10 Simple Things I Am Thankful For

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“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” ~Meister Eckhart

This is a good time to think about what you’re thankful for.

I’ve been thinking about it this morning, knowing it’s Thanksgiving week. Of course family and friends top the list. And my health. And my home. I’m sure these top your list as well.

This morning I pondered some very simple things I’m thankful for, things that make a small but profound difference in my daily life. Perhaps this will inspire you to lift your head from whatever you’re doing to consider these small things for yourself.

Lately, I’ve become more mindful of the moments in my day when I feel content and happy.

Sometimes these moment arise spontaneously with no apparent trigger (something to be thankful for on it’s own). Sometimes they arise during an interaction with someone I care about. And sometimes there is some “thing” — a physical object that stirs feelings of gratitude and joy.

In recent years, I’ve detached less and less from the desire for material things. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of them, a cornucopia of stuff. But the longing to accumulate has really diminished, and I’m slowly but surely getting rid of excess stuff.

However, there are certain material things in my life that stir feelings of gratitude and joy — and sometimes feelings of something deeper and more profound — like love, connection, happy memories, self-confidence, inner peace, and comfort.

When I wrote the list this morning and read it back to myself, these things seemed silly and devoid of any weighty meaning. But as I dug deeper into why I’m grateful for these things, they didn’t seem silly at all. I guess what I’m really grateful for are the feelings these things provoke and the meaning I attached to them.

Here’s my list of 10 simple things I am thankful for today:

1. A 30-year-old sweatshirt

When the weather gets cool, every morning I get out of bed and throw on a 30-year-old sweatshirt with a logo for Guess jeans on it. I’m not attached to Guess jeans and hardly notice the logo anymore. But the sweatshirt is old and soft and extremely cozy. It brings me comfort and warmth in the mornings. It’s a connection to my past, something personal that’s traveled with me through time. One of my daughters used to sleep with it when I was out-of-town, and that beautiful memory is attached to it.

2. Coffee bean grinder

My first cup of coffee in the morning is close to a spiritual experience! I love the process of brewing the coffee, smelling it, preparing the first cup, and taking that very first lovely sip. The beginning of this process is turning on the  coffee bean  grinder in the morning. Just the sound awakens and energizes me. And there’s nothing like fresh ground coffee beans. My dear friend Holli gave me the grinder as a gift, and I feel connected to her when I use it.

3. The window at my desk

photoMy home office desk sits in front of a big bay window. The window overlooks a small lake, as well as a tree about ten feet away from the window itself. I can see wildlife at all hours — squirrels building nests, a variety of birds, wild geese and ducks on the lake, a hawk that often lands on a branch of the tree, a blue heron that stands on the edge of the lake, and even the occasional deer. A couple of days ago, I took off the grids on the main picture window in the bay. The view (pictured in the main photo above) is even more stunning, and I fell in love with this window all over again, after living here for nearly 20 years.

 

4. My mother’s soup ladle

The minute the there’s the slightest nip in the air, I see it as the signal to begin making and consuming soup. Soup is a perfect meal for me. It’s warm, comforting, and nutritious. Soup also reminds me of my mom, who died when I was in my 20’s. I used to eat her vegetable soup for breakfast because I loved it so much. I have her soup ladle, a 1960’s era stainless steel Revereware item which isn’t very attractive or valuable. But it reminds me of her, standing in the kitchen making soup. So I love it.

5. Candles

Only recently have I really begun to appreciate candles. I’d light them for special occasions or when the power went out, but I didn’t light them for every day pleasure. Now I do. I love to have a candle flickering on my desk while I work, and a scented candle in my kitchen and bedroom. I love smelling the variety of scented candles in a nice store that carries beautifully-packaged candles. There’s something about a lit candle that affords inner peace for me. It reminds me to stay centered.

6. My rebounder

I’ve been running outside regularly since last April. But as it’s gotten colder outside, I’ve felt an inner resistance to running. I don’t want to get bundled up and go outside, but I don’t want to loose all of the momentum and stamina I’d built over the last 7 months. Then I spied my trusty  rebounder trampoline
in the corner of my bedroom, covered up with pillows and clean laundry. I love rebounding, and I particularly love all of the health benefits of rebounding. I’m so grateful I have this exercise option when it’s cold outside.

7. The rosemary bushes at my front door

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Every year around Thanksgiving, I buy two rosemary bushes to put in the planters on either side of my front door. I love the smell of rosemary when I enter the door, and I love being able to grab some fresh rosemary to use for cooking during the holidays. Traditionally, rosemary is thought to improve memory, and it has been used to symbolize remembrance. This is a beautiful metaphor, particularly at the holidays as it reminds me of loved ones and special memories.

8. My Kindle

I read on my Kindle every single night before I go to sleep. I love reading, and I so enjoy the ability to download a book whenever I wish. As much as I revere a good ole hardcover book, or even a paperback, it’s so easy and convenient to hold my thin, lightweight Kindle, especially when reading in bed. I feel grateful for this technology that has allowed me to read more books and to read them more comfortably.

9. My daughter’s messy room

I must admit, I don’t always feel thankful for this. And if you saw it, you’d understand. But I’ve been trying to change my attitude about my daughter’s messy room. She’s a junior in high school, and in short order she’ll be out of the house and off at college. Yes, her room will be clean, but she’ll be gone. When I see her room now, I try to remind myself of this reality and that her “creative clutter” is part of who she is right now. And I’m grateful for her.

10. The space heater under my desk

The big picture window in front of my desk is lovely. But man does it let in a lot of cold, cold air. Which wafts in right at my feet. For a while, I’d wrap up my feet and legs in a blanket. But then when I had to get up to eat or go to the restroom, I had to de-shroud myself and then wrap up again when I returned to my desk. So I bought a small electric space heater to put on the floor near my feet. It’s running right now, blowing lovely warm air up my pant legs. Practical yes. But I am thankful for it.


What are some small things you are thankful for? Think through your day, and consider what brings you moments of joy, happy memories, and good feelings. Please share them in the comments below.


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Comments

  1. Hi Barrie, love your post.
    You are right, we miss out all those small things that brings joy and happiness in life. Most of the time we tend to ignore it. Definitely gonna get my list ready.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Elissa Philgence says:

    Hello Ms. Davenport

    Wonderful post, it is a good thing to give thanks for the small and big things in our lives.

    Thanks for sharing a part of your life with us. I love that you could see your daughter’s room as an insight to celebrate the time she still has with you-they do grow up fast.

    What am I thankful for?

    My God who never leave me alone in the storms of my life.

    My husband who struggles to work so his family can eat.

    My children whether I am having a good or a bad parenting day.

    The sunshine, ever since I moved away from Florida.

    And blessing that comes in big and small packages.

    Blessings,
    Elissa.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Elissa,
      That is simply lovely! You do have many things to be thankful for. And I’m thankful you shared them here!

  3. #7 & #9 are just great! Thanks for the thanks : )

  4. Barry – this is a beautiful list. I love the simplicity of each item. One of the things I am most thankful for is stumbling onto your website last year, about this time. Of course, I don’t think it was simply stumbling. Definitely a nudge from the Universe/God/Source. I choose to say God. This year I devoted to finding my passion, and have been working through the “Path to Passion” book and workbook. I decided to take it as it comes, and follow your advice to go through it weekly. I thought my passion was music. And for a time, it was. Now, my work leads me to writing. This year has been one of the best years of my life in a long time. Thank you for following your passion, so we could in turn follow ours. The ripples of your service to others are most likely being felt around the world. During this week of thanks, I am thankful for you.

    Jenna

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Oh my Jenna. That made my day. Thank you so much. I’m so glad my work has helped you. And I’m thrilled you have found a passion for writing. Keep it up — the longer you write, the more you find your voice and the deeper you dig into yourself.

  5. Beautiful list, Barrie…especially the daughter’s messy room. Got two of those here…one in the house, one off at college.

    I am thankful for the game of Sorry we’ve had for years. Sometimes I have a hard time relating to my 17 year old daughter. Let’s face it…I’m a dad, she’s the kid. But no matter what, we’ve always been able to sit down and square off in a spirited Sorry game. It’s the great equalizer. :)

  6. Enjoyed your list. The view from my writing desk is also a great pleasure to me.Great reminder to be grateful for it.

    I especially love point 9: your daughter’s messy room.
    I have two sons, now grown and living on their own. Their rooms were really a sight to behold. I, too, came to cherish their presence and to know that they would be one day leave, along with all the stuff we tripped over.

    When things got particularly wild, humor helped. Rather than launch into a tirade I’d say, “I really love what your decorator has done here!”

    Laughter is a great way to blow off steam.

  7. This is awesome, i made a decision lately to be greatful for anything. And believe that everything happen for reasons. You are right Berrie we should be greatful for everything regardless of how small it is i love # 5 Candles to me it brings back the old times.

    Beautiful list Berrie not all material staff brings peace and joy in person’s life.

    Regards
    Noma

  8. Great post, dear Barrie. l admire the simplicity and you are worthy of emulation. God bless you.

  9. “Happiness is not having what you want. It’s wanting what you have.” – Anon.

    Great list Barrie, your window view is crazy beautiful! :)

  10. The things I am grateful for today include:
    The cup of hot peppermint tea in front of me right now.
    My boyfriend who made it for me. :-)
    Warmth when the heating is on.
    My health
    My beautiful home by the sea.
    The Internet, which allows me to read posts like yours Barrie, and to learn about anything and everything I could possibly wish to know. :-)

  11. Thankful for all the countless blessings we are so fortunate to be bestowed with – too many to list here. Most of all, thankful for people like you, who inspire others to think about things to be thankful for and share this with others. There’s nothing more important than being thankful and being grateful for everything one has been gifted with, not just by material things but also by things we take for granted, including mind, body and spirit, to make the best we wish to make of our lives.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Beautifully stated! Thank you for your kind comments. It is the things we take for granted that are truly the most important to us.

  12. Beautiful list, Barrie… Most of the thing we aprreciate the most are linked to a memory. A t-shirt, a soup, a messy room… Material things are good when they take loving memories with them. Positive loving energy is what we need and I think that anybody is thankful for the love they receive, wheter it’s linked to an object or to a person. It’s an amazing way to perceive our reality as it truly is: it’s about the people we love.

    Thank you for your posts I love your blog :)

    Have a nice day! :)

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      You are absolutely right Deborah. It all comes down to love. When all else is stripped away, that is what we are all searching for.

  13. Sheila Ryan Hara says:

    Thank you, Barrie, for reminding us to cherish the everyday in our lives! Your window view is stunning!
    I would like to share a few of the things/people I am thankful for this holiday season. In no particular order:

    The grey wool coat I received from my mother when her mother, my 94-year-old granny, died in 2011. It is a broad-shouldered car coat from the 1980’s that I often recall her wearing when the weather got nippy in the Pacific Northwest, and it is just as useful out here rural Japan, where weather can turn on a dime, it seems!

    The Zumba Activate DVD I received from my dear friend from college, who is now a part-time instructor. It has helped me improve my health, circulation and waistline almost without any effort from me, and it’s fun!

    The cream stew I ate today, along with the fresh fruit and lettuce salad made by my dear husband, who does all of our cooking. Besides running our small business, he makes sure we eat healthy, delicious food on a shoestring budget! I am truly spoiled because he’s always trying to make something I would like to eat!

    The iPad on which I am writing this message and the Internet connection enabling me to send it to you! The miracle of modern technology has really made the world much smaller, and I think that’s a good thing.

    The posts you send me and the comments made by your thoughtful contributors. Thank you for feeding my mind and soul every week, and while I haven’t yet found my passion, I am having fun looking for it!

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Sheila,
      Wow, what a lovely list! Thank you so much for sharing it and for your kind comments. Keep on searching for your passion! It’s there, right inside of you. It might be something you’ve been pondering all along.

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  1. […] all of these negative thoughts swirling around in your head? How are you supposed to make yourself feel thankful when you just don’t feel it? The answer is by recognizing you can produce the feelings of […]

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