November 2019 ․ 480.632.7373 ․ jensenlawaz.com
Traditions and Tasks A Yearly Lesson From the Season of Gratitude
As we gather around our dinner tables this Thanksgiving, many families are going to participate in the time-honored tradition of sharing what they are most thankful for. It’s a beautiful sentiment and a wonderful reminder that has me thinking about my habits. First and foremost, faith and family are two pieces of my life that have most of my gratitude. Of course, I could never thank my wife enough for all she does for our family and for me. With four boys and my own antics, let’s just say she puts up with a lot! But it’s one thing to acknowledge the components of your life that bring you the most joy and make you blessed; it’s a completely different thing to actively take time to practice gratitude. Now, I get it. We’re all busy. No one has time to sit down and write out every single thing they appreciate about their lives, but we can find a way to express our gratitude through the tiniest actions. Before I broke my leg this past winter and was laid up with therapy and healing, I used to do a lot more around our home to show my wife just how much she means to me. For example, I’m usually the last one out of bed on Saturdays, so I made the bed. Our room looked cleaner and nicer, and I know my wife appreciated the sentiment and thought. Another example is the Sunday dinners I often cook for my family. My wife deserves a night out of the kitchen,
Sometimes, our team is blown out of the water, but that’s not the point.
It’s about observing a tradition and sharing a bond over something that makes our family unique. And now, we are including our sons in the tradition as well. In the last few years, I have taken a few of my boys with me, and I can’t wait to include all of them. I’m blessed to be in a family that actively enjoys spending time together and searches for opportunities to do so. I understand practicing gratitude is often easier said than done, especially when life is dealing you a difficult hand. I went through something similar to this last winter when my broken leg prevented me from spending the holidays with my family, stalled my work, and severely limited my mobility. Yet, through that injury, I also realized many positive aspects of my life. I have a strong support system and a family who wants to see me succeed. There was food on our table, I had a job, and we had a roof over our heads. There’s always going to be something that can overshadow your gratitude, but there is always something of value in your life worth clinging onto as well. Perhaps it’s your family, your health, or a 15-year football tradition.
and there’s no reason why I can’t strap on my chef’s hat and whip up a great meal.
If I’m being completely honest, I know I could do better at practicing gratitude. In my defense, my leg injury has taken up quite a bit of my energy, but I know it’s time to get back into the swing of picking up on the little things. These tasks are easy, but they go a long way. Gratitude comes in many forms, and sometimes it’s as simple as having the wherewithal to know when something is too good to let go. For the past 15 years or so, my wife’s brothers and I have chosen a road Brigham Young University (BYU) football game to attend. We have been all over the country, including Florida, Michigan, and Texas. The weekend usually involves a big Airbnb or hotel, some horribly greasy food, and plenty of football. Sure, some years are better than others, but BYU plays a great game.
Whatever it is, it’s worth it.
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