WRITE TEAM: Acknowledging what I have and being thankful is a powerful tool in mindfulness

I will be the first to regretfully admit that I find it impossible to send thank-you cards in a timely manner, if at all. I am grateful. I am absolutely thankful. But, for some reason, I am horrible at writing that sentiment down, putting a stamp on the envelope and getting it to the person who deserves to read it. It frustrates me and while I acknowledge this fault in myself, I can’t seem to get any better at following through.

I was raised to write thank-you notes to teachers, coaches and those who impact my life, and as I’ve grown older and have a kiddo of my own, I want her to learn to express her gratitude as well. Gratitude is important. Acknowledging what I have and being thankful for it is such a powerful tool in mindfulness. Spending time focusing on what I have keeps me grounded and centered. It stops me from obsessing over something I don’t have or a skill I haven’t learned.

In my past articles, I have tried to show my appreciation through my writing. For my grandparents and their presence in my life and the memories I have with them. For my parents and the lessons they taught me growing up. I am so grateful for my puppies, for their unconditional love and affection. For my wife and daughter and the love, joy and laughter they bring to my life. I am indebted to my coaches and coworkers, for teaching me lessons, whether intentional or not, through their hard work and dedication to students and communities. And for my education, for the ability to think logically about religion, politics and other hot topics and discern what and who matters to me and my life. For books and authors and other readers with whom I share my love for reading and the lessons I learn from their pages.

For all these things I am grateful. I am thankful. I may be terrible at showing it when appropriate or required, but I am. I am especially excited for these people and things and for the lesson I still have to learn and the memories I still get to make. For Kennedy especially, may you always remember to count your blessings and show gratitude to those who teach you, coach you and help you grow!