remembering to be thankful

Saturday was our Thanksgiving celebration at our home. Marissa came over at 10am and spent the day preparing and cooking and basting the turkey. I made two desserts (here and here) which both worked out more or less ok (although both needed longer in the oven than stated) and was general little kitchen helper. The hungry guests turned up at 4pm and we spent the rest of the day eating, drinking, eating some more and then collapsing on our sofa (it’s these moments I’m so happy we bought a huge one!) to talk and laugh late into the night.

This morning, in between trying to wake up, warm up and get my mind into work mode, I read this post from decor8, a design blog I read regularly. Holly, the blogger, is an expat living in Germany and she talked about a recent meeting of expat women where she lives and an exercise if thankfulness they did together.

She wrote:

I wondered if the ones who quickly wrote their list vs. those who had to really think about what they were thankful have a happier expat experience because they are naturally seeing the good things? Or? It also made think that perhaps by making regular mental notes (and from time to time making them on paper, too) that we all should remind ourselves what we are currently thankful for, what we love about our life, our personality, our home, our city, our job, those close to us… I think being thankful makes us less prone to negative thinking and gives life more meaning.

I tend me be an optimistic person when it comes to my friends, family and external situations. When I start thinking about myself, my own circumstances and situation I find it much harder to look on the brightside. I wonder why that is?

Anyway, this morning, as a follow up to our weekend celebrations and prompted by Holly’s thoughts, I’m making a list of things I am thankful for. Maybe you want to join in?

I’m thankful for…

  • the fact that it’s not raining today
  • leftover-Thanksgiving dessert to chomp on with morning coffee
  • a heater right behind my seat in the office
  • the carpet of brown and red leaves outside my window in the courtyard – so pretty
  • friends who insist on doing the washing up after eating dinner with us
  • evenings of lazy meals – pizza and chips – when I’m too tired to do any more
  • a timely reminder at church that we don’t need to exhaust ourselves trying to earn God’s favour
  • our new armchair and awesome blue pouf
  • the Christmas market on our doorstep providing happy music and fast food when I’m in a hurry
  • the prospect of my family coming to visit in two weeks time
  • my Danish lessons twice a week and the fact that I can actually hear myself improving now
  • reports of snow everywhere but here (I’m not ready yet!)
  • afternoon phone chats with my Dad while he’s home alone
  • new music to listen to courtesy of my colleague James whose music taste is awesome
  • dreams of new adventures in the coming year
  • friends who willingly volunteer to come and work from my office so that I’m not alone all day going slowly crazy
  • my sister who texts me regularly with funny things and keeps me smiling
  • receiving newspaper cutouts of the recent royal engagement from my Grandpa in the post
  • a new hairdresser who got exactly how I wanted my hair and made me feel beautiful
  • and for the hairdressers assistant who does the best head massage in the world
  • the opportunity to bake new desserts for appreciative friends – baking is the best form of therapy!
  • the realisation that learning often comes when you screw something up, and that’s ok
  • hugs, when you need them
  • happy news of engagements and pregnancies
  • the fact that I now own more than one pair of shoes and they are all waterproof – actually the first time this has happened in a number of years
  • my husband, who teaches me more every day what being married really means