Practicing Gratitude

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With Thanksgiving just one week away, I wanted to write a special post reflecting on the practice of gratitude, as well as sharing an outfit idea for Turkey Day. While I don’t discriminate against any of the holidays, Thanksgiving was one I never particularly looked forward to growing up. Of course, I loved all the delicious food and pie and time spent with family; however, unlike Christmas or Easter, I never anxiously waited for Thanksgiving or spent weeks preparing for it. This year is different. College has given me a newfound perspective and appreciation for the holiday—I’ve been anticipating it for weeks, longing for the homecooked food, irksome siblings, and smell of my own house that I always took for granted in years past. There is just so much for which to be grateful, but sadly I think a lot of us often forget to celebrate that.

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Usually for Thanksgiving, I opt for some sort of outfit with shades of brown and burnt orange—all the fall colors. I’ve always felt the need to wear hues that much the gourds and pumpkins decorating our dining table, so much so that once I even wore an orange and yellow summer tank top just so I could stay loyal to my color theme. My mother disapproved.

This year is no different—the brown plaid dress I am wearing from JCPenney exudes comfort, and I can definitely envision kicking back on the couch, curled up in front of the fireplace, with a stuffed belly and a plate of chocolate pecan pie in hand. My family always dresses rather casually for Thanksgiving, as we just have a nice family dinner at home. If you celebrate in a similar way, I recommend building an outfit with stylish and warm socks. My family doesn’t wear shoes in our house, and nothing kills the vibe of a cute outfit like a pair of granny slippers. That’s why keeping your feet warm (and stylish) with adorable knee socks adds a little extra pizazz and functionality to your Turkey Day outfit.

For more related Thanksgiving themed posts, check out the links below!

Preparing for the Food Baby

Turkey Attire

Fall Color Cravings

Fashionable Feet: Your Guide to Staying Warm and Stylish

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Now that we know what to wear (arguably the most important part of any holiday), let’s discuss gratitude in further detail. Over the summer, I visited a close friend of mine—a happy, grateful soul who gives the best advice and seems to have solved the riddle of life. I played for her Jason Mraz’s song “Have It All,” which at that time had just been released, and we smiled at the goofy, relatable lyrics and the overall cheerful message of the song. My friend and I naturally started talking about being thankful and content with what we have, and she recited to me an anonymous quote that has resonated with me ever since:

What if you woke up tomorrow only having what you were grateful for today?

This really struck me. Upon thinking about it, I sadly realized I would never have very much because I rarely stop during my day to reflect on all the blessings in my life. Did you consider gratitude at all yesterday? If you had crawled out of bed this morning, groggy and dreading the responsibilities of the day ahead, would you have anything at all?

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The point of this exercise is not to make you feel guilty or remorse for acting how you have in the past. Trust me—I know it’s easy to slip into that mindset. But instead, we should read this quote as an opportunity to be better today. It’s a reminder for us to view life positively and appreciate the little things, even when those pesky teachers or that bad test grade or the fight you had with your friend dampens your mood.

At the beginning of this year, I made a resolution to write in a journal each night one thing for which I felt grateful that day. I can’t say I’ve been great at keeping up with this practice, but I am trying to get back on track as the year winds down. Writing just one simple sentence, whether it be about something as small and seemingly unimportant as your cup of coffee this morning or something as largescale as having food security, prepares you for the mindset of thankfulness. Even though I don’t write in my journal every night as planned, doing it just once a week can make me more cognizant of how much I take for granted.

So this coming week, until Thanksgiving, I challenge you to practice gratitude each day. Whether that be journaling like me, writing what you’re thankful for on cute pieces of paper and sticking them in a mason jar, or even just spending a few quiet moments of solitude to reflect (like when you’re going to school/work, taking a shower, or about to fall asleep), there are plenty of simple exercises to habituate that conscientiousness—making you a more thankful, more positive, and ultimately happier person.

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THANK YOU for reading this post, and I hope you all have a lovely Thursday and weekend.

 

Miles of smiles,

Grace

 

Brown Plaid Dress: JCPenney, $30 // Crème Asymmetric Coat: Francesca’s, $60 // Purple Knee Socks: unknown, $12 // Brown Booties: DSW, $35 // Brown Beanie: unknown, $20 // Belt

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