GratefulThe colorful fall leaves against the backdrop of a bright blue sky. The crunch of leaves underfoot. The crisp smell in the air. The sound of laughter. 

There’s so much to love about this season of Fall. Everywhere I look, I’m reminded of the beauty that surrounds us, the goodness that exists in this world. 

I find myself very reflective on days like this, and I’m thankful for being here, thankful for this life. 

Looking back on this year, it hasn’t always been easy. There have been health struggles, personal challenges, loss, heart ache, heartbreak. But there’s also been triumph, success, laughter, travel, fun, family memories, and love. 

I am thankful for the consistent, loyal support of customers that have become family over the years.

I am thankful for the visitors that come back – ones that have grown up, moved away, but still come back to say hello and pick up a favorite treat when they pass through town. 

I am thankful for the connections from our bakery, the fun stories that pop up in conversation and remind us that we are all linked in this great big world. This summer, while sitting on the beach, we discovered fellow travelers discussing Sand Tarts from their favorite Dayton bakery. My nephew in Toledo had a neighbor who moved back to her childhood town of Oakwood and was looking forward to taking her children to the bakery – Ashley’s Pastries – where she used to go as a little girl. 

I am thankful for celebrating life’s moments, both big and small, with families and friends. 

I am thankful that we can continue to do a job that we love. 

Research shows again and again that the simple act of practicing gratitude can have great benefits. It can help increase our mood, decrease our stress, better our relationships, and improve our sleep. 

So, this November, we’re going to have an attitude of gratitude inside the bakery and out. We’ve done this in year’s past, but we believe this is a practice worth repeating. 

Here are a few simple ways to incorporate this into your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming, but even simple acts can have a big impact.

  1. Write in a gratitude journal each day. Jot down three things you’re thankful for. 
  2. Drop a slip of paper in a jar that contains something you’re thankful for. Empty the jar at the end of the month to read all of life’s blessings. 
  3. Start each day thinking of three things you’re grateful for. You can do this as you drink your morning coffee, go for a jog, or are driving into work. 
  4. Write a note to a family member or friend and tell them something you appreciate about them or thank them for something they’ve recently done for you. 
  5. Download a gratitude app on your phone for inspiration quotes, daily affirmations and journaling options at your fingertips, conveniently on your phone.

This November, let us all seek to find the best in others, to look on the bright side, and to be grateful for all the good that shines around us.