A few years back (11 to be exact), I was having an especially rough November. I can’t remember exactly why that November was particularly rough, but I’m sure being 1300 miles away from my immediate family had something to do with it. You see, the holiday season has a funny way of sneaking up on me. For the most part, I manage the season just fine. However, every couple of years it winds up being a bit more difficult. This was one of those years.

Now, when I’m feeling particularly low I can generally turn my mood around with a classic movie musical. Generally, it winds up being something like Calamity Jane, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, There’s No Business Like Show Business, or in this case White Christmas. One of my favorite moments in White Christmas is when Bing Crosby sings “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep.” This time watching it, the lyrics were particularly impactful.

Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep

When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

I was inspired, and thus Thankvember was created! I would use the month of November to focus on the various things in my life that I should be grateful for. Sometimes it meant searching for the positive in a slough of negatives, and other times it meant just being thankful for something very simple. This exercise in mindfulness and gratitude has spread to my friends and family over the years, and now #thankvember is a thing. I encourage you to join along. Post something you’re thankful for throughout the month of November with the hashtag #thankvember or #thankvember2018 and lets focus on the positives in a world that’s gone crazy with tragedy and strife.

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