“We sometimes underestimate the influence of little things.” – Charles W. Chesnutt

Box of macarons from Macaron Queen
Macaron Queen Celebration Macarons

This whole year has been a big lesson for me. When something starts out good and then it feels like things come crashing down, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This pandemic has been challenging for that reason, but it’s also taught me one important lesson: don’t take the little things for granted. They can be the most impactful, and they can fill your heart with gratitude.

Having to spend the majority of my time at home and readjust my daily routine have been nothing short of a challenge, but through it all, I’ve still circled back to the act of gratitude. With my birthday on Monday, I’ve been feeling extra grateful for all the many ways people have made me feel special. It’s also made me think of the ways I can continue to practice gratitude and spread some kindness to make an impact in other people’s lives.

Some of the things I’ve done during the most unexpected and unprecedented year are so small—mailing out random thank you cards, buying a little something for a friend because it made me think of them, and donating to charity. These little acts can carry a great deal of influence. If you’re anything like me, then you love getting things in the mail. It’s so unexpected and exciting. Letting someone know that you’re thinking of them can drastically impact their day and then gratitude kicks in.

Gratitude is often a two-way street. When you express your gratitude for someone, they usually express it back. And one of the most important ways to practice gratitude though is with ourselves. Being grateful for who we are and what our bodies can do to keep us going every day is a true blessing. During this time of year, gratitude is essential. And I mean “this time of year” as in the holidays, but it also applies to the new lives we’ve all had to adjust to.

There was a story featured on the news one night talking about how hard it is to deal with the pandemic because there is no estimate of how much longer we’ll have to endure it. They were interviewing a psychologist and they mentioned how people can usually deal with almost any circumstance if they know when it’s going to end. We don’t know when, which has made it that much harder to cope, but it’s another reason why practicing gratitude and spreading kindness are key.

This week, my team surprised me on a Zoom call to wish me a Happy Birthday. The team sent me a box of macarons—my absolute favorite dessert—and some of them even had macaron virtual backgrounds. It was such a sweet sentiment and made my heart feel full. It didn’t need to be an elaborate gesture or anything “big.” The little things really make you feel grateful. I don’t have enough words in the English language to describe how special I felt that day. It really meant a lot to me because there were thought and effort put behind it. It doesn’t always take much to make a person smile. Practice gratitude and pass it on to someone else. Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season filled with hope, joy, and happiness! ☃️

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