As we cuddle on our couch together, watching the snow from our first Nor’easter cascade gently over our city streets, we truthfully, we have never felt so full. Our waking thoughts are still teeming with roast turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing; our main meals for the next couple of days are going to be creative concoctions with all of the leftovers we could possible fit into three take home containers (we had to be nice and leave some for other family members!).
More meaningful than the food (though nothing is more important), this past week made our hearts feel full — full of happiness, full of humor, full of humility. From laughing at the dad jokes told by my step-dad, snuggling up with my step-brother’s dog while he is deployed at sea, and watching the Thanksgiving Day parade for the first time in years to sitting around the table looking at the diverse, unique support systems and loved ones during family meals, this day is always a blessing.
The simple act of giving thanks opens our minds — it allows us to think about all of the positive and special parts of our lives, that sometimes can go unnoticed, so that even when your day flies off track, or your can’t seem to get out of a week- , month- , year-long funk, there are still simple things that can warm your heart. This year, we’d like to share three of the parts of our lives we’re thankful for:
- Family and Forever Friends: This year, and every year, we are thankful for the people in our lives. 2019 involved once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences, momentous life events, and professional and personal achievements, but we wouldn’t have the ability to see the world, celebrate loved ones, or revel in work promotions without the ones who encourage us every step of the way. Without this support system, we wouldn’t be where we are right here and now: finally content in our careers, living in an amazing apartment near our favorite city, exploring this awe-inducing planet’s hidden gems and wonders. Our families and forever friends are there for us when the world knocks us down and when we lose sight of who we are – we hope and pray we are part of that network for others.
Additionally, believe it or not, our eight year anniversary was this past week. Since the day we met, we have been able to keep each other smiling and laughing and making us want to be better people for us as individuals and each other. Though we have both had hard times, times when we wanted to give up on our career paths or personal goals, times when we disagreed and didn’t want to be near each other, times when we felt lost and hopeless for the next steps in life, we never gave up on us. This year and every year, we are thankful for the support, love, and happiness of the other person. And we can’t wait to start a new chapter in the year to come!
- Mental Health and Physical Well-being: It’s been an amazing year in this realm of our lives. As mentioned in our Thanksgiving post from last year, we both implemented the practice of intentional gratitude in our daily habits. Each day, we take a few quiet moments, either in the morning or evening, and reflect on the parts of our day that went well, even if it’s just waking up next to each other, having a healthy lunch, or living with a roof over our heads. This routine has greatly improved our mental health. We are more aware of our actions when we’re speaking to and with others, and how those actions impact others around us.
Another major factor of health is our physical well-being, not only for ourselves, but for our family members and friends. Our bodies and minds are amazing specimens, and their ability to heal is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. Since experiencing my first injury while on my trip to Montana and watching my sister heal from an appendectomy over this last week, I have single-handedly seen how fast a body can bounce back, I’m so thankful that it does — with hard work and dedication, it can even come back faster than anticipated.
- Experiencing Different Cultures: Traveling by car, bus, train or plane to locations near and far is something we are not taking for granted. Experiencing different cultures, meeting new people, tasting regional delicacies and having a partner to travel with make this ability even more special. This year we are especially thankful for our time in the warm, welcoming Caribbean waters of The Bahamas and St. Lucia, the snowy back roads of Woodstock, Vermont, the true Southern hospitality of South Carolina and Georgia, the salt of the earth people and grandiose mountains of Montana, and the caffeinated hip hills of Seattle.
But through it all, nothing beats coming back to a city where you know you belong. The pride we have after arriving back in Boston after a trip never gets old — sometimes it even makes my soul well-up with emotions as we drive through the city on our way to our apartment. It may not be the biggest or ‘best’ city, but this city does feel like ours, and for that we are grateful.
What are you especially grateful for this year? How do you reflect on what you’re thankful for during this time of year? Let us know in the comments below – we would love to hear from you!