For me to recall any memories of my past, they have to be tied to stories I’ve told a few times to friends and family. Otherwise, I seem to remember very little. Practicing mindfulness has helped me be aware of everyday moments, and writing about current events solidifies those recollections. I’m finding how essential it is to understand my past and how it relates to my present. I don’t believe in wallowing in regrets (though I do it more than I’d like to admit), but I want to see how far I’ve come. I think we all become reflective as the year winds its way down. We want to feel a sense of accomplishment and know we’ve contributed in a positive way.
Many of the challenges we faced, are hurdles someone else is trying to figure out. All of our experiences, good and bad, are valuable not only for ourselves but for those who will benefit from hearing about them. When we share our knowledge and expertise, we’ll likely find solutions for each other. Epiphanies come more readily when we open up our past and find nuggets of inspiration. What better time to do that than Thanksgiving? Let’s celebrate each other. Hey, it’s better than delving into politics. In fact, stay away from discussing politics.
I recognize my tendency to put on rose-colored glasses when it comes to looking at the past. For example, I skip over the stressful part of putting together a Thanksgiving dinner for a million people. The cleaning, shopping, cooking, and more cleaning, all for the dinner to be over in ten minutes. Instead, I think about who showed up: family, friends, neighbors, and people my mother invited because they had nowhere to go. I remember laughing till my stomach hurt, eating way too much, and enjoying everyone who was there. I think this is a wonderful reminder of why we put so much effort into creating a meal to commemorate what we’re grateful for.
Hopefully, this Thanksgiving finds you with family and good friends. Take this time to catch up and be fully present. Ask everyone to think about the past year and talk about a particular highlight or challenge they had. This will give everyone a chance to tell their story, cement a happy memory, and make the dinner last longer than ten minutes.