I’m writing this today from beneath (or beside, to be clear) a 2-foot coating of snow. I’m simply vibrating with excitement. While visiting some friends in Fort Collins, Colo., we have been treated to a significant dumping of snow. Unfortunately, this will eliminate our chance of a mountain bike ride but you can be sure there will be plenty of skiing and sledding. I’m so thankful for snow.

A few years ago, I had the privilege of working with a personal trainer in Lincoln. While our primary focus was on my physical health, she has also had me writing down 10 “gratitudes” every day in a journal. Essentially, these are small or big things in my life that I’m thankful for from the previous day. They have ranged from being thankful for a friend’s quick phone call to having a warm, dry place to live.

Over the years, I have heard this advice from various sources, and it still holds value (though I am not as consistent as I’d like to be). It really is a great way to remind ourselves of the important things in life. If you are having a crummy day, this is a sure-fire way to help boost your spirits!

First of all, I am thankful for the amazing area of the country (and world) we live in. As I sit and watch the snow continue to fall, I can’t help but appreciate the beauty it creates. This is turning into one of those storms that our parents reminisce about, back when the snow banks were as high as the telephone poles — OK, it’s not that good yet. And, of course, my dad had to walk 10 miles (uphill both ways) to get to school.

“If you have ever spent time away from the White Mountains, you will quickly learn how much you appreciate our skyline,” Badger Realty agent Kerry MacDougall said. “While we don’t have the widest sunsets, our snowcapped mountains, at nearly any time of the day, are tough to beat.”

Throw in a heaping helping of snow and you’ve got the makings of a great winter in the Whites.

A nice, quiet morning with a good book and a cup of coffee is one of my favorite ways to start the day. I have started doing that because I could never seem to find the time (energy/ desire?) to read in the afternoons. It is a great way to begin the day and has allowed me to, finally, at this ripe old age, start reading for fun. I’m thankful for my eyes and my ability to read and enjoy it.

Like most of you, I work lots of hours in any given week. Over the years I have found myself being grateful for the free time I do have. That has not only made me appreciate those hours more, but has nudged me to ensure I make the most of that time.

By listening to myself, that can translate into a hike up in the mountains, a nice, long bike ride or a lazy day by the river, soaking up the sun. There are those who work multiple jobs, are raising a family and have other responsibilities way beyond mine. My hope for them is they can find those few minutes of solace and are able to recharge their batteries. We all need a little break now and again.

Last but not least, I’d encourage you to be thankful for the littlest things that we tend to take for granted. Having a warm, dry place to lay your head at night, especially this time of year, is simply wonderful. Having food to eat, even if it’s mac and cheese (again), is a blessing in itself.

I often find myself worrying about finances and stressing about not having enough money. At the end of the day, I have a roof over my head, food on the table and gas in the truck. Sadly, that is more than many people can claim and a quick note in your journal will help remind you of that.

I am thankful to the Daily Sun family of newspapers and Badger Realty for providing me with this outlet and I am grateful for the emails and notes of appreciation I have received from lots of you, our awesome readers. I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving that will lead into a great holiday season.

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