I Wouldn’t Trade This For the Best Shopping Deals

Despite the slew of Black Friday circulars flooding our doorstep and inbox, I knew that nothing–NOTHING!–was going to prevent me from spending one of my favorite holidays of the year the way it should be spent:

Surrounded by family and food (not by grumpy shoppers and long lines).

And I knew it wasn’t just me who was noticing how much the consumerism was starting to encroach on this beloved American holiday–in fact, ever since I read this much-shared article, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how I am going to need to consciously choose to spend the day focused on loved ones, year after year (because heaven knows when this retail madness is ever going to end).

Before we said the blessing over the food yesterday, we did the usual thing:

We went around in a circle and said one thing we were all grateful for. And even though everyone laughed when I said that I was grateful that Matt was almost done with school, I was serious—the only thing worse than having to go through a tough school semester yourself is to watch the person closest to you go through it.

I had been a little grumpy Thanksgiving morning, despite a 6-mile run at 7 AM. It’s like my brain was determined to focus on the things that were worrying me and causing me anxiety, despite my best efforts to be cheerful.

However, when we went around in a circle and everyone listed one thing they were grateful for, my crankiness started to subside, and I discovered that the old wisdom proves true:

It is impossible to feel unhappy or miserable while feeling grateful.

And I have a LOT to be grateful for.

I’m sorry if I’ve seemed negative the past couple weeks on the blog. I’ve never been one to handle stress very gracefully, but it’s something I want to work on.

This year, I’m so thankful for the feeling I’ve been having especially strong the past little while that I feel perfectly content with how much we have.

Sometimes, when I start to think about finances too much or how much grad school is going to cost us, it gets easy for me to complain about our situation.

But this week, I’m feeling truly thankful—we both have jobs that not only pay our bills and allow us to save for a rainy day, but I can truly say that I am perfectly content with all that my life is. I am content—thrilled!–to be surrounded by so many good people in my life, and I was thrilled to be able to spend the whole day with them (especially my grandma, who hasn’t been feeling very well lately).

And that’s a feeling that even the most killer Black Friday deal could never give me.

(Of course, I DID go out today around 10 AM to pick up some stuff, and I was pleasantly surprised to find NO lines and pretty much almost everything I’d set out to get on my gift list. Yet another thing to be grateful for.)

I hope everyone had the opportunity to spend the holiday with loved ones, and I hope that everyone who had to work in the retail sector got a second chance at Thanksgiving today 🙂

Did you brave the madness on Thanksgiving Day and go out to the stores?

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