30 Days of Thanks


2016 has been an year of evolution for me, both personally and professionally. I changed jobs. I cut my hair. I traveled nearly six times for work and fun. All of this with a child in my life. One year ago, Ilse was just beginning to eat solids and wear a single bow in her tuft of hair. Now she eats with a spoon and wears pigtails. As I begin to reflect on 2016 and plan ahead for 2017, I want to take a step back and show a little gratitude. It’s easy to whine and complain like children do or pout when something isn’t fair. But If I am going to teach my daughter to say “thank you”  and be thankful, I need to be her best role model.  Thus, I began writing down one thing I was thankful for every day last month for the entire month, as a way to acknowledge something pleasant in my day. Here is my list:

  1. My faith
  2. My familysunset
  3. My senses: seeing, smelling, hearing, touch, taste
  4. Laughing at work
  5. Watching Ilse grow
  6. Sharing a neat Hochstadter bourbon with my husband
  7. Writing for San Francisco Moms Blog
  8. The burst of Adrenalin from that first sweat from a run
  9. Dancing with my friends
  10. Seeing a sunrise over an ocean
  11. Spontaneous get-togethers with my sisters
  12. Talking to my nieces about make-up
  13. A hassle-free drive on I-80 West (heading towards the city) on a Sunday
  14. My car horn
  15. Cooking dinner for my family at least five times a week
  16. All things Thanksgiving and Christmas-Wish I had more closet space for decor!
  17. Hearing a song on the radio that takes you back to your high school crushimmunizations
  18. Lists-shopping lists, to-do lists, holiday menu lists
  19. Eating the season’s first Dungeness crab with garlic noodles
  20. Thanksgiving prep while Ilse naps-toasting nuts, chopping herbs, and clearing space in the fridge for the Turkey
  21. Immunizations for all of us
  22. Winter makeup-I love red lips and rosy cheeks when my skin is pale
  23. The third shot of espresso in the morning after a restless night with a cranky toddler
  24. Traditions that continue, first with husband and now with our daughter as a family
  25. Online shopping
  26. Spending the weekend in our neighborhood-no driving involved
  27. Praying together in church
  28. Quiet phones at work on a Monday, easing me into the work week
  29. All things that make me a woman
  30. Life: The daily juxtapositions of all of life’s contradictions: love and loathing, just and unjust, the ugly and the pretty

At first, it was the basics: family, faith, laughing.  Then, I focused on specific things that I experienced, like seeing that sunrise or talking to my nieces about makeup. The biggest challenge was to limiting  myself to one item every day, because every day brought forth more things to be thankful for.  For the sake of conciseness, I tried to write down the first thing I thought about, even if it seemed silly and trivial. For example, on November 14, I selected my car horn, because I was thankful to have a safe way to notify stupid drivers of their dangerous driving. (To the Toyota that was swerving into my lane for five blocks, I am talking to you!)  Four days later, on Friday, November 18, I was grateful for having lists to keep my holiday brain in check. Thank goodness for my Christmas shopping list to keep me on budget!

I’ve seen this challenge before on Facebook and perhaps even on Oprah, but I’ve never done it myself, because I didn’t think I would learn anything from it. Nevertheless,  I thought a little daily reflection would be good for the mind and the body. What I learned most from this challenge is that there is nothing too small or trivial to be thankful for.  Anything can be impactful and meaningful. If you haven’t tried this challenge before, I highly recommend it, even if it’s just for  a few days. Giving thanks is the easiest way to help us and our children embrace all the things that make life great.

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Jeanne is a married, full-time working mom with an MBA in Marketing from Golden Gate University and BA in Communications from San Francisco State University. She is an Associate Director of Sales for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and loves that her career enables her to promote the city she loves. Jeanne and her husband Daniel live in San Francisco with their two daughters, Ilse and Alice. When Jeanne is not working, writing, or volunteering at Ilse's school, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and cooking from her collection of cookbooks (70 and growing) while sipping Hudson Bay Bourbon. Follow her adventures on Instagram.


  1. Thank you, Jeanne, for this most important reminder! I like how you came up with one thing to be thankful for daily! Nice, simple, and so effective!

    Sarah, Elizabeth Rose Agency


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