Preparing for November and 30 Days of Thanks

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Fall is flying by.  It seems like only just recently we were choosing pumpkins at a pumpkin patch and now I realized we need to carve them tonight because tomorrow is Halloween!  I cannot believe that October is ending.  Actually, it’s not that I can’t believe it, it is that I am completely in denial about it.  I’m in denial and I’m also completely anxious to be facing another November already, since November hasn’t exactly been the greatest month for our family in the past few years.

Last November, I was a giant ball of anxiety as the owners of Chris’ restaurant in Gillette started to show their true colors and create a miserable work environment for everyone there.  I didn’t write about it at the time because I had sincerely hoped  they would stop acting like crazy people who valued only themselves and that they would go back to the way they had been treating our family from the beginning (which I now realize was completely fake).  Gillette is a small town and so I didn’t want to write anything that could negatively impact Chris’ job; keeping it all bottled in made things worse – I didn’t have an outlet to honestly express my feelings, and for much of the month I actually felt physically ill from all of the stress and worry bottled up inside.   After three weeks of misery, Chris came home one day in the middle of the day saying that he had quit his job.  That was pretty darn stressful too, but after the preceding weeks it was more relieving than anything else.

That was last year.  During the prior year’s November, when I was eight months pregnant with Zara, we found out that Chris’ restaurant on Nantucket was going seasonal and he would no longer have income beginning the week that Zara was due to be born.  Suffice it to say, it is very possible that I will spend much of November waiting for something bad to happen.

But November isn’t all bad.  Three years ago, I started a tradition of blogging about what I’m thankful for every day during the month of November, and I ended with 30 days worth of posts about friendship, food, place, amazing moments with my little girl, and only a post (or two) saying I was thankful for the end of the day.  I originally started it as a means of reminding myself that gratitude should extend beyond one day and that even in moments or on days when things are less than ideal, there are always things for which to be thankful.  It turned out, the project was also in perfect keeping with my goal of finding joy even when I’m not quite where I want to be in life – because even on the crappiest day there is always something to be thankful for, even if it is just the clothes on your back.

Two years ago, on top of blogging about my thankfulness myself I also invited others to join.  In 2012, between bloggers and people in the Facebook event we had more than 100 people participating.  Last year, there were more than 313 people participating on their blogs, on Facebook, and on Instagram.  I very much enjoy reading what others are thankful for and love the impromptu community that develops among people all across the country sharing gratitude with one another.

I find so much joy in my 30 Days of Thanks projects, even in this “scary” month of November that 30 Days of Thanks is a tradition that is here to stay. I’d like to invite you to join me again this year.  Here’s how you can participate:

  1. If you have a blog, blog each day sharing what you’re thankful for on that day.  If you don’t have a blog, you are welcome to leave a comment saying what you’re thankful for at the bottom of each of my daily blog posts.  You are also welcome to come and post links you your blog posts in the comments of my posts – I didn’t get many takers on the linkies in past years so I am going to forgo the work of setting them up this year, but I really like reading other people’s blogs so please come share your posts!
  2. Join this year’s 30 Days of Thanks event on my Facebook Page.  In this event you can share links to your 30 Days of Thanks blog posts, write your thanks on the wall, or upload photos and videos if you don’t have a blog.  Last year this turned into a wonderful supportive group with people “liking” one another’s posts, visiting other blogs and commenting.  It was great!  You can also join this event even if you don’t want to share your gratitude publicly.  Just join the Facebook event to show you are participating and take a moment each day to recognize your gratitude however works best for you.
  3. I’ll also be doing 30 days of thanks on Instagram.  Post a photo of whatever you’re thankful for and use #thankfulall30 so the rest of us can find them (you can also tag @aucoeur to make sure I see it).   I’ll be sharing some of my favorite photos from this hashtag so don’t forget it to tag your photos!

Please also invite others to participate and share what you’re doing with them.  I’d love to see a practice of daily gratitude spread around the world.

30 Days of Thanks button

You can easily post the 30 Days of Thanks button on your blog by copying the following HTML:

<div align="center"><a href="http://www.amber-hinds.com/2014/10/30/preparing-for-november-and-30-days-of-thanks/" title="30 Days of Thanks"><img src="http://www.amber-hinds.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/30-Days-of-Thanks-button.png" alt="30 Days of Thanks" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Please feel free to include it in your 30 Days of Thanks blog posts or use it across the web. You can link people to this blog post explaining about the project or you can invite them to join the event on Facebook.  Last year, we had 300+ people participating in 30 Days of Thanks and this year I would love to have 400 — lets spread as much gratitude this month as we can!