Thursday, October 4, 2007

Thankful Thursdays

I've been thinking about gratefulness since reading an article in Reader's Digest on scientific studies that have been done on the power of taking time to count your blessings. The article talks about the results of a study using three groups of people: one group kept a daily record of things they were thankful for; one group was asked to focus on the negative things that happened; and the third control group did nothing at all. The study found that members of the group that focused on being thankful was happier, more optimistic, healthier, and more likely to help others.

Some college girlfriends and I have a Yahoo group that we use to keep in touch. Since graduating, the group has grown, and I've become friends with with several women I've never met. I've deepened friendships with friends I've had for years. It's a wonderful and inspiring group of women to be able to count as my friends. Sometime a few years ago, someone decided to send a post outlining things they were thankful for. Before long, our "Monday Thanks" became a regular topic. It's faded in frequency a bit, recently, and it's not always on Monday anymore, but every once in a while, one of us will send an email with Thanks.

I love Monday Thanks. Not only is it a great way to keep up with what's going on in each other's lives, but the sense of thankfulness and optimism is contagious. I found it impossible to read other ladies' lists of thanks and not start to mentally make my own list of things I am thankful for. Another wonderful thing about our Monday thanks is that many of the most profound and poignant offers of thanks came during times of trouble. It was a way to keep life in perspective.

We all live busy lives, sometimes wondering how we even find time to eat or breathe or just remember to say "I love you" to the important people in our lives. I don't want to live a life that's too busy and stressful to recognize all the blessings I have, all the things I have to be thankful for. So I hope to have one post a week that will be about the good things in life. And just like the Monday Thanks emails did for me, I hope that reading my list of thanks will inspire you to look at your own life and see all there is to be thankful for.

So without further ado, today I am thankful for:

1. Puppy Kisses: Every day when I get home from work, I am greeted by 95 lbs. of energetic, tail-wagging excitement. If Thea is at the park outside, all I have to do is call her name, and she comes running at full speed to give me lots of love and kisses. In fact, if I take the trash out, when I walk back in the door, I'm greeted like a long-lost friend who has been gone way too long!

2. Phone calls from far-away friends. HLG was my college roommate, and one of the best friends a person could have. We always have so much fun together. She's the one who taught me to knit and how to eat crabs. She is the embodiment of fun and adventure, and lives life to its fullest more than almost anyone else I know. She's in vet school now at Virginia Tech, which meas we don't get to see each other or talk to each other nearly enough. So a phone call from H can always brighten my day.

3. The Office: I love this show! It never fails to make me laugh hysterically. The cast is amazing and the writing top notch. I can't wait to head upstairs and watch it tonight. Silly, I know, but it makes me happy!