A New Challenge

As my mind was wandering around today, I stumbled upon a great idea. An idea that I using as a test for myself. A good test.

Since tomorrow we will be seeing the beginning of a new month, I wanted to mix things up a bit. Usually with my blog thus far, I think of something I write plenty of opinionated words about and roll with it, no exact rhyme or reason for it. I find inspiration from things happening in the world around me and whatever is going on in my head.

But November is no ordinary month. Well, technically it is, but I feel it’s specifically set aside as the beginning of the winter holiday season. (You have not yet seen my hyped-up behavior over Christmas. Just you wait.) But before Christmas comes another one that tends to be taken over by food and football: Thanksgiving.

This month I’m taking that name seriously. We aren’t making hand turkeys every day, but I wouldn’t judge you if you did. No, I’m using every weekday blog post to give my thanks to something in my life. It could really be anything. I have a few ideas in mind already, but so far, I don’t have much planned out.

In general, I’m a pretty gracious person. I really make sure I take the time to show everybody how much I appreciate them and the things they do. But if it’s something that almost becomes an automatic response, it loses its genuine touch. Why not use some time this month to really devote my energy toward crafting words that express everything I feel?

On the other end of things, there are so many things I feel like we easily take for granted. Life is busy and chaotic at times, so much that we forget to slow down and really observe those little details in the world around us. Time isn’t slowing down for everything, and things are constantly changing. This will be a chance for me to slow down and open my eyes beyond my own tunnel vision. The little details can be the ones that really make life worth living.

In a way, this is also me taking a crack at a gratitude journal. I see it on Pinterest enough and even other bloggers who set aside time every day to make note of things they are grateful for each day. That discipline and thoughtfulness is admirable, and I’m slightly jealous. I’ve tried in the past to be consistent with a gratitude journal, even iPhone apps that are a simple list of a couple items each evening to mention. Even though I’m only planning for a month, maybe this will be the extra boost I need to motivate myself toward making this a lasting habit. I’m a true believer that we are all capable of creating the lives we want whenever we choose. If you see yourself as someone who meditates on gratitude every day, what’s stopping you from becoming that person?

Whoever is reading this, I challenge you to join me. You don’t necessarily have to write a thousand word blog post every day, but at least take a few seconds to think of someone or something that deserves some recognition. It could be as simple as few extra seconds lingering on the beauty of nature or sending a quick text message to someone you love. It’s the thought that counts. And before everyone gets busy again with final tests and projects and preparing for the December holidays, we should make the most out of our time by dedicating it toward the people and things that matter most.

I think of those who may be endearing some seasonal depression looking ahead at this long winter months. Take this challenge as a daily reminder of the sources of light present even on the dreariest of days. Even if you love this time of year like I do, thoughts of depression or anxiety don’t just disappear when you want them to. Even a quick positive thought can make a drastic difference in our daily outlooks.

While everyone is probably hyping themselves up over Halloween today and everything spooky, I’m looking forward to what this next month entails. I always like to see the beginning of a new month as a fresh start and welcome change, but I see this month as a potentially even more exciting change. I have no expectations yet of how this month will all go, but I am looking forward to what every day might bring. Who knows, maybe I’ll start doing more themed ideas more often. We’ll see what happens.

Maybe I’m already outdoing myself, but before the month even begins, I want to thank each and every one of you who are reading this for joining me on this journey, and I hope you will stop in each day as this month unfolds.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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