Sometimes, it can feel like we skid through life by the skin of our teeth, busy beyond what we can handle.
Work, school or other obligations pack our days and we tumble into bed at the end of each without time to reflect on anything but what else there was or will be to do.
Days like that can turn into weeks, weeks into months and months into years.
In a blink, it seems, the time flies by without enough (or any) time taken to really appreciate the good around us.
It’s an easy trap to fall into, especially when true quiet time to think about those things can be so hard to come by.
Cellphones don’t help since they make everyone immediately accessible, be it by text or call.
And because they are so prevalent (the latest numbers from the Pew Research Center found that 96% of adults have a cellphone) finding that quiet time has to be a conscious choice.
Yes, yes, the technology is great. Having a mobile phone with you if you break down on the side of the road or need to get in touch with someone in an emergency is an incredible help.
Quite often, however, cellphones are a distraction from personal interactions, especially with the prevalence of text messaging.
An emoji isn’t a substitute for seeing someone smile in front of you, nor is a gif a suitable replacement for a hug.
The phones so many of us have glued to our noses hinder so many from living life in person instead of virtually.
So as Thanksgiving looms, we challenge our readers to make a conscious effort to put the phones down a little more and live life.
Without the distraction of a screen, perhaps it may be easier to focus on the good things that happened each day, recognize how grateful you are for them, and share your thanks with those who made you smile.
Prioritize setting aside some time for quiet each evening for the next week, and reflect not on what went wrong in the day or what you have to do tomorrow, but about what made the day great.
Maybe it was a shared laugh with a co-worker, a kiss from a spouse, or a hug from a child. Maybe someone held the door for you, or a checker at the supermarket engaged you in an interesting conversation as they rung up your groceries.
Maybe your dog or cat cuddled up next to you, or you had a nice chat with a friend.
Those things may all seem ordinary or routine, but reframing how we look at things absent distraction can help each of us recognize and be thankful for the good in our lives, and send it back into the world ourselves.
Each day should feel like a gift, and all of us have the power to view it that way.
It comes down to choosing to do so.