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A Thankful Mindset and Organic Habits

As I write this, it is Thanksgiving morning. We are with friends, but the household is still asleep. This is one of my favorite times of day, in the quiet dark, and yet I seldom take time to really appreciate it. On workdays, I roll out of bed at this early hour, grumbly and wanting more sleep, blaming work and our pets for getting me out of bed before I want to be awake. Waking early is a "must do" on those mornings; today, sunrise is a pleasure.

I rebel against routine. That's probably part of my "messy" nature. It is difficult for me to build new habits; the best seem to arise organically, like this early rising. Sometimes, I can link one habit to another, like exercising in the dawn light, in my sleeping clothes, very first thing. Those linked habits last longer than the "must dos" I put on my list and try to force myself to do daily, but they still take conscious effort to maintain over the long haul.

It is mindset that makes our priority activities enjoyable or chores. The friends we are with this Thanksgiving make the rituals of food a priority in their lives. They love finding fresh and healthy foods and turning them into beautiful meals that feed the soul as well as the body. We love eating with them, and are endlessly thankful for the meals they share with us. Yet my spouse and I don't make food rituals a priority in our lives. Daily cooking feels like a chore to us.

On this Thanksgiving, I plan to consider my priorities and daily activities. Which of these are real rituals of priority and care, and which are just ways to spend time? I know I don't need to play Merge Dragons or whichever is my casual game of the month. What does that play time give me? Is it worth the time I spend on it? Would I be better off creating something? Or does my squirrelly brain need that downtime, as I often tell myself? Am I comfortable saying "I give thanks for the joy that Merge Dragons gives me?" Hmmm.

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