Feature Article, Giving Thanks

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This month, in honor of Thanksgiving and the spirit of giving thanks, I will be highlighting works of art and events that have shaped & changed my life. Maybe they will change yours too.

A while back, I was inspired by a TED talk to write down random things that I’m thankful for. The idea is that, by reminding yourself of things you love, every single day (for at least 21 days straight), your brain will become just a little bit happier. It reinforces that, yes, sometimes things appear to be worse than what they really are. How easy is it to become drowned in negativity before you’ve even grabbed lunch for the day? Very. Generally speaking, our brains find it less difficult to focus on negative energy because it seems to warrant more attention. When that attention goes on and on and on, it can create a feedback loop full of glass shards piercing your outlook, like a broken pair of glasses seared to your skin. Jotting down 3 things you enjoy each day can help offset that.

So I tried it – and it helped! It is by no means a miracle worker but it’s nice to be reminded that there are some roses growing within the shittier aspects of the world. Since this is the end of the month of giving thanks, I thought it would be very fitting to finish on a post that is about many things in life I enjoy. All of the items listed below came from my notebook I used for this exercise.

Here are the things I’m thankful for in life, in no particular order:

  • my girlfriend
  • my sisters
  • my parents
  • my best friends
  • coffee with cream
  • a working car
  • air conditioning
  • grocery stores
  • wasp killer spray
  • the college I went to
  • Bonnaroo
  • vinyl records
  • Nashville
  • photography books
  • GPS
  • Mid-70’s weather
  • Gushers
  • Korean BBQ
  • beer
  • synthesizers
  • shoes
  • root beer
  • rice cakes
  • times when I’m not sick
  • umbrellas
  • heating
  • Age of Ultron
  • tacos
  • a working phone
  • safe trips
  • Youtube
  • Arby’s
  • my dogs
  • The Devils (movie)
  • Nicolas Roeg
  • toilet paper
  • apples
  • costumes
  • hot dogs
  • AF100 (my movie camera)
  • comic books
  • naps
  • candy
  • pens
  • concerts
  • pillows
  • internet
  • couches
  • Halloween
  • headphones
  • socks without holes in them
  • a good mattress

Sure, many of those things are small and petty but that’s kind of the point – little things can still create tiny kernels of happiness in our lives. I encourage you to check out the TED talk and maybe try writing out a few things each day that you’re thankful for.

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