One Simple Thing: Evening Gratitude

Habits are amazing things - these deeply engrained patterns of thought and feeling which, for better or worse, steer us through life. It's exciting then to think about simple habits we can build which help bring us back to center when we may have drifted. These "One Simple Thing" entries are about such simple helper habits.

Most evenings, after we sit down to dinner as a family, we pause for a moment and we each share something we're grateful for at that moment. That's it. It's usually very short. My four year old will typically make a comment about something not happening - "I'm grateful that tree didn't fall down", pointing to the tree outside our window. Older kids may make more abstract, relational or even metaphysical comments. But it's a simple thing that starts our family meal warmly, and reminds us of the incredible fortune and potential for appreciation all around us. That's all. Try it out...

p.s. I'm regularly reminded that kids are even more tuned into habits than adults. Think about the rituals little kids create and adhere to around bedtime, for example. With the gratitude practice, at times when I've forgotten to do it my four year will proclaim, "daddy we forgot to do our gratitudes!" There's something I'm grateful for.