Monday, November 22, 2010

Practice Thankfulness

I cannot take credit for the idea behind this blog, because that belongs to my husband. Today he asked me if I wrote a blog yesterday and I told him I had not. That made me ask him for blog ideas, and he came up with this blog idea for the holiday season. It might be a little clique, but we don't care. Thank you, Nate :)

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It's often too easy to look at your glass of milk and think "jeez, I already drank half of it and it's all gone now." The trick, which is not always easy, is to focus on the fact that you still have half a glass of milk left! (You know, the whole glass half full, optimistic outlook on life). The really tricky part is getting to the point where you're ecstatic that you have one drop of drink left in the bottom of your glass, and you're going to enjoy it. Practice makes perfect, right?

The holidays are obviously a time when people begin to think about things they're thankful for, but I'd really love to unconsciously do that every single day. That might sound really simple, but I'm not sure that I know of a single person who exhibits thankfulness perfectly... I'm just saying. Also, there's a big difference between being thankful and bragging about what you have in life. I definitely want to work on being thankful every day... I just might have to start a new gratitude journal. Together though, Nate and I both want to work on being happy with what we do have in life. There are a lot of people who probably have it worse.

As easy as it might be for my husband and I to look at our life together and get frustrated, we really want to push through and learn to love what we have. Earlier today, Nate mentioned that at times we both get a little too focused on the following issues: we don't own a house, we have loads of combined student loan debt and credit card debt, we live in a tiny apartment, we don't feel that we can start a family yet, and many other things. At times, those things seem overwhelming and we're not sure how we'll ever get out of debt, own a house, and start a family. However, it's crazy to think that we'll never do those things... because the thing is... we will some day. For now though, we have compiled a list of some things (which are not always things) that we are thankful for.

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Starting out vaguely, we both give thanks for:

* each other
* a roof over our heads
* completing college educations
* food in the refrigerator
* clothing on our backs
* our good health

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Ashley is thankful for:

* a wonderful husband
* loving/supportive parents, family, & friends
* opportunities to live and learn
* a warm place to sleep at night
* friends who I can call when I need them
* having had the chance to live in many places
* having good books to read
* warm cups of coffee and tea
* Nate's job... because he loves it
* music and its healing powers
* coming from an artistic family
* having the most loving parents ever
* nature's beauty
* Burt Lake
* time to reflect and then to grow
* people who make me laugh and smile
* life

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(I have Nate more directly involved in this blog, so this comes from him)
Lastly, because he came up with this blog idea, Nate is thankful for:

* an amazing wife who takes care of me
* a job that I enjoy each and every day
* being close to family and friends
* skiing in the mountains
* having a warm place to live
* a place to rest my feet at home
* a job that allows me freedom
* living in a great country
* people who fight for our rights
* homemade meals
* parents who taught me well
* every blessing in life

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We hope that you'll find things to be thankful for this holiday and each and every day beyond that. Thankfulness is much appreciated, and we're pretty sure that people never get mad when someone thanks them for something. So give thanks! Look for things to be thankful for in life.


  1. I'm thankful to have a friend like you close. :)

  2. What a fantastic post.

    I'm right there with's so easy to get bogged down thinking about what you don't have, that you overlook all the great things you already do have.

    You both have great lists. Enjoy a wonderful holiday with your family!

  3. You should definitely do the gratitude journal. I'm such a believer! :)

    It is now scientifically proven that people who practice gratitude are happier... and often even healthier too.