This is the season for remembering all those things for which we are thankful. Before writing this blog I decided to look up the definition of the word . . . and I found this connection between being aware and expressing appreciation.
At first that seems like a no-brainer. How can I express thanks for something I am not aware of? But what really struck me was the realization of how very, very often I am unaware of simple blessings. How often I take everyday graces for granted.
For instance, I seldom notice how efficiently my body breathes, faithfully bringing in new air and circulating it where it is needed. But as soon as I get a cold, I become acutely aware of what a blessing it is to breathe easily. And I feel sooo thankful when my lungs and sinuses clear again.
Recently I have been including deep breathing as part of my cool down and relaxation after exercise. It increases my awareness of the wonder of being alive. And for that I am thankful.
There was a time when I could not walk without bringing on debilitating pain. Now that I can walk easily again, I don’t want to forget what it felt like to move with difficulty.
Sometimes I walk with my pedometer to see how many steps I can take and I am thankful for the steps. Other times I forget about the number of steps and allow myself to think about the wonder of being able to walk. Then I am thankful for my amazing legs and feet and muscles and nerves that make it possible.
During the years when I commuted between jobs I developed the habit of eating on the run. I didn’t care what I ate as long as I could munch and drive at the same time.
Now I try to be more aware of what goes in my mouth. An apple is no longer merely nourishment. Apples actually have a taste and it is one I enjoy very much. I am thankful for the ability to find delight in the aroma and flavor of the marvelous abundance of foods that are available to us.
My list just keeps getting longer.
I have a bed and I’m able to sleep.
I can get clean.
I can feel the warmth of a hug.
I can grow and learn.
One of the most important things I am learning is
how to be thankful.