A Filling Season

It’s that time of year again.  Travel arrangements are made, food is prepared, and we all gather together with friends and family for the Thanksgiving holiday.  It is a unique and special holiday, and one that I always find to be interesting (given the lengths people will go in order to be surrounded by a community (family) they love and care about).

Whether a small gathering of less than ten people, or the 60+ that I’m accustomed to, the conversations are ones that I look forward to having.  And there is no better way than to share this time with others than in sharing a meal together.

“I’m full.”

“Filled to the brim.

So full that my stomach is going to explode.”

This is really what Thanksgiving is all about, right?  It’s not everyday that a feast is prepared where there is enough food to feed an army, and leftovers taste better the next day.  From mashed potatoes, to turkey, to stuffing (dressing in the South), and to pumpkin pie, there always seems to be enough left for a second pass.  Hell, possibly even a third.

If you have any thoughts of ‘being conservative’ or ‘eating just a little’, well, we all know just how difficult that can really be.  There’s a reason fitness centers open extra early on Thanksgiving morning and the day after, while offering two and three hour fitness classes.  It’s almost as if it’s expected that we will eat more than we can handle, and we justify it by doing more of something else than we normally do.

Ironically enough, after we’ve completed our second round of sweet potato casserole, and one last sliver of warm, pumpkin pie, we might find ourselves resting on the couch, rubbing our bellies, and saying, “I shouldn’t have ate so much because my stomach hurts.”

Interesting enough, we will wake up the next day, and at some point in time we won’t feel ‘full’ anymore.  The binge fest is over, and we will likely wait until next year to ‘fill ourselves up’ to the level we were at the day prior.

However, this isn’t how life is supposed to be.

Life isn’t supposed to temporarily fill us up, then wait another year to be filled again.  It should be filled daily, in all that we do.

Five Ways to Fill Ourselves up Daily

Each day brings with it a fresh opportunity to do something great.  There are too many things in this world to spend time wasting our days away.  When we decide to fill our days with a number of tasks, adventures, and events, it is then that we fill our lives with happiness, joy, and thanks.

I have spent some time thinking about and discussing what it means to ‘be busy’ and ‘always on the go’.  As much as these phrases can lead to a ‘check-it-off-the-list’ mentality, ‘being busy’ is what is required to build into ourselves and others, and to fill our lives and the lives of those around us.

If you’re struggling to get started, and searching for ways to begin this approach, then here are five suggestions to get you going.

  1. Start and Learn a New Hobby ­– Being multi-skilled is a trait that I believe everyone should have. To learn a new skill, it requires practice, focus, and commitment.  Commit to a new skill and you will commit to filling your life.
  2. Grow in Community with Others – This past week alone, my wife and I have attended four ‘Friendsgivings’ with four completely different groups of people. Together we have grown individually, together, and with others.  It’s important to understand and appreciate the different walks of life that people have, and how their experiences can help shape us.
  3. Get Outside – The TV show that you MUST watch will always be available to stream online, or catch up on during a rainy day. We are surrounded by incredible places.  Turn over rocks, climb mountains, or go for a walk.  Discover something new.
  4. Volunteer your Time – The majority of us are incredibly blessed to live the life we have. It is imperative to take our individual skills and talents and share them with others, or offer to time to help others learn and grow.  In all honesty, it’s possible to grow more as an individual as a result of the people or organizations you work with.
  5. Give, and Give some More – Think about the past week. Whether it was at work, school, or within your community, I would be willing to bet that you had at least one opportunity (and likely more) to give of something to someone else.  It doesn’t have to be your money, it could be your time, your help, or your skills.  When you give out of the goodness of your heart, the return is a heart that is filled with love and a mind that is filled with peace.

As you move through the coming week and prepare for Thanksgiving, take some time to think about how you are ‘filling up’ your life and the lives around you.  Do you find yourself running on fumes, waiting to be filled up again?  Or, are you bursting at the seams with excitement because you get to ‘do life’?

Be filled with life, and proceed for a second round… and possibly a third!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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