I missed truly celebrating American Thanksgiving this year as I spent the week on the beach in Panama with three of my best girlfriends. Sure, we celebrated by lounging about, napping, snacking, and even keeping up with the time-honored tradition of stating what we were Thankful for this year. (My dish–though a very great garlic shrimp concoction–didn’t live up to a plate doused in gravy.) In hindsight, I realize I missed taking stock of what I’m truly grateful for and how it affects my life.
How happy I am to be reminded of that today.
It’s December 1st and the beginning of my very favorite three weeks of the year. You see, the anticipation of Christmas is enough for me — the world seems to be a generally nicer, kinder, gentler place. Toss in a birthday and my overwhelming need to throw gatherings with cream-cheese frosted anything, and December is a cornucopia of good feelings, good food, and the goodness of people.
I was reminded today about the small and simple things that make me grateful.
As Mormons, we’re taught in the Book of Mormon that “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” (Alma 37:6) Well boy howdy, today turned into the greatest day. Nothing massive or grand visions opened to me, but rather a steady stream of small and simple things that made me grateful.
- A chicken TBM (tomato, basil, mozzerella) sandwich from Cosi (seriously, this place is ridiculously good).
- 60-degrees on December 1st in Boston! (Rain can be ignored when it’s that warm, right?)
- A fun, casual date to the Boston Celtics game — and a win to boot!
- My sister’s annual Christmas music mix arrived in the mail today along with my wrapped birthday present. It took all my self control not to open it, but I’m learning self mastery. (Wink.)
- Knowing my intense love of sports, my work registered and paid for me to attend the annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. It’s a fairly huge deal with great panels and infamous speakers (Bill Simmons in the house! Malcom Gladwell, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Cuban)… this is sports nerdery to the max.
- And finally, I purchased my final Christmas gifts tonight. I’m officially ready for the holidays.
To be honest, sometimes I think I sit and wait around and wait for the grand event. What that is, I have no idea, but I’m learning that real life is a culmination of small, simple, and steady experiences that leave us better people. Some might call the wins in our life luck or coincidence, but I call them God’s outward expressions of love. He’s looking to bless our lives–and if it comes in the form of a great meal or entertaining conversation (or a good sandwich?) so be it. I’ll take the many small, simple, and steady blessings over the waiting around for the BIG EVENT.
Our modern-day Prophet and President of the Mormon Church, Thomas S. Monson recently said, “To live with gratitude ever in our hearts is a touch of heaven.” Saying thanks and being grateful for the blessings in my life has in fact drawn me nearer to God. And that’s something to be thankful for.