Last week I attended the Texas Counseling Association’s annual conference in Galveston, Texas. Because of my work schedule I could only attend the one day I was presenting. It was a disappointment to me as I prefer attending a full conference to attend as many sessions as I can to learn, to improve and grow. A good thing about the trip was that my wife was able to go along We had an enjoyable evening going to the Festival Of Lights program at Moody Gardens. They have an amazing creative Christmas themed light display every December so while we were in Galveston that was a must.
What does that have to do with Thanksgiving? One thing is that I am writing this on Thanksgiving Day and the experience popped into my mind. Another is that I am thankful we had the opportunity as a couple to enjoy the Festival of Lights. Also one section of the session I presented on, Living More Than OK In Our Workplaces, was being grateful in our work. Having an Attitude of gratitude in our work and how it can help improve our work experience. I had a good group of people show up to the session. It was a Friday at noon session so as a presenter you never know how many will show up. During the time segment on thankfulness in the workplace, I appreciated how a number of the people shared what they were thankful for in their work settings. They all felt that hearing thankful thoughts about work made them feel better. That is one importance of having a grateful attitude.
This Thanksgiving I am sitting in a hotel room writing. This is because instead of getting up early to put the turkey in the oven and working on my sweet potato casserole we drove to visit my wife’s relatives and have a Korean styled dinner of kimbop rolls, (Korean Sushi rolls), and beef bulgogi. Since the family conversation would be in Korean which I do not know, I decided to use my time studying, reading, and writing. So it is a nice change of pace for a Thanksgiving.
Being Thanksgiving I brought along a book called, On Gratitude by Todd Jensen It is a series of interviews about gratitude with artists, singers, writers, sport stars. I read five of the stories; Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys, Daryl Hall, Ray Bradbury and Yao Ming. While reading I remembered those who attended my session at the conference who expressed their stories of thankfulness. I realized the high point in my session for me was hearing why they were thankful. The lesson I learned is we can improve in our attitude of gratitude by sharing and listening to others what they are thankful for in their lives. That is a key element to Todd Jensen’s book. The author has a website where you can learn more about being a grateful person and the importance of it at www.thegratitudelist.org I would encourage you to check it out.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for it is a remembrance of the importance of giving thanks and having an attitude of gratitude. Culturally in our country I call it the forgotten holiday as the emphasis is on Halloween sales and then right into Christmas sales. I was pleased when I saw a person who posted on Facebook an ad from Nordstrom’s Department store that stated how they would be closed out of honor for Thanksgiving Day. I wish all stores would follow their lead and more so if the American public would follow the lead and not shop on Thanksgiving Day. Can’t people give it a rest one day of the year to be grateful in their hearts.
Of course books like On Gratitude, remind us that being grateful is not just for one day but a year round daily activity. Having a thankful heart benefits our living more than ok each and everyday.
Reflection: Look over the past week and write down a list of as many things as you can remember that you are grateful for.