Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love words; how they sound, what they mean, how they look on the page.  To me, November brings to mind the words “Thankful” and “Grateful”.

The Oxford Dictionary defines “thankful” as “pleased and relieved”; it defines the word “grateful” as “showing an appreciation of kindness”.  I was surprised; I’d always used the words interchangeably. However, according to the Oxford Dictionary it appears that being thankful is a feeling and being grateful is an action. I’m thankful (pleased and relieved) that there is always something to learn!

This of course, led me to want to know more about “grateful” being considered an action; which led me to “gratitude”, to which I discovered there are three steps – Recognition, Acknowledgement, and Appreciation.  Amazing the “rabbit holes” we can go down, with all the information at our fingertips! Once again, “thankful” (pleased and relieved) that I continue to learn!

To my point (I promise that there is one!) I have decided to work on the action of being grateful – “showing an appreciation of kindness” to those who create those wonderful feelings of thankfulness.  For this month and for the rest of the year, I hope to establish a practice of gratefulness that can carry forward indefinitely.

I will make an effort to Recognize when I’ve experienced a kindness or a benefit, whether it’s a smile or greeting, a compliment, or simply waking up feeling healthy and ready for the day.  I will recognize that I am blessed to have a purpose in this life, that I have people who need me and who depend on me.

I will make sure to Acknowledge these benefits or kindnesses, whether with a “Thank you” or by “paying it forward” by being kind and assisting others where I can.

And lastly, taking time to be Appreciative of the many good moments in life and trying not to allow those moments to be overshadowed by the less positive experiences we all have from time to time.

As we head into another Holiday season, I wish you the feelings of thankfulness, and the opportunities for gratefulness – and that you may always find new things to be curious and to learn about!