As the end of the year approaches, many of us are thinking about what’s to come in the new year and all that has occurred in the past one. People set goals and make plans, start new things or leave behind those that may no longer serve them. A common practice in November is to have some discussion about what we are grateful for. But being grateful can (and arguably, should) take place all year long, at all times. Acknowledging what we are grateful for can be an incredibly meaningful practice. As Groundwork member and Leadership SouthCoast director Donna Criscuolo points out,
I find that when you practice gratitude, you find more things to be grateful for which in turn brings in more things to be grateful for. Life is in the present moment. In the moment there is much to be thankful for, including the moment itself.
Grateful for community
I sent out an email to all of our members asking what they feel most grateful for in this moment. Of the responses I received, most mentioned other people, and many mentioned the Groundwork community specifically. Groundwork member and Regional Sales Manager at Complete Payroll Solutions, Julia Furtado wrote,
I am grateful for my health during such a trying time for everyone. I also am grateful for the little book club that you have put together at Groundwork. It inspires me to read books that I may have otherwise missed. We explore authors of all races and cultures, which is extremely important to me.
I am also grateful for “all the things” every day, from a glass of cold water to a hot coffee warming my body. I am aware of it all and how I shouldn’t take any of it for granted.
Another member, Mark Collins, local SEO expert of OnWebLocal (OWL) wrote about the Groundwork community as well:
I am grateful for the supportive atmosphere at Groundwork. There is a good amount of idea sharing, entrepreneurial insights, available small business resources, and especially camaraderie!
Being of service
Whether people mentioned specific communities they are a part of or not, most mentioned the presence of others. One thing that stood out in Groundwork member and non-profit consultant of Solutions4Community, Francesca Martin’s response was the mention of being in service to other people:
I recently had the opportunity to be with old friends, and also to be of service to these old friends. And what an appreciation and gratitude that offered me. We cooked and baked and talked and laughed. I also helped them get started with the overwhelm of moving, and looking at different decisions, and identifying options… (these activities and others) led us to deeper connections with one another.
Being of service to others, whether those you know or those you may not know, is a wonderful way to be of service to yourself as well. By being in service to others, as Francesca mentions here, we grow deeper connections to those we are serving, and in turn a deeper connection to humanity and ourselves.
Grateful all year long
As the year comes to an end, let us all remain grateful whenever and however we can. Let us stay connected to our community, whatever that may look like for you. Just as there is no one way to have community, there is no one way to practice being grateful. My hope for all of us, everywhere, is that we are able to see and appreciate the things in our life that we are grateful for all year long. This moment is a gift, and the greatest gift is when we are able to recognize that.