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It’s Autumn and the farm is beginning to slow down. The holidays are around the corner and soon, last year will be just a memory. Around this time, I begin to reflect back over the year. I go through a bit of an “assessment” of myself and the farm. It’s also a time for gratitude and “My Top 3 Things to Be Thankful For”.
Practicing gratitude has been scientifically shown to improve our mental health as well as our physical health!
To be honest, there are hundreds of reasons to be thankful, but most of them fall into one of three categories. Let’s take a look.
The past is gone, but still there is so much to be grateful for.
“Yesterday” is everything that has happened up until this moment in time. My “yesterdays” include being born in this country, for which I am extremely grateful for. Warren Buffet, world-renowned billionaire, often says that being born in America is his greatest blessing. We aren’t a perfect country, but we are the greatest country in the world.
To build on that, being an American brings opportunity. Everyday, we have the opportunity to go out into this world and do something. When we wake up in the morning, the day is a blank slate, to do with what we wish.
What have your “yesterdays” brought into your life today? Perhaps you had a conversation with someone years ago that started a small flame inside of you to become self-sufficient. Be thankful for that person.
What skills have your “yesterdays” brought into your life that you can be grateful for? Did someone show you how to woodwork when you were a child? Maybe a neighbor lady taught you how to sew. Give thanks for those people.
“Yesterdays” can also bring lessons…hard lessons. Lessons about how not to do things. Mistakes. Errors in judgement. Regret. Be thankful for those too, for that is how we learn and grow.
My “Today” includes my family, for which I am very grateful.
I know, everyone says that. Having a family and being grateful for them are two different things.
Gratitude encompasses all of the imperfections, all the problems, all the time and energy that goes into building quality relationships with other flawed human beings. Just because we share the same surname doesn’t mean there’s some gene-mutation that guarantees easy relations. My personal gratitude for my family is for how I continue to grow and change because of my role as wife, mom and Nana, not because of what my family can do for me.
“Today” brings hope.
If I woke up this morning, I still have a chance. “Yesterday” is a million miles behind me and “Today” begins new and fresh. Regardless of what happened yesterday, the hope of today gives me reason to get out of bed and make a difference!
“Today” is also full of choices. These decisions will decide what my “Yesterday” will look like, but they will also effect my “Tomorrow“.
So, within the next 24 hours or so, I will make lasting decisions that will effect both my history and my future. Mind blowing.
Why is it, then, with such critical hours ahead of us that we rush through our days?
Intentionality is the key to making the most out of this life!
Be purposeful. Give some thought to your day. Ask for wisdom as we deal with other people today. Bring someone joy because they were with you today.
“Today” I will plant seeds, but those seeds won’t be harvested until “Tomorrow” comes. What kinds of seeds am I planting? Seeds of patience and kindness? Or seeds of rushing and over-commitment?
How can we be grateful for “tomorrow” if it hasn’t happened yet?
While we can only hope that “tomorrow” will come for us, but there’s a lot about “tomorrow” that we can have an impact on “Today“!
“Tomorrow” will continue to come, at least for someone. How can I influence someone else’s tomorrow with the gifts I’ve been given?
Giving back in the way of education is one of the greatest forms of gratitude!
Mentor and teach others what you’ve learned! Gardening may seem like a “no-brainer” to you, but it’s not that easy for some. I teach gardening classes occasionally at a local food pantry and I find it amazing how little people understand about how a seed grows! I feel strongly that it’s my duty to pass on the skills that someone else gave to me.
There are so many organizations who could benefit from what you, as a homesteader, have to give in the way of knowledge and experience.
Who can you take under your wing and teach a skill to? How can you share your knowledge and experience with someone this year? Who needs some encouragement and practical tools to increase their quality of life?
For it is only in this way that we can truly impact “Tomorrow”.
What are you grateful for today? What would your “My Top 3 Things to Be Thankful For” look like? Let us know in the comments!