From the Editor’s Desk November 2017

valley-bugler-november-2017-smallThe strains of Christmas music have begun, and retailers are stocking their shelves with Thanksgiving and Christmas goodies. Mostly Christmas goodies, because we all know that’s what stores focus on anyhow.

Beautiful twinkling lights, glitter, christmas trees, holly wreaths, bazaars, hot spiced cider, christmas caroling, warm gloves and a plethora of other images come flooding into my mind as I ponder the upcoming season: Thankmas.

It’s a combination of Thanksgiving and Christmas at my house. I am usually so excited to get the Christmas decorations out, that my poor Thanksgiving items are outnumbered and succumb to the Christmas Cheer.

I collect snowmen. Snowwomen. Snowchildren. Any kind of snow creature imagineable, really. I have no idea how it started, but I have found that over the years, cute snowpeople of all shapes, sizes and styles have made their way into my christmas boxes.

Perhaps it is the fond memories of playing in the snow and rolling countless heads down the hill of our home to smash on the road below. Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you?

My brothers and I joined up with the neighbor kids outside at every snowfall, probably because mom kicked us out of the house to play. And give her some peace and quiet, because heaven was closed.

There were snow forts, attempts at sagging igloos and the never-ending snowball fights. It was glorious. And yes, I really did roll snowman heads down the hill to smash into the road below. But only after they had lived for a while, I promise…

I am thankful for those memories. They give me a lopsided smile and make my head tip to one side as I recall my time in the snow as a kid. Recalling my time in the snow as an adult tends to end up in a grimace instead.

It’s memories like those that I am thankful for. Memories like those that inspire me to continue tradition with my own children in the snow. Around the Thanksgiving table. At Christmas morning.

What are the memories that cause that warm fuzzy feeling to spread through your chest? Those memories that tug on your smile and have you laughing quietly to yourself?

Be thankful for those memories. Focus on the thankful this season. During Thankmas, we can all focus more on being grateful for all that we have, and less on what we don’t. Each one of us encounters struggle and tribulation, and yet it is the challenge laid before us on how we respond. Are we thankful?

My own tribulations and trials have me focusing more on what I am thankful for. This causes me to worry less about those pesky issues that threaten to overwhelm me if I let them. Oh, it’s easy to do, I completely understand. It’s a challenge to make yourself actually focus on something like being thankful, or seeing the positive in a situation, especially if it’s not positive. I get it. Trust me, I do.

There’s science behind my invitation to ‘be thankful in all things’, whether you believe it or not. The human brain can actually wire itself depending on how you are thinking or feeling about certain subjects.

Negative thinking has an immediate, destructive impact on your life. The moment you have a negative thought, it’s already fighting against you. It makes you feel worse, and hinders you from achieving something that you want.

Ultimately? There are no benefits of negative thinking, unlike the benefits that exist with positive thinking. It is better to focus on how negative thinking doesn’t benefit you at all, and doesn’t hold any positive value for you. This will help motivate your mind to help you get rid of negative thinking faster.

According to Psychology Today, replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts will help you be happier, more confident and more succesful. Happy brains are more creative, quicker and more mentally alert. Happy brain, happy life.

Your brain offers rewards like chemical release of serotonin, which creates a sense of well-being, and decreases cortisol, allowing your brain to function at peak capacity.

See? There really is science behind the whole philosophy behind this newspaper you’re reading. Good news.

I hope you’re as thankful for us as we are for you. ♥

Until next month,

Michelle Myre

Publisher / Editor

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