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Thanks for visiting Tinfoil Magnolia, a blog about my life, times, marriage, friendships and all the strange things that happen to me and with me. I hope you find something here that will encourage you, inspire you or at the least entertain you. And if it doesn't today, check back tomorrow because, my life? honestly...

Thursday, November 24

The Giving of Thanks

So today, in my country, it is the designated day for giving thanks. A day to be spent with family and turkey and dressing and pies. The third Thursday of November.

Many of my friends have been engaging in "Thirty Days of Thanksgiving" on Facebook, each day posting something for which they are thankful. It has been incredibly interesting to read each day the items posted by everyone. I think it is important for everyone to realize that there are so many things to be grateful for in all of our lives, even when things aren't going 100% to our liking.

I haven't been participating in it because I already list for myself things I am grateful for each and every day in my gratitude journal. Four years ago I picked up the book, Simple Abundance. I came to this book more than 10 years after its publication date. I can honestly say that when the book first came out, although it was wildly popular, I wasn't in a place in my life to read it.

But when I found it second hand and picked it up, I had been through so much in the in between years, I thought I was finally ready to read it. I wasn't. It took me two more years to make the commitment to read it and really think about it and take action. One of the things you are asked to do in the book is to keep a gratitude jounal, and make an entry of 5 things you are grateful for each and every day. That's right, I said every day.

At first it was hard, and I couldn't come up with new stuff. In the beginning it was big, broad stuff like "family" "husband" "the trees" "the good weather" I mean seriously, 5 things every day? After a while, several months, I learned to go through my day looking for things to be thankful for that evening when I wrote in my journal. I began looking for and recognizing small moments, small things that really changed my day or the way I viewed myself. Eventually I began to expect these moments. And I wasn't disappointed.

During the time she was writing the book, Sarah Ban Breathnach speaks of hard times going on in our country, how the markets aren't doing well and how to deal with being OK with what you have. The first time I was reading through the book (I began it in Jan. 2010, 15 years after it was published) I couldn't remember things being bad in the country, or the country going through such a crisis in the early 1990's. I also thought how interesting it was that such things were still relevant to us today in this economy.

So the point of all this chatter is this. It finally dawned on me, 3/4 through my 2nd reading of this book. For the past 2 years, husband and I have been going through the worst financial time in our 18 years together. Or maybe it just seems that way. He's been laid off, I can't find a job, we moved, our home lost value and we lost our equity, we are in more debt than we've ever been. I spend so much time being sorry for myself over the way life used to be, and how we could afford anything we wanted and how those days are over.

But the realization I had in the shower this morning? Is that this is the FIRST time in 18 years together that we've been through something like this. Yes, it sucks, and yes, it feels like it will never end. But there have been some pretty big financial crises and hard times in our country over the past 20 years. And this is the FIRST time we've really felt it.

So that is what I am thankful for today. That and pecan pie. And pumpkin pie.

Happy Thanksgiving, Ya'll!


  1. I've got to get that book. I've tried to develop a more thankful attitude, but I'm not much on journaling. You are right, when you look for the good part, you usually find it. Just like when you look for the bad part, you find that.

    I hope you have a great day. Tell everyone hello from me.

  2. Awww, Lori! You journal every day when you write your blog!!!

  3. Thanks for your post. And your blog. And just calling it like you see it. We love you. For your friendship we are grateful.