Honest, Thankful, and Grumpy


I was really excited to write this blog. I planned it two months ago. Did I write it two months ago? Nope, not even close. I was giving myself time to really get into the moment, to really ‘feel’ the thankful vibes. And not that I wasn’t thankful, but nothing was resonating with me. I didn’t have an ‘ah ha’ moment where the words just magically jumped on the page.

Until this morning.

You see, I’ve been working on this list for the last 4 years. FOUR YEARS! I started a list of 1000 gifts in September of 2012 and I just finished it this morning. I found 1000 things to be thankful for. Things, people, moments, feelings...1000 of them. Surely there are more floating around out there that I have yet to experience. I’m certain of that, but this has definitely been a journey.

I started the list with my partner and kids, writing down features of them that I want to carry with me forever. The list changes as the months and seasons change. You can look at my words and actually see Christmas. You can feel fall and recognize struggle. It’s all there.

And I’m thankful for it.

For some people, I think living in thankfulness comes easy. I can think of a few friends who are just plain positive 99.9% of the time. That used to really bug me, but now I find it encouraging and fascinating.

It’s hard to live in thankfulness. When you’re fighting with your partner, trying to teach your children and they’re just not getting it, struggling to make a payment or buy groceries; who wants to be thankful? When someone you love has left this earth, a priceless friendship that has oddly taken a turn and become a relationship of forced intention rather than natural...I do not find thanksgiving in that.

But I have found, over the years, that when I take the time, when I sit down and really think about being thankful, the slump somehow, doesn’t seem as big. I have been able to ‘thank’ my way out of grumpiness. Am I successful 100% of the time? Ha ha, no. Do I remember to do this 100% of the time? Laughable. Intentional thankfulness is something I have to work at, and when I do, I find joy in the little things.

-Leaves as big as faces

-Frost on the window means it’s a little colder in Oakland than it should be

-Sharing oreos and stories

-A sink full of dirty dishes means we are well nourished

-Good night, I love you, see you in the morning

These are just a few, but even now, retyping these words makes me smile, my heart warms,all the feels.

This month on the blog we are highlighting different stories and different perspectives of Thanksgiving. I invite you to join us in living ‘in the thankful’. Find the goodness and share it. Be intentional and thank your way out of despair.

As long as thanks is possible, joy is always possible. Ann Voskamp, 1000 Gifts

-Dorynda Venable