Yesterday was Thanksgiving in Canada. It’s a holiday to which many families look forward. Turkey is a favorite of mine and it’s a treat when I get to it eat without having to cook it! Sweet potato is the perfect side dish no matter how you cook it. Then, finish off your meal with something pumpkin flavored and heaven is just around the corner! Great food aside, Thanksgiving marks the true beginning of fall in Canada when the leaves are bright yellow, brown, red, and orange. The temperatures are a little crisp in the mornings so you typically need a light sweater for your walks or an extra layer for runs. Thanksgiving is also the first long weekend after Labor Day. Parents and kids alike are ecstatic to be free to sleep in or lounge around the house for a few days. Yet other families are excited about going to the cottage or cabin to squeeze in the last visit with good weather driving conditions before winter. Since the beginning of school, routines have been tough to re-establish and take more effort than planned so this holiday is perfect timing for many of us. Family gatherings, having time to slow down for a few days, long walks in beautiful fall settings, lounging with your kids and spouse, and good comfort food may all amount to memorable moments. We might not remember what we ate at Aunt Bea’s Thanksgiving dinner but we sure remember the feeling of satisfaction! We can’t remember what exactly we did those 2 days locked up in the cabin with the entire extended family but we remember the moment when our teenager still wanted to cuddle while watching a movie. Thanksgiving has different meanings for people. This year we made our Thanksgiving a time to be grateful. It was a time to STOP, REFLECT, FEEL, and EXPERIENCE gratitude. We challenged ourselves to think of 5 reasons, moments, things, people, or experiences for which we were grateful. When I reflect on the ones I chose, it’s evident that a strong theme flows through my life and that the theme represents my values. Living aligned with my values leads to my personal happiness.
In Search of Happiness?
A few months ago I watched a Ted Talk about this topic. Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar, has a wholesome and grounded view on creating happiness through gratitude. What do you think?