A “Proper” Thank You!

Growing up in Scotland, we of course, didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. However, it wasn’t long after I moved to the U.S. that I realized what an important holiday it is to people here, and I can now understand why.

There’s no place like home!

It’s one of the few holidays that everyone wants to be “home” for. No matter where they are, how long the journey might be or how uncooperative the weather, there is a need to be with “your people”. It feels to me, that it’s a more important holiday to many people than Christmas (and Christmas is pretty darn important!). I’ve spent Thanksgiving in countless homes over the years, generously being embraced by friends and family happy to take in “just one or two more”, so I’ve seen a few different traditions along the way. uYrwXZnU5F828k32SElIiGLmjk9KZeRq5WIcwFKCmIs

What are you thankful for?

Without a doubt, the tradition that unifies all my experiences is that of everyone taking turns around the dinner table to say what they are thankful for. Such a lovely thing to do!

Turning the tables.

However, last Thanksgiving day, I spent the entire day writing emails to people who I felt the need and desire to thank. People who had touched my life in such a significant way that a short card just wouldn’t do! Last Thanksgiving happened to fall on the anniversary of my first surgery (bi-lateral mastectomy and reconstruction, November 27th, 2012, which was also my lovely dad’s birthday!) so it was a memorable date for me and that it fell on Thanksgiving day that year, it just seemed appropriate to spend my day thanking some of the people who helped me through that time.

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A “proper” thank you!

Shortly before this, I had listened to a talk on “thanking”. What I loved about it was that it made me realize that it’s so important to be specific when you write a thank you. If someone has made a huge impact on your life in some way, tell them! It’s not enough to simply write “thanks for everything”, “I couldn’t have done it without you”, or “thanks for being there”. If someone made that big of a contribution to your life, then they deserve to hear, in detail, exactly how. How they made you feel, specifically how they helped or encouraged you, how they changed your life for the better and how you think of them often because of all they did.

A new tradition.

I know you’re all very busy on this special day, but maybe take a little time and write a “proper” thank you to someone who you’ve never really thanked properly for something they’ve done to change your life. Imagine how special they will feel and how good you will feel for having done it. A very BIG Thank you to you ALL for reading my post! Happy Thanksgiving! xox email_signoff1_name    

It Only Takes a Moment to Change Your Life

We hear it all the time “live in the moment” which is, without a doubt a lovely concept, but not always easy to achieve. Our lives are so busy and so full, that moments can pass us by, barely noticed. Sometimes we catch ourselves in a great moment that we know we should truly be savoring, but our mind is already wondering off to the next thing. Maybe we’re wondering how busy the traffic is going to be, what we’re making for dinner and how we’re going to fit in that load of laundry before the morning. Our minds can be so full and distracted that sometimes we don’t get to fully enjoy the moment, no matter how great it is.

Your presence is your present!

Being truly present in the moment is a continuing challenge for me, and I doubt I’m alone. It is not easy to clear your mind and not think about what you’re doing next and whether you even have time for this “moment”. It could be that you bump into a friend at the post office. You’re thrilled to see them, and enjoy chatting and catching up but in the back of your mind you’re thinking I didn’t plan for this. I only allowed 5 minutes in my schedule for the post office visit and now I’m going to be behind on the rest of my day. Meanwhile, you’re missing out on the joy of being with your friend. Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to put all that other stuff out of our heads and simply be? IMG_8295

Who said there are no second chances?

I decided that I will indeed continue to work on “living in the moment” but I also thought that perhaps there was something else I could do to honor the very concept of “moments” while I practice. Here’s what I came up with.
I will take a moment (or two) everyday to recapture a past moment in my life. To visualize it and enjoy the wonderful feelings surrounding it and to appreciate it for all that it was. It will be like I’m giving that moment a second chance and giving myself a second chance to be more present in it.
There are so many moments that change and define our lives. I know that sometimes these moments can be sad, but for now, I am choosing to focus on the happy, positive ones and I encourage you to do the same.

So I’m asking you to join me...

And maybe take some time in your day to recapture a special moment in your life and to appreciate how that moment made such an impact. When I started to think about how many moments there are that brought me joy or changed my life in a wonderful way…well, wow! I don’t think I’m going to run out! So for now, I’m going to continue working on living in the moment and spending a moment re-living some life changing ones too :) Will you join me? email_signoff1_name