Jen is the talented and hilarious writer behind Cuddles & Chaos. In addition to being a wife and mother, she’s a chocolate lover, horse hater, and a very dear friend of mine who enables my passion for brunch. I am so excited that Jen agreed to be a part of this Thanksgiving Guest Series celebrating the little things.
I’m a hoarder of things. Writing utensils, notebooks, tea cups, crafting supplies. You name it, I hoard it. I’ve been this way my entire life. Don’t believe me? My daughters are now in possession of stickers that eight-year old me collected and never used. I have always had a tendency to find things that I really, really love and tuck them away. I hide them in a little corner where only I know they exist with the security of knowing they won’t disappear that way. I’ll always have them. I can always enjoy them.
But what good does that do? How much fun is a pack of really cute stickers if you only steal glances at them? How inspirational is that notebook if you never crack it open and actually write in it? It’s silly really. Saving things for a special occasion, when you feel like you’ll really be able to enjoy them, is nice in theory, but you end up spending your whole life waiting.
The same is true for kindness and gratitude. There are a million times throughout the course of a day where you could pay someone a compliment or thank them for something they’ve done for you, but a lot of times we hold it in and just think about it in our heads. Why? What good is it to keep those good thoughts from spilling out into the world? What good is tucking them in the corners of your brain to think about later when you could change a person’s day by making right now the special occasion?
I want every day to be special. I want to be one of those people who is constantly lifting other people up and radiating positivity. I truly believe gratitude can help with that. Constantly reminding myself to be thankful for everything and constantly making sure I express my gratitude can only serve to make me a happier person while also making other people feel good.
Am I sounding too hippie dippy right now, or are you still with me?
It’s just so easy to get stuck in a negative cycle (I’m currently trying to drag myself from one as I type this). When you’re stressed and tired and overwhelmed it’s almost natural to only think about the negative and to then spread the negativity to everyone around you (because everyone’s mood is spoiled by a snappy grump). But what if you didn’t? What if you decided to force yourself to see something to be thankful for?
I’m going to try it. And to start, I’ve made a list of ten things that seem small but make a huge difference in my day.
- I’m thankful that my husband makes sure the freezer is always stocked with a variety of dark chocolate for me to choose from. #truelove
- I’m thankful that, even though she’s only three, Ellie knows exactly what to say to make me smile—no matter how stressed and cranky I may be and no matter what trouble she has just thrust herself into.
- I’m thankful that Samantha, my eight year old, is more organized than I will ever be and reminds me about any essential information I might be forgetting (and some nonessentials too).
- I’m thankful that, even though I work from home, my husband comes home from work every night and cooks me a delicious (healthy!) dinner.
- I’m thankful for friends that know what I’m thinking without having to utter a word.
- I’m thankful for other friends that push me to be my best self and hold me accountable for the goals I tell myself I’m going to accomplish (even when they’re harsh).
- I’m thankful for Google, without which I would spend way more time trying to figure things out like “When does the new season of Shameless start?” (January 11) or “Is there gluten in 3 Musketeers bars?” (there isn’t).
- I’m thankful for the leopard Snuggie that has become my new writing uniform now that the weather is chilly.
- I’m thankful that if my husband gets up before me, he lights my fall spice candle so that it’s the first thing I smell when I wake up.
- I’m thankful that my daughters enjoy driving around with momma while belting out Taylor Swift songs and dancing like weirdos.
OK, now it’s your turn to get all hippie dippy and spread the happiness bug. Tell us: what are you thankful for?