Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I hope your holiday was filled with a healthy amount of unhealthy food and the perfect amount of family time (whatever that means for you). I also hope that your post-holiday days were filled with zero shopping. As always here at the Branchbarks household, we recommend buying used and limiting consumption, pretty much the exact opposite of black Friday. I won’t go on a rant today about consumerism; just know that it sucks the big green weenie as an old mentor used to say.

Today I want to talk about gratitude. Obviously, this is an original and topical post that no one else could possibly think of around this time. The thing is, regardless of what time of the year it is, being grateful is a healthy practice. I’ve personally tried to keep a notebook on me all of the time that I fill up with things that I’m grateful for throughout the day. It ebbs and flows and I am not always disciplined about doing it, but I have found that when I do, my days take on a more positive light. Nothing materially has changed, but I am focusing on the positives more than the negatives, always a good thing.

With all of that in mind, here are some of the things I am grateful for this year in no particular order and skipping over some of the more obvious choices:

-My wife (said in Borat’s voice)
-Soccer – playing in an indoor league during the winter helps keep me sane
-DIY Projects – Staying sane during the winter also means plenty of indoor house projects
-Our Christmas Tree – We were able to cut one from the Colorado front range after getting a permit from the national park service. It’s small, beautiful, and helpful for managing the forest.
-Tuxedo – We went on vacation for a week and he has been the most kneady (see what I did there?) since we have returned.
-Electricity – It’s a resource to be used responsibly and one that you really appreciate when the power goes out in the middle of writing a blog post.
-Running – Our vacation allowed me to run in much warmer weather, although I will continue to exercise here in Denver using other means.

I’ll be going back to work on Monday with my notebook, ready to write down the big and small things that I am grateful for throughout the day. I encourage you to do the same, or feel free to share something you are grateful for in the comments.

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