Musings: FALLing into Gratitude

Fall brings one of my favorite holidays.

Door Mat // Hobby Lobby
Shoes & Dress // Old Navy

Thanksgiving, of course

But more than taking in all the beautiful fall colors lining the streets of Sacramento, are the small acts of generosity that recently reminded me to be grateful and thankful. So, very appropriate for this time of year.

To think that a child could not try a sport or activity is foreign to me. My naivety comes from the privilege and hard work of my parents, whom never let this be a barrier for myself or Lil. It went unnoticed at the time, but my parents worked so hard to make sure Lil and I had any and all experiences we desired. We didn’t get everything we wanted, but we went without for want.

However, recently, I was humbly reminded that this is not the case for a lot of children. J recently finished coaching his middle schooler’s soccer team and decided to coach the women’s high school team. After their first practice he came home and asked if I had any old soccer gear for the girls to have. These young women did not have training gear, nor actual gear for games. One young girl was practicing in jeans. The school provides jerseys, but not the shorts and socks for games. He also mentioned some of the girls have never played soccer before, in an organized fashion.

This literally broke my heart…all of it…

Young women first experiencing organized soccer in their teens. How can that be? I know how it can be, but if I have a say, I won’t let someones circumstance be the reason they can’t try something, especially a new sport. So, of course I crowd sourced my family and friends via Facebook to see if anyone could help out.

So many people came through in ways I’d never expect. A variety of people — people I barely know, family, a few people who I grew up with, a college friend, and friends went out of their way to donate to these young women. Some gave financially, so I could source some equipment and others gave new and/or used items for the girls to use. The generosity was overwhelming. A simple ask without any expectation, and tons of people came through!

Soccer shorts, socks, shin guards, boots, and training gear were gathered and distributed to the girls at one of their first practices. I wasn’t there but J said they were grateful for the donations.

I was lucky enough to be able to attend their first game. They by no means were good, but that didn’t matter to me (maybe not so much J). But they were trying. It was apparent that this was the first time some of them have ever played soccer before. However, I will say that it was obvious that they all were trying. Trying really hard. I hope those young women don’t get discouraged by that one game. I hope they stick with it and keep playing through the entire season.

This truly made me reflect and focus on taking a moment to be grateful. My circumstance allowed me to play soccer at a young age and continue to this day. I never had to think about if I’d have gear to play the sport, let alone wonder if I’d have the appropriate attire for practice/training. It made me realize I don’t thank my parents enough for all they did when we were younger and even now. It’s sad how long it takes us to realize the sacrifices they make for us during our childhood.

If you’re looking for something extra to do this time of year, I suggest you do something outside of the box. Look for people who might need something simple to you, but not so simple to them. I feel like I have to say this: it isn’t to brag that I never had to think about these things, but rather to remind those who are/were like me to be cognizant that there are plenty out there who are limited to what they can do or try. If we can help those persons, just a little, then maybe we should try and do so. I know I am making it a priority to do so and I hope just one person who reads this will too.

As we approach the day where we focus on giving thanks and surrounding ourselves with loved ones, I know my gratefulness is felt much more this year. Beyond this post, but currently for many reasons.

via Pinterest

Whether you go big with family and friends or keep it small and quite tomorrow, I wish you a day full of giving, gratefulness, and a full belly of food and laughs!

There’s always something to be thankful for!

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