Thanksgiving is approaching! I am so excited because I get to watch the Macy's Day Parade and football. We make something gooey and terrible for breakfast and enjoy being together on a crisp fall day. I have visions of games of football in the yard when my kids are a little bigger and love when family comes down. My kids were never big eaters on Thanksgiving and this will be my second Thanksgiving where I am not eating meat. Luckily Vegetarian Times has some amazing recipes so I won't be stuck with Tofurky (I always thought that was just a joke). But Thanksgiving is still 6 weeks away and my intentions of posting about it today are to start on my Thankfulness journey.
I have been reading books on decluttering and streamlining my home (The Joy of Less by Francine Jay) and books on finances to curb our spending and get a handle on living beneath our means (The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey). I am also constantly trying to get a handle on eating right, drinking minimally and exercising. All the concepts are pretty easy:
- Do you really need to keep that huge box of Dean Koontz books when you can get them all from the library and you have read them all at least twice? Do you really need 22 saucer plates? Do you need to hold onto 75+ DVDs when the only time you watch them are when they come on cable? How many extra sets of sheets can one queen sized bed use?
- Stop spending money you don't have and then wondering why you don't have money. Write a budget and stick to it. Don't use credit cards. Use cash. Cut back on extra expenses (like eating out - there aren't any vegan options around here anyways!).
- Eat mostly vegetables and whole foods. Go for a walk. Pick up your weights - and use them! Take the kids outside to play. Beer is a treat - not a thirst-quencher. Drink water.
I know what to do and how to do it but find myself turning to other sources to hear someone say it in a way that will make it click. Plus there could be some secret magic formula that I don't know about (right? There could be!)
So after turning 30 last week and thinking self-improvement thoughts - I know I need to balance out making changes with self-appreciation. While I was heading out for a meeting on a cold day - I decided to treat myself to my free birthday soy latte from Starbucks. I enjoyed every sip and sat in my car with my warm boots, my oversized cardigan, and my heated seats and I thought - I am so lucky. And then Wild Thing came on the radio and Liam was dancing and singing in his car seat and I thought - I am really really lucky!
I have always been a "look on the bright side" kind of girl. I want to save the lobsters from the fish tank at Red Lobster and comfort the crying baby at the grocery store. I want to take any animal home with me who could possibly need it. I give the crazy lady who cut me off in my quiet neighborhood the benefit of the doubt - she could be heading to the hospital with a sick kid. When everything is falling apart and I can't get the kids to leave the playground - I think - it could be worse! They had a great time and I got to enjoy it with them. Now we get to go home and finish reading the Spiderwick Chronicles. The problem is keeping those thought from being drowned out by negative thoughts.
I am going to do Thankful Thursdays up to Thanksgiving as a way to remind myself that I am lucky - each and every day. I have 3 beautiful boys who love me and love each other. I have a husband whose adores me and who I look forward to seeing when he gets home from work. I got to spend the day at the pumpkin patch with just my Zac (and pet baby cows!!!). I get to go hiking tomorrow with my friends and Liam and Charlie. I get to experience the Shenandoah Valley in the fall just walking out my door! I can spend the morning drawing on a chalkboard with Liam and listening to his stories of crocodiles and Peter Pan. I get to build Star Wars Legos with Kyle and listen to his dream of Storm Troopers taking my car without asking! I have the best dog in the entire world and a fish who dances for his dinner.
Isn't is amazing that this is my life? Losing weight and making a budget doesn't seem like such a downer when I have so much already.