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Originally published November 23, 2019. Updated on November 23, 2022.
Wow, this month has flown! On Day 23 of our 30 Thankful Days Challenge, we want to show our gratitude for our family.
Ah, family. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. One thing’s for certain, the family is the biggest influencer of our personalities, personal development, and self-esteem.
Not everyone has family in the traditional sense. And in modern times, the emphasis is now shifting from “nuclear family” (traditional mom, dad, kids), to the blended one which may now include same-sex parents, or extend to step-parents and step-kids, grandparents who are assuming the role of primary caregiver, and even the “tribe” which refers to one’s adopted “friend-family” for those who are opting out of raising children and/or marrying.
Today, we’ll show gratitude for family, whatever that word may mean to you personally.
Even if your mom or dad wasn’t there for you and/or your brothers and sisters… perhaps there was a parent-figure present whom you call “Dad” or “Mom” or who could be counted on when needed.
What Is Family to You?
So let’s start with the traditional family as we know it. If you grew up with a mom, what was she like? Soft-spoken and reticent? Outspoken and boisterous?
Your mother is the first person who has a significant impact on the person you become. So today, if you’re proud of yourself and the things you’ve accomplished… if you feel good about who you are and what you contribute to the world at large… then give your mama a word of thanks for her guidance, encouragement, and support through the years!
But what if your mom wasn’t the ideal role model? Not every family has a fairy-tale existence, and if yours endured some bumps in the road, that’s okay and that’s normal.
Even if you had your problems getting along with Mom growing up… even if she was absent for some or all of your life… she’s the one who got you started, and the difficult times have helped you discover your own potential for doing good in the world.
Maybe there was another mother-figure, or several of them, who made more of a positive impact, for you. If you could thank her, what would you say?
What about Dad? If yours was there for all of your sports events growing up, if yours cooked a mean Saturday morning breakfast, if your dad worked hard all day and almost always came home with a smile… give thanks for your father and his contribution to your happiness and the fine person you’ve become.
Dads teach boys how to respect women, and how to control their impulses while making a positive impact on the world. Dads set an example to their daughters for how their future husbands should treat them.
So if your dad or dad-figure was a hardworking guy who made you feel safe, secure, listened to and loved in his presence… if your dad cheered you on through all of your endeavors big and small… then lift a glass to a good man who was there for you growing up!
Day 23 JOURNAL EXERCISE: Give thanks for family.
Today, make a list of family members who mean a lot to you. This doesn’t have to be traditional family if that’s a difficult topic for you to tackle. This can be a “tribe” family, extended family… mother, father, brother, sister, cousins, or the closest to blood without actually being related.
Beside each person’s name, list out some traits and reasons that they’re special to you. Save your account to refer to at a later date.
When it comes time to celebrate the birthday of one of these special people, refer to your list of reasons. Include them in your birthday card message to brighten their day and say “thanks” for being you!
Click below for a free journal.
Loving Life — The Reboot!