gRaTiTuDe 3 TiMeS oVeR!

I've been absent from the posting scene the last few days as I've been focused on spending as much time with Seth as possible. So, today you are getting some MAJOR bang for your buck, with 3 posts in 1.
  • FRIDAY: I AM GRATEFUL FOR BLACK FRIDAY. Really Thanksgiving Thursday never truly ended for me as it melted into Black Friday. Since I had so much on my mind, I did not sleep a wink. I've been out and about for Black Friday for ages, but this year was different than most, since it was the first time Seth expressed ANY interest in going with me. So, I woke him up at 3:30, and we were out the door to Kohl's first (where we were certain we would run into his mom and grandma-however we did not). We grabbed some breakfast on the way to WalMart, and only had to wait about 10-15 minutes for what we needed. In Rexburg, I'd been spoiled with a small old WalMart for the past 3 years, a Super WalMart Black Friday is a whole other animal (and boy have they gotten more fierce)! As far as pandemonium was concerned, we only really found that in the electronics department at Wally World. We waited for the unveiling of the pallet o'goods, and as soon as the clock struck 5am, the nice people suddenly had a Jekyl-Hyde transformation take place, and they were no longer pleasant OR nice. Shoving and craziness ensued (Seth stood back along the wall so as not to get into an altercation, but I was next to the pallet in the sea of chaos-thought for a moment my arm was going to get broken). As soon as I had what I needed in my hands, like an NFL receiver I held it close to my body and practically crawled out from between people's legs. Ok, so maybe crawling wasn't necessary since I'm so short, but I was definitely scrambling under people to get out of there. We then stopped by Fred Meyer, Staples, Office Depot, Macy's---enjoyed some hot chocolate at StarBucks---then finished up at Costco. Most jaunts inside averaged about 20 minutes in length (with the exception of Office Depot since they didn't have all their check stands open---that was a 90 minute wait...if it had been something we could've gotten elsewhere we would have). They were only a few stops, but really our list was short...and the beauty of it was I had it all mapped out---so we got in, got what we needed, and got out. Black Friday MISSION:ACCOMPLISHED! What makes me most grateful, is that first of all, Seth gained a greater appreciation for what he's been spared all these years. Also, I am glad to be somewhat refined. And I am grateful for moderation in all things. Black Friday usually takes care of any desire to go BACK into shopping mess the rest of the season. Black Friday also, makes me grateful for sleep when I finally get it. =0)
  • SATURDAY: I AM GRATEFUL FOR REST. Seth was so kind as to let me sleep until 9:30 in the morning! (Cue Hallelujiah Chorus from Handel's Messiah) He only woke me so I could get ready for my hair appointment with my best friend, Wendy. That was pretty much the pace of my day. Restful and easy going. My appointment was for a simple trim (long overdue since June), and a good heart to heart chat session. It was nice to catch up. From there Seth and I ran a couple errands and then I met Sarah outside Barnes and Noble to begin our search for the perfect pair of ballet flats for her and one last piece of garland for my kitchen cabinets. Seth picked me up from FarWest and we finished our little errands in time to be home when Daisy returned from her cousins' house. While we watched a couple movies, Seth gave me a PEDICURE!!! Oh and it was lovely! When he finished, we retired for the evening. It was wonderful to just exist and go with the flow. I've needed more days like this for quite some time.
  • TODAY I AM GRATEFUL FOR MY JOURNEY OF GRATITUDE. I've loved having a daily outlet for my expressions of gratitude this year. Having dedicated this entire month to being more aware of my gratitude has improved my November in leaps and bounds from those of the past. There were a few days where I'd hop out of bed knowing from the start of that day what I was grateful for. Other days, I felt I'd somehow missed my opportunity to be grateful, only for Heavenly Father to give me something elegantly hidden in the events of the day or something which seemed of smaller magnitude which was truly greater than the larger looming objects which had obscured my view. This journey has been a fantastic gift which I cherish. So, don't be surprised if you find an occasional "TODAY I AM GRATEFUL FOR..." post crop up here and there. The interesting thing is, as I reflected today on the journey, God reminded me of how important gratitude is no matter if its at the beginning of November or all throughout the year. Terra gave a beautiful talk on gratitude in Sacrament meeting this morning, and she shared some fabulous insights on the topic. Also, I opened my husband's National Guard newsletter to find further confirmation of the truthfulness of the teachings of modern prophets. President Hinckley said, "Gratitude is the beginning of civility, of decency and goodness, of a recognition that we cannot afford to be arrogant. We should walk with the knowledge that we will need help every step of the way." He also counseled us to "Walk with gratitude in your hearts." A prophet of the Lord is not a voice to ignore, yet the world often rationalizes their words away (hmmm-funny coincidence, since Satan would have us rationalize our salvation away). Like other prophetic counsel before, there is new evidence from "scholars" in the world of the benefits from following our prophets' counsel: Psychologist, Dr. Ben-Shahar "notes that rates of depression are much higher in the U.S. than they were in the 1960s, even though the years since then generally have been prosperous for the country. He suggests that the number of people experiencing depression is increasing partly because our expectations have risen along with our salaries or standards of living. Even if we have more than we ever expected, we may feel depressed if we don't have all that we think we should. One way to break that cycle of thought is to make a habit of appreciating what we do have. Dr. Ben Shahar cites a study that asked people to write down five things they were grateful for every day for a set period of time. The study found that those who followed through with this exercise, compared with others in the experiment, felt better about their lives, were more optimistic, had fewer physical symptoms of illnesses, were more likely to achieve their goals, and were more likely to help others." So, if we are feeling down, we should BE MORE GRATEFUL! Utter more prayers of gratitude aloud. Record our gratitude in our journals, or in my case on a blog. Life always has a rosier outlook when we're grateful! If you feel so inspired, take your own journey of gratitude. One month of daily reflections & evaluations of what you're grateful for will absolutely change your outlook and ultimately your life. I am grateful for Heavenly Father's gift he gave me in the education I gained through my own journey. Hold on tight, and Bon Voyage!

1 comment:

Jan said...

I learned so much from you this month too. I was so intriqued as to what was next for your expression of gratitude. From masks to Seth.

Black Friday sounds like it went perfectly with your hubby. That would be a blast. I stay in my PJ's all day and shop online. I need to enjoy the hussle I guess of that day more.

Thanks for the month of taking notice of all the things that could spark a thought of thankfulness. :)

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