I only do this occasionally now, but for a while on this blog I had a regular feature called What Went Well Wednesday. It was based on a gratitude practice also called Three Blessings, in which one lists three blessings, or three things that went well, and sometimes WHY they went well. The idea is to refocus one’s attention on what is going well in life and how that happened, including one’s own agency.
Tonight is Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving here in the US, so I’m counting my blessings.
- I am so thankful for my husband and three children, who are all happy, nice, healthy people; and I’m thankful that my children get along so well that they are currently out, just them, having a “sibling bonding” dinner and movie together. Because they are good people making good choices, becoming young adults who make us so proud!
- I am thankful for the rest of our extended families: siblings, siblings-in-law, nephews, nieces, and one elderly father-in-law, who is the only surviving parent of the original four parents of myself and my husband. Because they are also good people, doing good things in the world, living their best lives as best they can, living conscientiously in the world.
- I am thankful for the daily blessings of good health, a loving spouse, a pretty home, a garden to enjoy, a temperate climate, an interesting and well-paid job (even with its many challenges), the opportunities to keep learning, and the privilege and safety that come with being an American citizen.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate it, and blessings to all of you who don’t. I’m also thankful for all of you who do me the honor of reading this blog and offering your own thoughts here. What makes you thankful?
Like many of you, I’m sure, I spent most of yesterday (Thanksgiving) in the kitchen, happily cooking my way through a number of favorite recipes. One of them is a fragrant chutney I discovered a few years ago, made with cranberries and an excellent replacement for the ubiquitous cranberry sauce that lingers, uneaten, on too many Thanksgiving tables.
Cranberries are considered one of the quintessential Thanksgiving foods, probably because cranberries are native to North America and were known to have been eaten by the Native Americans, and by English settlers in North America as early as the first half of the seventeenth century, according to Martha Stewart. They are highly nutritious, a true superfood with a lot of nutrient bang for the caloric buck as they are low in sugar. However, traditional cranberry sauce recipes tend to add a lot of sugar to this otherwise healthy fruit. As a lover of Indian food, I was happy to find several different recipes for cranberry-based savory chutney; the version I make includes much less sugar, and one of my favorite spices/fragrances, cardamom.
Cranberry Chutney recipe (adapted from Food and Style):
A banner week for What Went Well! I mean, it included Thanksgiving. Which is basically the whole point of What Went Well Wednesdays – to be mindful, and thankful, about the many blessings in one’s life. Even if we only describe “three blessings” per week. So here goes:
- My oldest came home from college for the long weekend and the whole house lit up with laughter, noise and happy bustle. Because she and her siblings are happy, cheerful young people who love each other and truly enjoy each other’s company.
- I did some serious gardening for the first time since breaking my arm this past summer! Because my arm is doing much, much better and I had groundcovers to get started between the flagstones of a new little patio. Not to mention daffodil bulbs, some of my favorite flowers. Now if I could only find some good lily of the valley pips …
- I got some Christmas shopping done early. Because my kids dragged me out on Black Friday but had enough mercy to avoid the mall and other horrors.
- And one extra, in honor of Thanksgiving: the turkey came out perfectly, and all the food tasted great. Because we are so fortunate to be able to enjoy the abundance of the earth.
I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! What are your “three blessings” for the week?
I normally post this on Wednesdays but this week I’m posting on Thanksgiving, as I’m feeling particularly thankful for all that went well this week.
- I had a lovely though melancholy visit with my aging mother, who suffered a stroke almost two years ago and has steadily declined in health since then. But she still knows who I and my sisters are and we enjoyed our time together. Because at the end, love is what matters. Period.
- My oldest child came home from college and the whole house lit up with laughter and noise. Because she and her two younger siblings love each other very much, despite occasional squabbles, and they are very affectionate with each other and with us. Joy!
- I found the perfect groundcovers to plant among and around the newly installed flagstone patio in the back garden. Just because.
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! Thanks for reading!