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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Art of Thankfulness (And Why it's Important).

Gatsby knows alllll about the art of being happy. 

Sunday night, my car wouldn't start.

Normally, that wouldn't be a big deal. Frustrating, sure, but not a big deal.

Sunday night, however, it was a big deal.

The past month (two months?) feel like they've been full of one thing after another. Car issues and health issues and bill issues and house issues and all of those other issues that come with being an adult.

Little problem, little problem, big problem, little problem, little problem, slightly bigger problem..all stacked on top of each other again and again, making a lopsided jenga full of frustration that you can only stare at and scratch your head, wondering how to make your next move without it all falling down.

For me, my car not starting was it. I tried not to cry while someone helped Chris jump my car, but once we started driving it around, it was game over. I cried and cried and cried, and wanted to scream, but just kept crying instead.

"Chels, it's not a big deal. It's fine."

But I kept crying anyway. Because it was a big deal. It felt like nothing was going right, and at some point that just becomes a big deal.

"You're the positive one. If the roles were reversed, you would tell me that we have so much to be thankful for."

Do those words feel like sandpaper when I say them to you? I wondered. Because he was right, that's exactly what I'd say. But that wasn't what I wanted to say right now, and it most certainly wasn't what I wanted to hear.

The next morning, I begrudgingly sat down to journal (because who really wants to journal when they're having a bad day/week/month? No one) and, like every other Monday, made a list of things I'm thankful for.

And magically, things weren't so bad. With each thing I added to my list, the circumstances I was so frustrated over seemed smaller and smaller.

So what that my car isn't working right, or that some frustrating things are going on. In the grand scheme of things, what does it matter? I have the best husband ever, an amazing place to live, and SO much to be thankful for. Who has time to be mad at circumstances when it's Thanksgiving? It's time to celebrate, not cry.

A short fifteen minutes later, I was immensely happier and any "problems" seemed immensely smaller. Not because anything changed, but because what I focused on changed.

And this morning, I didn't wake up thinking about car troubles. I woke up thinking about Thanksgiving  and friends and Christmas and family.

Taking the time to remember all you have to be thankful for can truly change everything.

Why do you think thankfulness is important? 


  1. I know how those things go. It can really stink sometimes. You feel like you're running in place and it's one step forward, two steps back! The key is to remember to simplify and reorganize. Making a thankful list is a great way to start. I also like to make a plan to move forward, whether it be working towards a (new) car, or saving for a certain goal, and then I start doing whatever I can to get to that point.

    I hope things get better for you, and the luck doesn't seem so bad from here on out.

  2. I've been in the same type of place lately. Everything feel so heavy. That's why thanksfulness can really help lighten the load, if you believe. You can't stop believing.

  3. This is such a wonderful reminder! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks for sharing that, Chelsea. I feel you... Sometimes it is so hard to keep perspective when there are sooo many "small" things. And I don't even think it's a bad thing to cry/grieve/get frustrated. Your emotions are real and honesty is good and necessary and healthy! But you are so wise in not staying there. I agree with you strongly - thankfulness is one of the best weapons we have to use against sadness, anger, anxiety, etc. It has a lot of power. You are an awesome gal and I hope the bad luck relents for a while. Happy Thanksgiving, dear!

  5. Things just seem like such a big deal in the moment...especially when there have been a lot of other moments. Crying is a good release though. And making a thankful list is too. If we don't experience times when stuff is so overwhelming, I don't think we can fully appreciate the times when we're just full of a grateful heart.

    I hope your car keeps working and all the other issues resolve themselves.

  6. I felt the EXACT same way this weekend! I have had to refocus my thoughts and see pass my fustrations! but it was tough and not without tears! I'm glad you feel better!

  7. I think we all have those days where we were dealt some not so fun things, and one incident that wouldn't normally be a big deal...can push us over the line. The last thread. It is a great reminder to be thankful for all the things that are going right thought! Hope your week gets better!

  8. I love this so much! I can totally relate! I go through this myself, where small problems seem to add up and seem insurmountable but then when you break them down and look at them individually they are not a big deal. I'm glad you were able to change your perspective and feel better!

  9. I can't even begin to tell you how much I freaking needed and loved this. Nothing did changes, but changing what you focused on changed everything. Hope your small, smaller, big and bigger troubles get better!

  10. I get it! Thankful for your positive attitude!

  11. I love this. Gratitude is so important and can really help our perspective.

  12. Wise words! I hope things start to look up for you. Gratitude is definitely not a passive activity. It takes work and pays off! Hugs to you and Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. Sorry you're having such a bad past two months, but i'm so glad you were able to push yourself to practice gratitude when you least felt like it. I know for me it's when I least feel like it that I need it the most.

  14. This makes me think of Job; "shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" I tend to be a pessimist myself, but when I run into situations like this I try to remember how God's grace has manifested itself in my life that day. It always eases my soul into rest.

  15. Positive things in life always overpower negative things. It's always a good idea to count your many blessings.

  16. I so needed to read this! I have been stomping around in self-pity this morning after a string of things going wrong but your words have reminded me how much I have to be grateful for... I'm thankful for this post :)

  17. I agree! I've always thought that there's something to be grateful for, even when things aren't going well and are frustrating. If you look for the good things, I think it helps you handle the bad things better. Like you said, it puts things into perspective and seeing positives is always helpful in life. I had a "putting things in perspective" moment earlier this week too.


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