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In the Waiting Room — An attitude of gratitude PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, October 31, 2013 8:07 PM

By Dr. Celeste Lopez

Another year has gone by and it is almost time for Thanksgiving. As we get ready for this holiday, we know we have to think about recipes and dinnerware. We have to think about where we will spend dinner, what football game to watch and planning out our shopping strategy for the next day.

I have heard about another way to get ready for Thanksgiving that I think I am going to try this year and I hope you will, too. Set out a bowl in the middle of the table or on the counter and each day leading up to the big day, encourage everyone in the house to write a brief reason that they are thankful for someone in the family. It can be about something they did for you (washed the clothes, filled the gas tank, carried in the groceries), it can be about the effort they are putting in to something (studying hard for a test, working so hard to pay the bills, playing with their sibling so you can get dinner finished), or it can be just for being who they are (I love your smile, I’m thankful that you can always make me laugh).

Try and make sure that everyone in the house is getting notes written for them. You could accomplish this by using different colored paper, so that notes written about mom go on pink paper, dad gets green, brother gets blue, etc…

At first, people may think it’s a chore to write these “thank you” notes, but as the rainbow of notes grows, they will start to get curious about what others are writing about them and about others. They will pay more attention to what others are doing for them so that they will have something to write about.

On Thanksgiving Day, choose a special moment when the family sits down together and reads the notes to each other. It would be nice to hear what others in the family are thankful for. It may be surprising or touching or funny. One thing that it will most definitely be is memorable.

We don’t always have to get thanks for everything we do for each other. We put in a lot of effort to keep the family running smoothly. Sometimes we are working so hard we forget that other people are working, too. We might forget to notice that they emptied the dishwasher because we were too busy noticing that they left the toilet seat up, or we may forget to congratulate them for the A in spelling because we are more worried about the cornflakes they spilled on the floor.

The best part of being in a family is that there are other people there to pick up the slack. If you hurt your back and can’t carry the clothes basket upstairs, it’s good to know that there is somebody there to give you a hand.

Life is too hard to go it alone. We need to be grateful to all the members of our family that make life a little easier, a little happier and a little more fun. Whoever it is that makes up your family, whoever you have chosen to help you get through life, whoever it is who has made you smile this year, it’s a good time to say thank you.

Thank you for reading my column and for all the positive words I hear throughout the year.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.


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