My week in Chicago afforded me another light bulb moment through this One Thousand Gift challenge. I was really looking forward to this trip because I knew that the gifts would abound. I was very excited for the amount of gifts I would rack up in a short period of time. Now the joy wasn’t in the fact that I was going to do it quickly, the joy was knowing I was entering a highly gifted season. I was ready for it… or so I thought.
I am now over half way through my gift list and I was sadden to realize that when you live life at a fast pace, you can’t enjoy the gifts as much. I just had a great week in Chicago with my family. There were so many moments that I enjoyed with them. I kept notes on my phone throughout the day so I wouldn’t forget gifts when I tried to write them down in my journal. Moving through life so quickly meant I couldn’t savor the gifts. I acknowledge them and enjoyed them, but I didn’t let them sink in because I was quickly moving on to the next thing.
It was surprising to me that things turned out this way. Each gift that I wrote down in Chicago was truly unique and I am thankful for each one of them. I have always learned that gifts are best enjoyed when you have to drink them in. This gift challenge isn’t like McDonald’s where you are in and out in 5 minutes. This gift challenge is 5 star dining with multiple courses. It takes time to enjoy a gift to it’s fullest. It’s not about the quantity of the gifts (which I know sounds deceptive based on the 1000 gift goal), it’s about what you really get out of the gift – the quality of your thankfulness and gratitude.
I know that in the moment it can be hard to contemplate all the goodness of each gift. Sometimes you are thankful for the moment and move on to the next thing in front of you. The great bonus of a gift journal is I can now go over those hurried gifts and relive them. I can lengthen those moments of reflection and gratitude. What you get out of the gift is what you put into seeing it and appreciating it. It’s not really a numbers thing.