The Gift of Gratitude

I published this article as part of the Our Rural Roots Column for Progressive Farmer Magazine.

Well…2020 has been quite a year.  A number of people have lamented about all of the negatives the last 365 days have brought and cannot wait to kiss this trip around the sun goodbye.  While I understand the sentiment, I decided to take a different route to wrap up the year.

In March, when we were knee deep in the chaos of the pandemic (which for me involved trying to work at home with two kids under the age of 4…yikes), I found myself grouchy and unhappy much of the time.  So, I started a little gratitude practice.  Every day, I took a photo and wrote a couple of little things I was grateful for.

This one act completely changed my outlook. As it turns out, when we look for things to be grateful for, we find them all around. My lists each day grew longer and longer. Instead of listing two things, I had seven or eight some days. None of the listed items were extravagant or fancy — they were as simple as a beautiful sunset or a new calf, my daughter’s laugh to a purring kitten, my son teaching me about dinosaurs and an afternoon spent on horseback.

Looking back over my daily photos, I have so much to be grateful for in 2020. I bet you do too. As we wrap up this painful year, let’s take the time to really consider the good as we look forward to 2021. Reflect on what went right, on what gifts the forced slow down offered, and where we saw the goodness in people and in the world. It is my hope that by making time to look back with gratitude on the year coming to a close, we set ourselves up to see an abundance of good in the one to come.

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