The other night as I was coming home from work, I noticed this absolutely stunning sunset. I had to stop for a long train (yes, we have those in Central Texas, too), so I just parked and took it in. After a moment, the colors of the clouds had intensified, so I decided to take a quick picture with my phone. I snapped two, then took a quick look to see if they were blurry, or if I needed to take another one. They were good, so I looked back up. The colors were gone, replaced with the dull, grey clouds of twilight.
I just sat, searching the sky for any remnant of what had been there just a moment before. The crossing arms went up, and I traveled on to the house, but my mind was still taken with how fast the sunset had disappeared. Just a few minutes before, I had passed yet another huge wreck on IH-35 that had the whole North-bound lane closed. This was the fifth wreck in four weeks I have passed like that--where all the lanes were closed due to a serious wreck, with traffic backed up for miles. Every time I see these, I do two things: pray for those involved, and give thanks it was not on my side of the highway or involving me. So, the timing of this little gift from God was very reassuring.
That beautiful sunset reminded me of how fleeting everything can be. It was as if God said, “Here you go, take this gift” and gave it to me, and then it was gone from the sky. How many times do we give or take gifts in our day? Like the smile from the older lady at the grocery, or a really good cup of coffee? What about a hug from someone you love, just when you need it the most? Personally, I am always thankful when I take my shoes off after a long day. And yoga pants. I am thankful for yoga pants. And good music. And a good night's sleep. And cheese...whoa, sorry, I got distracted there for a minute! Anyway, the point is, we don’t have to just be thankful for the big things in our lives, as the little things sometimes mean just as much in the long run. And you know I can't go without an appropriate meme.
Usually in November, I practice the daily “giving thanks” ritual, where I pick one thing each day to be thankful for. Of course, we all try to be thankful all the time, but when Thanksgiving appears on the horizon, we all go on notice. There have been times in my younger years (Hold the old jokes, please) that the days flew by so fast, we often forgot to stop for a moment, breathe, and give thanks. We stayed so busy with the day-to-day of work, kids, and other activities that there was no time to reflect on things in our lives that were a blessing. Now that my life moves at a slower pace, I find myself taking lots of little moments to appreciate this life and all the things in it. I try to focus more on what I have, rather than what I do not have.
As we move into this holiday season, I am taking a moment to be thankful and grateful for the blessings in my life, both big and small, and try to remember to pass those blessings around a little more. Maybe we are old friends, maybe we are new friends, but I want to thank you for being in my life! We are all a sum total of our life's experiences, and you are in there somewhere! I want to wish you a wonderful, blessed holiday season! Buckle up, Buttercup, because we will be celebrating New Year's before you know it!