Every Day of 30 Days of Thanksgiving 2019

lifestyle

I talk about 30 Days of Thanksgiving in this article, but I thought I would look back at all 30 days here.

Day 1: I’m thankful for my new home, colorful crunchy leaves and blue skies.

Day 2: I’m thankful for family, friends, dessert before dinner and perfectly crisp, chilly November afternoons.

Day 3: I’m thankful for the unexpected.

Day 4: I’m thankful for waking up to a rising sun and coming home to chicken soup.

Day 5: I’m thankful for my boyfriend, my roommate and all our adventures.

Day 6: I’m thankful for baggy clothes and hot espresso.

Day 7: I’m thankful for my first adult friend (psst…she has a blog)

Day 8: I’m thankful for all my homes: Long Island, Poughkeepsie, Florence, Wappingers Falls and now…somewhere in Connecticut.

Day 9: I’m thankful for nights in.

Day 10: I’m thankful for Sundays spent warding off the scaries with coffee and beer dates.

Day 11: I’m thankful for glorious trips to immortal cities.

Day 12: I’m thankful for persimmons, pumpkin spice and peanut butter. Also working from home.

Day 13: I’m thankful for exploratory trips to find comforts in my new home.

Day 14: I’m thankful for polenta.

Day 15: Thankful for future opportunities to continue my food and farm education.

Day 16: Thankful for being in the front row at concerts.

Day 17: I’m thankful for my support system of friends, family and coworkers.

Day 18: Thankful for smiling strangers and kindness.

Day 19: I’m thankful for being hit with signs from the universe.

Day 20: I’m thankful for long conversations with my best girlfriends.

Day 21: I’m thankful for the strong and influential women in my life.

Day 22: Thankful for chicken wings and the end of a long, long week.

Day 23: I’m thankful for weekend trips, especially when we explore Yale.

Day 24: Thankful for a rainy Sunday spent recharging.

Day 25: Very thankful for short weeks.

Day 26: Thankful for sunshine on a Tuesday, work from home lunches and very few emails in my inbox.

Day 27: Thankful for a fat bowl of pasta, and being home-home for a few days.

Day 28: I’m thankful for my first Thanksgiving spent with my boyfriend and all the white wine we drank

Day 29: Very thankful for fried turkey.

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Best way to cook a turkey. #30DaysofThanksgiving

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Day 30: Thankful for the last day of November surrounded by friends, family and lamb barbacoa.

November was difficult. This exercise showed me that on certain days (most days) the smallest things, a perfect dinner, a sunny day, could keep me afloat. Every day is not going to be the best day pf your life, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be the worst day either. My friend said “the sun always still rises,” and I guess that’s what this was all about in the first place.

Fall Leaves and Boots

My Mindful Exercise: 30 Days of Thanksgiving

lifestyle

Around 4 years ago I was spending too much time working and not enough time taking care of myself. Weeks of antibiotics took a toll on my physical, mental and interpersonal well-being – not to mention I was non stop working and taking pride in my inability to remember meals or get adequate sleep. It was a toxic form of Stockholm Syndrome where I was growing to love the alienated, unwell version of myself because I associated being exhausted to being important. This was my sophomore year of college, an extremely formative year not just in spite of but because of some of those hard times. This tradition grew out of something unpleasant and that’s always my hope whenever November comes along.

So this is 30 Days of Thanksgiving, a 30 day mindfulness exercise that not only changes my mindset but also prepares me for the holiday carnage. After Halloween ends folks jump straight to Christmas and sentences brim with “I want” statements. “I want a boyfriend,” “I want some new boots,” those kind of “I want” statements that seem greedy and sometimes unrealistic. It really changes the season of giving into a season of taking.

Honestly, slow down. Christmas will come like it does every year. It’s draining, and I’m sure I’m not the only one anxiety-ridden and stressed. What we miss by rushing through November is an opportunity to take care of ourselves and appreciate the little, every day things we take for granted. This is especially necessary before the draining, hectic holiday season. I mean, is anyone ready for heavy traffic and throwing elbows at the mall? I’m not.

How does it work?

This could very well be a journal activity, but I prefer to do this on Instagram as a way to bring realism and positivity into the social media realm, something lacking in a lot of hyper-produced, inauthentic content that circulates among the many genuine accounts. Every day, no matter how down I feel, I think of one thing I’m thankful for. It could be anything: people, places, things. You know the drill.

Now despite hard days that inevitably arise when it gets dark at 5pm, you have to keep going. Last year I remember getting a flat tire on my way to meet someone for dinner. It was a perfect situation: no tire iron, no car jack, no roadside assistance. Thankfully, the person I was meeting for dinner drove the extra hour to meet me. We called a local roadside service to change my tire, and after a few hours and about a hundred dollars we were en route to finally get some food. The CBD cocktail I drank with dinner made me ugly cry in the shower a few hours later, but despite all that (plus the next day’s waiting for new tires) I still could find something to be thankful for.

Personally, I find that putting this out on social media almost manifests a positive attitude. There’s something about writing it down and getting input from friends and followers that feels comforting, like we’re all living through November together. However, there are other variations depending on what you can manage. I mentioned bringing this exercise analog in a journal, but you can also verbally express thanks. Tell the people around you when you feel thankful for their presence. Tell your favorite barista that despite your long commute, you’re thankful for mornings because their drinks bring you comfort. Hell, tell the pizza guy that you’re thankful for that stuffed crust. Whatever you choose please don’t forget the reason for the activity. Keep your gratitude front and center even when you’re not posting about it on social media or writing it down in your journal.