Grateful for a Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! Let’s talk about thankfulness and gratefulness … 

When Thanksgiving Day rolls around in the U.S., we usually give these two things a little bit of attention. But then, if you’re anything like me, sometimes these positive affirmations (which are incredibly important), fall by the wayside and we go on about our daily lives, oftentimes focusing on the negative.

For me, this year has been both tough and wonderful at the same time. (You too?) And there have been many times throughout the year when Dave has said to me, “Yes, that’s right. You don’t have that. But think about all of the good things in your life you do have.” And he’s always correct. In fact, spot on.

Think about the good

When you spend time thinking about what you’re happy about, you have less time to think about what you’re not happy about. When you spend time thinking about who you love, you have less time to think about who you dislike. And when you spend time being proud of what you’re good at, you have less time to be embarrassed about what you need to work on.

What if we said, starting today, we’re actually going to focus on the good stuff. We’re going to write down a little note with a few good qualities that we possess, a few people that we care about and any other blessings that we may be taking for granted, and we’re going to refer back to it daily. Maybe even multiple times in a day.

We can do this first thing in the morning, in any way we want. Maybe it’s making a notes column on the phone and pulling it up during breakfast. Maybe it’s writing in a daily gratitude journal (which is something, along with a bullet journal, that I have toyed with beginning recently and still hope to do). Whatever way you want to do it, just do it. And let’s start today.

Grateful by A Lady Goes West

What I’m grateful for

I’ll go first! I have a lot to put on my list, and here’s what I’m grateful for …

  • My husband. Dave is literally the best. He is an amazing man, person and friend. And I’m lucky that he loves me. He’s always there for me in every way, and I am so appreciative of him.
  • My family. Even though my parents and my brother live across the country, I know, and they know, that we’re always thinking about each other (and I talk to my Mom multiple times a day, so she’s pretty sure of that too). I love them so much. And shout out to my extended family and my friends who are like my family too!
  • My dog. Rudy the maltipoo. Before I had a dog, I didn’t think that I could love a little being as much as I do. And I also didn’t know a dog could become such a companion, a friend and a part of my family. The world is a better place with Rudy in it. 
  • My health. Feeling good on the inside is what it’s all about. I am so thankful that I have my health, and I work very hard to keep it.
  • Where I live. The Bay Area, and Walnut Creek in general, is gorgeous. It has everything. I truly love it. And I love some of the opportunities it has brought to me.
  • What I do. The ability to share my life and inspire people both through my writing and through my presence teaching group fitness classes is so important to me. In fact, I live for it. Helping people is amazing.
  • You. If you are reading this, I am grateful for you. The fact that you visit A Lady Goes West means the world to me. While I have a very small blog in the scheme of all blogs, I have you. And even if you’ve never commented or sent me an email, I want you to know that I care about you. Thank you for showing up here. You are awesome!

And those are the things I’m most happy about today, and every day. Because I have this list in front of me, if I focus on starting each day with these positive things, I’m bound to be set off on a better foot than if I start the day worrying about things I can’t control. It’s not always in my nature to be super optimistic, but I’m sure going to give it a try.

While everyone’s list will be totally different, we each definitely have things we can put on it, and I encourage you to go through this little exercise on your own. As formally or as informally as you care to do it, of course!

The Thanksgiving weekend

Dave, Rudy and I are spending the Thanksgiving holiday and weekend in Carmel-by-the-Sea with Dave’s family, and we’re looking forward to it! (We’ve been to Carmel twice before and most recently a lovely little trip over Labor Day, which you can read about here.) 

I’ll be posting pictures of the adventures over on my Instagram stories, so find me over there. And before you go, I want to share a few great reads I found this week for you to enjoy at your leisure, in case you find yourself stuffed, on the couch with some extra free time. (But first, go ahead, unbutton your top button, it’ll feel so much better!) 🙂 

A few great things to read

Something to get you moving, requiring no equipment …

  • WORKOUT: Back when I was a personal trainer at Equinox in San Francisco, I learned all about “animal flow.” Animal flow movement is incredibly beneficial, in fact, Equinox even offered a class all about moving around the ground like an animal to improve your athletic performance and overall strength and mobility. If you’re sitting around the house over the holidays, try crawling! There are many ways to do it, and it engages the whole body. Find out more about why and how to crawl here.

Something to review before you put those side-dishes in the oven …

  • COOKING: I found this one interesting, because apparently you are only supposed to heat certain oils to certain temperatures. Because I like to burn my veggies and have recently found out that’s not always the best for you, this was totally news to me. Find out which oils should be used for high-heat cooking here.

Something to help your body feel good …

  • STRETCHING: So you have some time on your hands during what is hopefully a long weekend for you. Even if you don’t have back pain, try this simple series to lengthen the spine and fix your posture.

Something to build your fitness knowledge …

Something related to the holiday, but good for every day …

  • THANKSGIVING: Do the world and the planet some good, and be a little more environmentally friendly this holiday with these ways. There are also some tips you can use throughout the year.

That’ll do it, peeps! Please have a wonderful day, holiday and weekend, my friends! Enjoy spending time with your loved ones and family if you are able to, eat delicious food, take a walk and be happy! Remember … you are awesome and you should be grateful for that!

Gratefulness. Let's do more of it. #HappyThanksgiving and #thankful thoughts from @apstyle ... Click To Tweet

Questions of the day

What’s something you’re grateful for?

Are you celebrating Thanksgiving today? What’s the plan?


  1. I am always trying to remind myself of this too. That even though I might not have everything I want or be exactly where I want career wise I need to focus on the good. My husband and I have thought about trying to find some ways to donate our time to charities or events to help others and appreciate the good in our lives. This Thanksgiving we are cooking dinner for just the two of us and then a few friends will stop by later for some of the football games. Have a great day with family and Happy Thanksgiving Ashley!

    1. Hi Patricia! Volunteering is a GREAT way to bring some perspective into your life, and it’s something I should do too. I hope you have a wonderful day with your husband and your friends. I’m so happy we’ve met this year!! 🙂

  2. We’re going hiking this afternoon, but other than that are just keeping it pretty low key.

    Like you, before getting my dog, I never thought a dog could be such a sweet companion. We’ve had her for over 8 years now, and I couldn’t imagine life without her cute face!

    1. Agreed totally, Clarinda! Dogs are such positive little happy influences in our lives. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy that hike! Thanks for saying hi!

  3. Love this! It’s always SO easy to focus on the negative and things we DON’T have, but it’s important to focus on what we do have. On this Thanksgiving weekend, I am thankful for my husband, my kids and my family- crazy as they are!

  4. I love this post Ashley! We all need to not get caught in the (very human) trap of forgetting what amazing things we have in our lives 🙂 I hope you had a WONDERFUL time in Carmel (by the looks of it, you did!). Also – I just got an Equinox membership through Paul’s work for free, I need to see if they still have this animal flow class!!! 😀

    1. Oh my gosh, so excited you will be going to Equinox! There are great classes to choose from there. YAY! Here’s to being grateful this week, lady. Oh and see you Thursday! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.