Gratitude - BY: MADISON LOVELY @madisonroselovely
There's so much to the holidays.
There's so much we talk about and so much we don't. So many people we see and so many we miss.
Too much food to eat, and yet not enough room for more.
Every November we are reminded of gratitude.
Or so that's what we've been trained to be reminded of. Yet the older I get all I see are people in a hurry.
Whether it's rushed traffic, rushed conversations, text messages flying left and right, or going unanswered due to more crowded chaos; during a time of year that is meant for slowing down all I see are more people speeding up.
A concept that so many of us only partake in when we are bombarded with the festive reminder of the holiday season and standing wall to wall in rooms of family members.
Gratitude is odd, because our whole lives we are taught it is a feeling and not a way of living. I think limiting gratitude to an emotion instead of an action (that requires everyday effort) limits us to "feeling" grateful only certain times of the year when provoked by tradition or family occasions.
So, not only do many of us 'not know' how to live in authentic gratitude but we also don't know sometimes WHAT to be thankful for. This ties into my next thought.
With traditional holidays comes a lot of, well, tradition. Dialogue, questions and answers, peer pressure from peers, and so on. In my own life I know that I have found more family in the people that I have chosen, and those who choose me in return. I have found more dialogue in those who inspire me rather than disapprove of me. And more laughter amongst those who have seen me at my worst. The freedom to recognize that family, friendship, and love, SHOULD come from what brings you JOY is a revelation that has freed me to live a slower life of gratitude. Slower because I'm not in a hurry. Slower, because I'm so aware of how quickly time already moves. You see? It's easier to be grateful every month of the year when we're dedicated to living each moment with intentionality.
If there's anything I could teach you, it's that you owe it to yourself to be intentional with every moment of your life.
Even the ones that might later turn out to be learning curves. They should still matter.
Find joy over happiness.
And define what gratitude looks like for you.
I, for one, am grateful to write this blog for a company like Molly Green; who not only believes that holidays are meant to be enjoyed with family, but take it a step further by closing their stores for Thanksgiving. A company that makes it their mission to empower girls to know who they are, and believe in the power that comes with that confidence.
We could all use that.