“What if, today, we were grateful for everything?” – Charlie Brown
Whether they’re stored on your phone, cataloged on an online calendar, or living on a piece of scrap paper hanging on your refrigerator door, Thanksgiving lists are a necessary part of our busy lives.
While flipping through the pages of the magazine Real Simple, I came across a message from the editor – who spoke at great length about to-do-lists and how our lives are often dictated by these pesky reminders.
She told the story of how she recently came across an envelope containing cards and well wishes from cherished individuals she had previously worked with. She began reading some of the heartfelt messages from people she still remembered fondly.
But as life so often gets in the way, she soon realized several years had passed and the relationships she once valued had taken a back seat.
It was at that moment when she came to a very interesting conclusion: “I realized that the contents of that envelope formed a different sort of to-do-list – one made up not of things but of people.”
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, take this opportunity to examine your own life and ask yourself, what’s on my to-do-list?
Our lives seem filled to capacity with a plethora of errands, chores and commitments, which often pull us in different directions — robbing us of the more memorable moments life has to offer.
In short, we prioritize our lives based upon what we believe to be important and inadvertently forget about the people we always assume will be around when our to-do-lists are finally complete.
It’s funny how our lists seem to focus so much on taking care of responsibilities, yet pay little attention to taking care of the people who provide our lives with meaning.
Reevaluating Thanksgiving lists
Imagine turning off the television and tuning out all distractions to interact with that special someone who’s been sitting right next to, yet somehow has been forgotten.
To stop making excuses and regularly afford time to a parent or grandparent who’s sacrificed so much so that you could have a better life.
To show true compromise – understanding that everything isn’t always about us, but about making someone else happy.
Aren’t those priorities, which deserve a top spot on our to-do-lists?
Lists are a great way to remind yourself to change the oil in your car, pick up bread and milk at the grocery store or your clothes at the dry cleaners.
But when do we ever remind ourselves to better foster the relationships in our lives? To take time out of our so-called precious schedules to show someone just how valuable they truly are.
Theodore Roosevelt once wrote, “Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”