4 Ways to Stay Thankful Through 2016

As we see 2016 on the horizon and leave Thanksgiving in 2015, I can’t help but to think about all the things I have to be thankful for. Family, friends, health, and a great career, to name a few.

But it’s the little things, the day to day stuff that we seem to forget. My daughter who’s been struggling with math, scores an A on a test. Spending summer days at Lake Lanier. Going to Six Flags and not having to wait in line to ride the roller coasters. The crazy laughs shared with friends over the silliest things, (i.e, dropping your car keys in a tree grate and spending half the night walking around Downtown Atlanta retracing your steps. Hysterical.) Going jeans shopping and finding the perfect pair in ten minutes. Priorities, people.

Here are a few things I’m doing with my family this year (or have in the past) to keep the gratefulness flowing.

  1. Jar O’ Good Things

We made this jar on New Year’s Day 2014 and kept it on the kitchen counter with paper and pen the remainder of the year. When something that made us happy happened, we jotted it down and and put it in the jar. 365 days later in NYE, we pulled out all the notes and read them to each other. And yes, all of the above mentions were in the jar.

Get creative here.

Good Things Jar

2. The Thankful Banner

We made this banner for our mantle at Camden Stockbridge and invited residents to fill out their leaves with things they are thankful for. Our residents loved it and we are looking forward to doing something similar for New Year’s.


3. Happy Smiling Faces

I probably have 1739 pictures on my phone that I’ve snapped of the kids, family, events, etc. I probably have 5 of them framed, from like 2005. My personal project for the year is to get those pics printed and make some collages. Bad day at work? school? pre-k? Look on the wall and remember that awesome time we spent the day at Indian Springs. Happy, smiling faces.

Be inspired here.

My project in process…


What I’m hoping for after…


4. Live In the Moment

Live, talk, eat, gather, be involved and breathe. Enjoy your alone time and cherish your time with your families. We have a tradition at our family dinners that everyone has to name at least one good thing that happened during the day. It reminds everyone to just slow down, focus on the good and be thankful for all we have around us.  Thankful Always.

Modern Family

*Not an actual family photo, but how I have cast my family in my head.

Some Days I’m a Non-Contributing Zero… But Not Today…

bad day, sad, unhappy, smiley

I was having a "Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day."- photo courtesy of

I’ve noticed that even in Colorado sometimes people have “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days”. I hear this is true in Australia, too…

I was having one of those the other day…

I had to travel to Las Vegas to work on budgets.  This is not a favorite activity and Las Vegas is not my favorite place to be. It’s not a bad place but my family isn’t there. They are in Denver and I miss them when I travel.

The worst part is that I have to fly there…

I hate to fly.

Packing…trying to fit my toiletries into a ziplock bag…trying to figure out which shoes I might need…stuffing all the reports I may need in a suitcase…driving over an hour to the airport…TSA…waiting…waiting…waiting…

And then more waiting…

You know how it is.

I was in the airport waiting, before I had to do some more waiting and I checked Facebook on my phone. A friend of mine had posted this video….

Of course I had to wait for it to download…

That’s right. I had spent all day complaining about the miracle of human flight and the amount of time it takes my phone to go to space…

I was the non-contributing zero.

That really gave me some needed perspective. I’ve thought about this video a lot since that trip. I’ve realized that I fall into this pattern pretty easily if I’m not careful.

Since then I’ve decided to be more grateful for what I have. I’m happier when I’m grateful.

You would think it would be easy to be grateful when we are blessed with so much but I find it takes effort. Sometimes the pace of our lives is so fast that it takes a lot of effort. 

The end of the year is so packed with things to do that sometimes I miss the holiday between Halloween and Christmas. You know the one with the turkey and the football. What’s it called again?…

This year I don’t want to miss it. So during the month of November, Camden Denver West will post at least one thing every day we are thankful for on our Facebook page. I’d challenge you to do the same thing, or something similar. If you do, let us know how it goes. I’d also love for you to “like” us on Facebook and see what our team comes up with.

If you do, I’ll bet you will be happier and you might just avoid a few “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days”