me, I never would have left my purse in the cart in the first place. My rushing, lack of attention, and rudeness deserved worse luck than this.

On the way back out of the store, I stopped at the Salvation Army red bucket.  I told the bell ringer, “I am putting this $20 in the bucket, but before I do, I want to say why. When I was here just fifteen minutes ago, I was in a hurry and rushed past you, not even acknowledging you. I was in such a rush, I left my purse in a shopping cart in the parking lot, but someone was kind enough to turn it in. I am putting this $20 in for that person, and to apologize for being a jerk before.” He was quiet while I gave my confession, my speech rushed and my voice cracking from time to time. I’m sure he thought I was unstable, (which wasn’t exactly wrong at that moment), and he said “Well, thank you, and have a happy Thanksgiving.”

Photo by Jan Tik

For food in a world where many walk in hunger. For friends in a world where many walk alone. For faith in a world where many walk in fear. For kindness in a world where we aren’t always kind. I give thanks.