Thankful for Traditions

Thankful for Traditions

Thankful for traditions… is there a tradition in your life that you are thankful for? Consider:

  • a holiday event
  • birthday experiences
  • seasonal trips

Go through your calendar and see if there are items that happen yearly (or you’d like to happen yearly) which are pleasant, enjoyable and memory-making.

We are thankful for the tradition of doing plates!

In our family, we “do plates” every year.

It’s a tradition Rob began when we moved to another country in 2000. Each year, near the end of the year, we draw on paper plates a representation of the past year.

After we’re done our plate we describe our year to each other.

However, the real magic is looking back at the previous year’s “plates” and remembering all that happened over the last 18 years.

This year we will have a new “plate” added to the group, our baby grand-daughter.

If you’d like to read more about this tradition click here.

Create a favorite tradition!

If you can’t think of a tradition that’s been a part of your life, then NOW is a great time to begin. Yes, right now!

  • Do a little Pinterest search in areas you enjoy for ideas. Here’s a Pinterest board I’ve begun for this purpose.
  • Think of your skills – share those with a loved one.
  • Who would you share a tradition with? Even if your family is far away you can still create traditions with friends. The people may change but as long as you do the tradition each year, it’s a tradition!
  • Does someone else do an activity that you admire?
  • Start a conversation with your spouse or children about traditions – get their input!

Leave a comment – what traditions would you begin if you could?

I’d love to hear about your traditions and do an article about them all!

thankful for traditions - 30 days of thankfulness - positivethanksliving.com - #thankful #grateful

Thankful for traditions…

Maybe this could be the start of a tradition – doing a month of giving thanks for all the good in your life!

Here are the posts so far…

I look forward to doing this thankful inventory with you!

Thankful for your Spot

Thankful for your Spot

Thankful for your spot. Your spot… you know… it’s that spot where you relax.

You’re probably in your most comfortable clothes, maybe even in your pajamas, when you’re in your spot. It’s the spot where you just take a deep breath and decompress. Maybe you even have a table beside your spot where you can put down a cup of tea, or coffee or a wine glass.

Is there a book waiting for you in your spot? Or are you facing the television?

Thankful for your Spot to Relax

Life can be busy, so having a spot to relax in – whether it’s an end of a sofa, a plush chair or even on your side of the bed – that’s a spot to be thankful for.

Where’s your spot?

(Leave a comment!)

Life can be busy, so having a spot to relax is important. Where's your spot? Be thankful for your spot.

For those who are familiar with The Big Bang Theory television program, here’s a funny video detailing Sheldon’s “spot”.

30 days of thankfulness!

We’re working on collecting many types of ways we’re thankful. There will be 30 prompts (one a day… hopefully… <wink>) and if you want to play the game with me, then find a place to record your answers.

You could record your answers with a simple piece of paper, or a pretty notebook, or even download and print this free PDF. I’ve been exploring a few free apps on my iPhone for the purpose of recording gratitude – here’s one that is interesting: 5 Minutes of Gratitude.

To help you catch up, here are links to the other days (so far):

Thankful for Convenience

Thankful for Convenience

Thankful for Convenience – what?

Well, just think about it a bit. How is your life easier than your grandparents’ life when they were your age?

We live in a time of gadgets and do-dads.

Vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, refrigerators, Swiffer mops, washers and dryers, electric tea-kettles, bread-makers, Kuerigs, hair-dryers, microwaves, electric/gas-powered lawn-mowers, garage-door openers, programmable thermostats, even the convenience of an “Alexa turn on the lights!” gadget.

So, which item in your list of conveniences are you most thankful for? Has this changed over the years?

What have you added to your list of conveniences?

I’m thankful for convenience in the morning with my little egg-cooker! It’s just a tiny helper in the larger scheme of life, but it’s made my mornings much more efficient. Plus, I never have to worry about the eggs boiling dry! (It’s “Lori-proof”. LOL)

Another convenience I value is my own washer and dryer. While we were living in our 5th wheel, I needed to use a laundromat, or visit our adult children. It’s a privilege to just drop in a load of laundry whenever I feel like it!

What about you? What convenience do you value?

Make a list of all the gadgets that add up to make your life easier! What’s at the top of that list? What would you miss most if it wasn’t available?

You’re invited to play the game – 30 days of thankfulness – start at Day 1 – Thankful for the View! Download this PDF to record it all!

Thankful for Books

Thankful for Books

Thankful for books. Yes. Huge tomes and tiny treasures. Ancient words, new concepts. Happy or sad books, complicated or simple books – they’re all my favorite! And with the invention of the Kindle, I can take all my favorites everywhere I go!

One of my first memories is going to the library. We went once a week on Tuesdays, after my piano lessons. I remember when my mother finally let me stay in the kids’ area by myself, (it was on a different floor) and she went upstairs to the adult books. It was like I’d won the lottery – what JOY! I was so thankful for books.

What elation! Set free among all those stories and ideas!

And then there was that one summer. I determined I’d read every book in that children’s area. Starting at the “A’s” in fiction and in the 000 to 100’s in non-fiction, I think I only made it to the psychology section in non-fiction (just before the 200’s). And I can’t remember about fiction books. Those I read quickly, so who knows? Plus, we were only allowed 12 books per week! (Still feel indignant about that!) And to my defense, there were a LOT of books in my library. At least that’s what I remember…

Thankful for books.

Yes, I’ve developed a fairly healthy relationship with books… ? Maybe.

It’s still my go-to place when I need to escape. Long, long before people binge-watched shows, I binged on books. (Still do, if I’m being candid.)

I can’t fully express how I’m thankful for books…

What about you?

What kind of relationship do you have with books?

Is there at least one book for which you’re thankful?

Use today’s prompt to think of all your favorite books – those from childhood, and every age and stage forward.

Make a list!

Have you shared any of these books with those you love?

My children read the Madeline L’Engle books I loved – Alex was enamored of the book featuring the twins, “Many Waters”. I think it’s still on his shelf. And the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis, and Enid Blyton’s “The Adventure of… ” series with Kiki the parrot!

I’m looking forward to sharing these books with the next generation…

So — for which books do you feel thankful?

Leave a comment with a few titles! Share!

(I’m always up for a new book. <wink>)

If you want to read a book about thankfulness, this one was fascinating. The author spent a year exploring being thankful for different aspects of her life. Right now it’s only $1.99 on Kindle!

If you love to read, a Kindle device is an invaluable investment!

But you don’t need to have a Kindle to read digital books – you can use the free app on your phone or computer. Here’s an article about those applications and how to get started.

Having a good book at your fingertips whenever there’s a moment of downtime is so rewarding…

Have you begun your list of all the things to be thankful for?

Here are the prompts for

Write them down on a piece of paper, your smartphone, in a notebook or somewhere else…

The object of this game is to see all that it’s possible to be thankful for after 30 days of prompts!

Thankful for the Investment

Thankful for the Investment

Thankful for the investment – and I’m not talking dollar signs…

We don’t walk through life alone.

However, we may not have the same people with us today, as we did years ago. So do a little walk through your own history…

Who has invested in you along the way?

Consider the skills you have today – chances are you didn’t develop them in a void. Who walked alongside you during your times of growth?

Who demonstrated the character qualities you’ve adopted as your own?

Give thanks for those mentors – especially the silent ones.

It’s important to be thankful for the investment others have made in who you are today.

Make a list of names of all those who have invested in you!

We don't walk through life alone. Who has invested in you? Be thankful for that investment. Record it!
Your nose knows how to be thankful!

Your nose knows how to be thankful!

Your nose has a unique way to scent out thankfulness! Yes, your nose… knows how to be thankful! Just think of these scents:

  • Memories from a scent: your mother’s perfume, long after she is no longer with you… or, for me, it’s smelling the smoke from a cigar. It reminds me of my father who passed into eternity 34 years ago… What about a campfire? Or your favorite soap?
  • Imagine walking through the door at the end of a long day and inhaling the delicious aroma of roast beef or chili, or… (What’s your favorite food smell?) When family remarks on how the food smells, (in a positive way, of course), I will respond by saying that it’s a good way to start the meal! Their noses lead the way.
  • What about just before you take that first sip in the morning – oh, the smell of fresh-brewed coffee! Or bacon frying on a holiday morning…
  • And baby cuddles! Isn’t that the best smell when they’re fresh from the bath?
  • The fragrance of a flower… rose, lilac, lavender… Walking through a herb garden is a feast for your nose – have you ever smelled fresh dill, mint or basil?

Your nose knows how to be thankful!

Quick!

What’s your favorite scent?

Aroma?

Fragrance?

Now, there’s something to be thankful for!

Write it down.

Make note!

Add it to your 30 days of being Thankful!

(This is Day 2. Use a piece of paper, a notebook, your phone or social media. Or download this PDF I created, and print it! The idea is to have a record of 30+ things you’re thankful for at the end of November!)

Join us on this journey of being thankful – If you haven’t already seen it, here’s the first prompt to start you off: Thankful for the View.

Leave a comment about what scent makes you feel thankful…

If you want to carry gratitude into next year take a look at this calendar: A Year of Gratitude Page-A-Day Calendar 2020

Thankful for the View

Thankful for the View

Thankful for the view: What can you see that you’re thankful for?

Yes, as you’re reading this sentence look up from your phone/computer…

! Look up!

For what item – you can currently see in real life – could you give thanks?

Is the sky blue? Are you with someone you love? Is there an item you treasure? What do you hear, smell, taste, or feel that can spark a sense of gratitude?

An exercise in giving thanks.

Over the next 30 days, I’ll be encouraging you to practice your ability to give thanks.

To be grateful.

Why?

Because, after two years of researching thankfulness and gratitude, I’ve realized that it rarely happens by itself.

We all need to be prompted…

Think of it like a game.

Being thankful needs practice.

The best part is that this practice will shift your whole world. Every part of it.

Guaranteed. (Well, as much as I can guarantee anything. <wink>)

How to play this game?

Use a sheet of paper, or an empty notebook, or a new Google doc, or download and print these pages I created, or open a new note on your phone, or write it on social media (your Facebook page or join our Facebook Group) or…

Get the concept?

It’s a space (any space – you could even write on your bathroom mirror with these) to collect the results so you can see them all at the end of 30 days.

Your first prompt is: Thankful for the View —

Tomorrow and every day for 30 days I’ll send you a unique prompt.

Collect the results!

At the end of these 30 days, you’ll have an amazing record of all the things/people/places/events, etc. in your life for which you’re thankful… if you play the game!

It’s powerful.

Could you do this exercise as a family?

I’m going to include my husband in this game. It’ll be a connection point – especially as we won’t be physically together for many of the next 30 days!

Are you ready?

Look up – look around…

What things are you thankful for that you can see right now?

Write down as many as you like…

Here’s the prompt:

Thankful for the View

Leave a comment if you’re going to “play”! On Friday, November 8, 2019, I’ll choose one person who commented and send them a set of the markers I referenced!

Practice your ability to be thankful - to be filled with gratitude! Here's the first of thirty prompts: Thankful for the View -- Want the details?

Just so you’re aware – the link is to the markers on Amazon. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites with no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Learn how to be optimistic.

Learn how to be optimistic.

Learn how to be optimistic. Basically, you aren’t required to be born a positive person – optimism can be learned. Don’t give up just because you’re not good at it! Because there’s a way to…

Learn how to be optimistic.

But how, you ask?

If I’m being candid with you, (and my husband, Rob, can attest to this,) compared to some others, I am not naturally a positive person.

*gasp*

Did I really say that?

Yes, I did. I’m a learned optimist.

It’s deliberate.

It’s a choice.

I believe anyone can learn how to be optimistic, and with deliberation, choose to act that way.

If so, then all of us can take action in a strategically positive way.

In all areas of our lives:

  • in how we think about ourselves,
  • as we talk to ourselves (our inner dialogue),
  • how we make choices in our life,
  • when we interact with people,
  • in our business world, church world, and family,
  • as we pursue our side-hustle, our hobbies,
  • and/or entrepreneurial life,
  • while setting and embracing our goals – large or small
  • and everything else life holds!

Here’s the path – with 4 aspects – on how to learn to be optimistic:

1 – Begin with love.

Start by feeling love for yourself. (Yes, it’s a journey.)

Firstly, I believe I was born on purpose and for a purpose. As were you! No person is an accident. Everyone has value.

For all those mothers who long to get pregnant, and parents who are trying and trying to conceive a child, this concept of a child being born on purpose is real. (As is the heart-wrench and ache when a child dies before you can hold her or him in your arms.)

Plus, as a Christian, I believe God loves me. He loves you. There’s a plan for us. As a great example of true, perfect love, Jesus, the Son of God, gave up His life in a horrible death for no reason other than He loved me. And you. And everyone. All people. Regardless. (If you’re looking for a romance story, the Bible is the ultimate one.)

Maybe your life thus far hasn’t shown you much love. If that’s the case, I just want to tell you:

It’s not the end of the story!

You can feel loved. There’s time.

Just as you have time to love others. It’s a journey.

And you CAN!

What comes next…

2 – Be thankful. Optimism grows from gratitude.

Gratitude is so much more important than the world around you wants you to believe. Being thankful is a special sauce, a magic formula, the ultimate elixir on the way to being positive.

How do you track your thankfulness?

Being aware of what you’re thankful for is one thing. Because of this, it’s powerful when you see all the items concretely logged with writing or images.

Whether you use an app, a journal, a planner or a plain old notebook, keeping an ongoing list of all the items you’re thankful for on a daily basis is important!

Important!

Did you hear that?

I can’t think of another way to state it. Make it a habit at the beginning, middle or end of a day to list what you’re thankful for. Begin recording your thankfulness.

I challenge you to start with a list of 100 items. A while ago Rob and I did an exercise like this together and it was so much easier than it seems… From this, we realized that the greatest to the least little item provides many, many reasons each day to give thanks.

” Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

~ from an article at Harvard Health

Therefore, you can learn how to be optimistic if you use gratitude as a tool!

So, being loved and being thankful. Right.

And after that – what’s next?

3 – Being encouraged and encouraging others helps you to learn how to optimistic.

Thirdly, what is encouragement?

“Encouragement: words or actions that give someone confidence or hope and words or actions that help something to happen.”

~ from MacMillan Dictionary

To learn how to be optimistic means you understand the importance of encouragement. Encouragement is an action. It’s having hope for the future. People who are positive-focused know how to help themselves and others make something happen – something good for the future.

Optimists are confident that if they keep trying and continue to persevere, regardless, there will be an improvement.

And once an optimist is feeling hopeful, then…

4 – Optimists take action.

Lastly, some of the skills on the path to learn how to be optimistic are the ability to make a plan, work the plan and take action on the goals that’ll get you to the finish line of the plan. Does this sound familiar?

What if things don’t work out? Failure is part of the plan – it’s gonna happen, and optimists who take action have contingencies at hand to fail forward.

So, if something doesn’t work out, the optimist finds another way.

Above all, it’s about taking action – not getting stuck in inertia or analysis paralysis. Equally, if a positive person does get stuck, they look for help from another encouraging person! Do you have someone like that in your life?

Are you someone who takes action? Is there a chance you’re also a learned optimist?

Being Positive on Purpose

All in all, life isn’t always what you expect. There are curveballs…

It’s important to realize there are days, weeks and even years where being optimistic is hard. At times it feels almost impossible. I get it. I really do – due to circumstances we all encounter, I’ve experienced it and it’s difficult to be optimistic when in crisis. (Especially if others around you expect optimism from you and you’re feeling like you’re running on empty.)

What can you do when it’s hard to be optimistic?

Actively seek support. To clarify, surround yourself with people, activities, and resources which will support you in practicing:

  • loving yourself and others,
  • being thankful – in all circumstances,
  • accepting encouragement and giving encouragement,
  • and taking action.

To be transparent – that’s why this site was born. I needed something to keep my focus on remaining and then growing in being positive. So, that’s what PostiveThanksLiving.com is for… it’s for me and you!

On the positive side, there’s no end in learning to be optimistic.

You just get better at it. Certainly, it takes ongoing practice, but the benefits of practicing optimism impact everyone around you for the better.

Indeed, it’s not going to hurt anyone if you learn how to be optimistic… in fact, it’ll help make the world around you a little better!

Just because you're not born an optimist doesn't mean you can't learn how to be optimistic. Explore the 4 points along the way - anyone can learn!

5 Great Lessons You Can Learn By Being Thankful

5 Great Lessons You Can Learn By Being Thankful

Being thankful in all circumstances can teach you much more than you’d imagine. Sure, not everything feels good, but there’s always something you can find for which to give thanks.

Practice your Thanks-Living skills!

Here are five great lessons you can learn by being thankful:


1 – Thankfulness opens hearts.

Being thankful, regardless of the stage and state of your life, might not be easy, but it does impact those around you. During times when Rob and I have experienced less-than-optimum situations, expressing what we’re thankful for has created a connection.

Hardship can divide spouses, families, and friends, just because everyone is focused, in word and deed, on the struggle.

Expressing thankfulness draws hearts back together.

If you find yourself avoiding talking to those you love because of the issues you’re dealing with, then start with a sentence about what you’re feeling grateful for… talking about all the blessings in your life can engage everyone, and you might surprise each other at what you find yourself grateful for…


2 – Being thankful shapes the future.

Once you start discussing all the areas in which you’re thankful, you’ll begin to see where God has blessed your life in the past. And that leads to anticipating future opportunities. If your future is shaped in what you’re thankful for, it becomes easier to bounce back and get on track.


3 – Gratitude reduces want-itis.

“Gimme-gimme” and “I want, I want, I want” have become an epidemic in our western society. Being thankful for what we have combats the materialism of our culture in a healthy way. Once you notice all you actually possess and feel a sense of thankfulness, wanting extra stuff becomes less attractive.


4 – Thankfulness impacts our memories.

Memory is subjective. Two people can think back on the same experience and will have differing memories, according to their bent toward optimism or pessimism. Once an individual looks back in their history with the filter of gratitude, the memories can be wired toward optimism.


5 – Thankfulness balances a healthy sense of self.

Being thankful can increase an internal sense of self-esteem because it hones attention to where others are helping. By acknowledging you need help, which can be humbling, you also must shift to the belief that you’re a worthwhile person because someone went out of their way to help. It’s a curious cycle.


Yesterday I wrote about sticky positive thougthts and said I have Scripture verses posted to encourage my thinking. This is one that’s been very important to me:


… in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1Thessalonians 5:18

This article about a sermon on the above Scripture is one of my recent favorites – it unpacks the idea that we don’t need to be grateful for the suffering, but rather we can be grateful in the suffering.

Do you have any “thankful quotes” you value?

Quick! Leave a comment…

For what are you grateful right now?

Sticky Positive Thoughts

Sticky Positive Thoughts

What sticks in your brain? Have you ever heard a melody and it kept going ’round and ’round in your head for the rest of the day (or night)? If you like the song, then that’s OK – but if you don’t… well, it can drive you batty!

And it’s the same with our thoughts. Sometimes the thoughts we think are helpful for our behavior, and sometimes they aren’t.

Wouldn’t it be good to have sticky positive thoughts going ’round our head rather than those stinky negative ones?

Sticky Positive Thoughts

Let’s get some sticky positive thoughts into our brains… Do any of these resonate with you?

  1. I’m loved and wanted.
  2. My time will come – I can be happy when others succeed.
  3. God supplies all my needs.
  4. I am able and capable. I can.
  5. If I fail, I’ll fail forward.
  6. Positivity is my first choice.
  7. I’m thankful for all things.
  8. I have a spirit of power, love and a sound mind.
  9. My goals are my focus – I don’t play the comparison game.
  10. If I’ve learned something then I’ve succeeded.
  11. Stopping to smell the roses is a joy in my life.
  12. When I give, I do it with my whole heart.
  13. Excellence is my calling.
  14. The peace of the Risen One abides with me.
  15. Challenges are opportunities to grow and improve.
  16. Feelings are not facts – I stop and think before I speak and act.
  17. I have all the time I need.
  18. Being organized is fun.
  19. I have hope for the future.
  20. I have great value.
  21. I’m thankful for now – I can see the joy in today.
  22. Prayer provides my strength.
  23. I invest in relationships by celebrating the little things.
  24. My waiting is never wasted.
  25. It’s OK to say “no”.

What do you say to yourself to think positive thoughts? Take a couple from the list above and write them down – put them in prominent places around your space to nudge you into optimisic thinking.

(I have three sentences on my night-table. They’re Scripture verses – ones that hold great meaning for me. They adjust my thinking when I find myself sliding into a negative spot.)

Find some sticky Positive Thoughts and nurture an optimistic outlook!

(It can’t hurt, can it?)

Be thankful for the one. It starts with one.

Be thankful for the one. It starts with one.

Be thankful for the one. One step forward, one page written, one child encouraged, one heart strengthened, one person eating well, one bed made, one load of laundry folded, one desire fulfilled, one prayer answered, one smile, one…

Never underestimate the one thing.

Every book began with a page of writing, and every blog began with that first post. A relationship begins with a smile between two people. The knowledgable person began their journey with one item of information. New forests begin with one tree. (I was reminded by this post.) Revolutionary technology begins with an idea. Each business starts with one client.

One. It could be the start of something big!

I’m encouraging you to be thankful for one thing – that first item, or the next one thing on your list. Why? Because it has value. (And yes, I’m talking to myself also.)

It’s so easy to gloss over what you’ve already accomplished because you’re desperately focused on all you have yet to add to your resume.

Consider this tweet from Simon Sinek:

One way to appreciate the “joy of the start” is by being thankful.

Be thankful for the one thing.

I challenge you to write down what you’re thankful for – today. The one thing. Just one thing. What one action have you taken that holds value? (And value is subjective – you decide.) Here are some ideas on how to record it:

  • write it on your bathroom mirror (I like these kids’ washable crayons.)
  • use a sticky note and put it on your microwave (’cause we usually stand in front of it as we count down the seconds)
  • get the 365 gratitude app for your phone

Maybe you already do this “being thankful” in some form? 

If so…  YAY you!  Leave a comment on how you’ve developed being thankful – where do you record it? Do you add those items that you’re accomplishing?

Or leave a comment on what your ONE thing is that you’re thankful for doing today!

Let’s all celebrate – together – taking one action to move forward.

… and then record it again tomorrow.

And the day after.

Consistently.

Until your microwave is filled with sticky notes or your app has 365 notations, or you can’t see yourself in the bathroom mirror anymore because it’s so full of those “one” actions!

Be thankful for the one. It all begins with one thing - one action forward. Consistently. #positivethanksliving #positivity #optimism #thankfulness #gratitude

You can. Yes. It’s just that simple.

The value of a moment.

The value of a moment.

This first day of a new year has me sifting through conflicting emotions.

People I cherish are celebrating the birth of a long awaited baby. Oh, what joy in a dream realized.  And yet others are coping with the untimely death of a sister and friend – the first in their circle to pass into eternity. It feels like it’s too soon to let go of her, as everyone else believes they have decades still to live.

Same day – two diametrically opposite sets of emotions.

As this day unfolds for me, I’m going through the collections my mother has amassed over her 84 years. It’s a small apartment, but it’s full. I’m trying to help her decide what is necessary for the next chapter in her life, and what she can let go of – either to someone else (not me) or into a garbage. She’s sorting through physical artifacts that mirror the emotions of the other people I referenced above. Good memories, sad ones, joyful experiences and tragic happenings. It’s all here in her stuff.

We are all the same – we will all experience the scale of events from joy to tears.

What do we do with it all?

Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. #positive #thankful #positivethanksliving #positiveprompt

The value of a moment.

Do we know the value of each happening at the moment it occurs? Not always. Just as Dr. Seuss says, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” 

Even the bad moments can create valuable memories.

Maybe that needs to be our goal as we go through the days… creating value in the moments, regardless of the emotions – good or bad…

Maybe?

What do you think?

How will you mine the value of a moment – this year?

Even the bad momentscan become valuable memories. #positivethanksliving #positivity #optimism #optimisticoutlook

Kindness is a good way to mine even the bad moments. Here are 25 ideas on how to be kind for no reason… 

Ephesians 4:31-32
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.