Extending Gratitude in November
November is a time for reflection. We are nearing the end of a year, and with it comes gratitude for all that’s been accomplished, and motivation to wrap up any loose ends before New Year’s Eve. Not only that, but we have the holidays right around the corner, and there is a certain hustle and bustle that makes time seem to fly, while to-do lists seem never ending. It is important in these busy times, to take a step back and reflect on all that you’ve accomplished over the year and give thanks for making it through a really tough one.
Traditionally, November is filled with reminders to extend gratitude. This year has been especially important to reflect on all that we are thankful for. I saw a great quote recently that talked about how at the start of the year you hope for everything you ever wanted to come true, but then realize how thankful you are for all that you already have. This is an important mental shift when we consider true happiness, and being grateful for what we do have, especially in tough times. Family, friends, a roof over our head, access to locally grown food… all of these basic things that we might normally take for granted are actually fundamentally so important to our wellbeing that they should not go unnoticed.
Good health, quality time, and lots of fresh air are big on my list. I scrolled through all my photos from this year recently, and was amazed at how many good memories I had. These were simple times – fun in the garden, cooking a nice meal, hiking with close friends, or a picnic with family. It made me extend gratitude for all the good that has happened, and for all that I was able to do in the midst of a very difficult time.
Reflecting over the year so far has also allowed me to cultivate a few things I would like to carry into 2021, and the beginnings of my intentions for the new year. Living sustainably is very important to me, and thinking about fall foods and proper storage is on my radar. I’d like to be able to create a root cellar of sorts, and store potatoes, onions, carrots, and apples for longer than a week. I also want to create a more sustainable holiday season, utilizing locally grown foods in meals, decorating organically, and gifting sustainably. I’ll be sharing more sustainable gift ideas as we head into December but just remember, this year is all about “the thought that counts”. Do not stress over what you cannot control, and your own health and safety is the most important thing you can focus on right now to ensure a happy new year. As far as decorating organically, I am excited to try making a dried orange and cranberry garland, and have red poinsettias around the house that are not only nice to look at, but will compost at the end of the season.
What are you thankful for this year? Here's a snapshot of what I'm thankful for this year!