November is my favorite month of the year. I think of it as the Gratitude Month.
While I practice gratitude all year long, I find that November offers an extended opportunity for me. Besides the obvious – Thanksgiving – November is also my birth month. And the cooler weather means hot tea, wool socks, and fleece blanket; all providing perfect impetus to spend time reflecting on my year. What has been birthed in me or through me this year? in my work? in my family? Who and what am I thankful for in my life?
This November in my gratitude practice, I became acutely aware of the Ordinary Treasures in my life. My Ordinary Treasures are all those little, everyday things that make up my ordinary, and yet special, life. For example, the warm, sunset glow that fills my workspace at home (I painted the walls a lovely apricot color a few years ago). Or the connection and gratitude I feel after a coaching session with a client. Or the sound of my kids making pancakes together in the kitchen.
It is my ordinary treasures I would most miss if they were suddenly gone from my life.
Researcher and author, Brene Brown, interviewed hundreds of people who have been through awful tragedies such as losing children, genocide, and violent personal trauma. She reports that she heard a consistent theme in her interviews, over and over and over again: “I don’t miss the extraordinary moments I’ll never have because of this loss. If I could go back in time, I’d be grateful for all the small, ordinary moments that I overlooked every single day. I didn’t realize the meaning they held until they were gone.”
As we approach Thanksgiving, I invite you to reflect on the ordinary treasures in your life. What are the moments, the people, the places, that make your ordinary life uniquely yours? The view from your kitchen window, the sound of little feet (or big feet!) walking across your house, the ability to run, work you enjoy, hot beverages, prayer time, fleece, music, your pet, a new book to read…
During this Thanksgiving week, keep your camera close by and snap a few pictures of your ordinary treasures as you notice them. Compile your favorite photos into a collage.
My collage is below. I set it as my screensaver so I will be reminded throughout the day, of what makes my life so wonderfully ordinary.
Wishing you and yours a very blessed Thanksgiving!