30 Days of Thanksgiving - Gratitude Challenge - November 2019

Gratitude makes you happier. Healthier too. Even if it doesn't come naturally yet, identifying and acknowledging things you’re thankful for has a measurable positive effect on your well-being. Putting your thankfulness in writing magnifies those effects. So I'm taking the 30 Days of Thanksgiving Challenge, and I'm taking it up a notch. You can read each day's Thanksgiving post here as the month goes by.

The most recent post will appear at the top. If you prefer, you can  Day 1 and read my pledge for the challenge  and start at Day 1.

November 30

I've reached the end of my 30 days of Thanksgiving, but there's no way I'm through being thankful. Today, I'm thankful for all the opportunities I've had in my life to learn and grow. I've learned so much this month about myself, and about twhat I want to do with my time, and about the message I want to share with the world (or at least a part of it.) This little "blog" will be so much better because of it. Once again, thank you for reading, and I hope you'll continue to #FindYour Happy here at

November 29

I always miss my parents during the holidays, but I'm thankful for the gifts they passed on to me by nature AND nurture. I'm thankful for my drive to explore and for my ability to experience intense joy in small moments. These things go together well.

November 28

Happy Thanksgiving!!

As I get ready to head over to a friend's house for a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner, I'm thankful for family. Or I should say families. Because I got the family I was born into and the one that opened its arms to me over the years. Not because we're related or because I married in, but because we have a kinship that cannot be denied. And because that's what families do.

November 27

I'm thankful that I haven't had to be anywhere near a grocery store in the last few days. And that tomorrow I'll get to eat a lovely meal I didn't have to prepare. Now there's something to be thankful for.

November 26

I'm thankful for a comfy bed to sleep in. As someone who spent a few rough years literally couch surfing, I was sometimes grateful just to have a place to lay my head. But a bed, with lots of pillows, is a thing of beauty!!

November 25

Today I thanked a bunch of people on Twitter.  If you're not on Twitter, you can read the threaded tweet right here.

I'm thankful for @swish41 (Dirk Nowitzki)  because every city, large or small, needs a superstar, and we have one. One with outsize talent and a humble heart, a spirit of giving back and real pride in our city. We are lucky he's part of our history and our future.

I'm thankful for @RonaldKirk16 (Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk) Didn't know who he was when I met him many years ago. Was volunteering at a big hoopla event and felt invisible;  he was kind & spoke to me as if I mattered. A small kindness from someone who has gone on to do big things. I will never forget it.

I'm thankful for @RobertWilonsky There are so many talented journalists in our city, but if we could only have one, I have no doubt he would try to do it all. Important things, sad things, fun things - he "owns" the stories he tells and it shows.

I'm thankful for @DFWStuff ( because they are awesome and because they've helped me connect with some great tweeps like @marbrouss  who has almost certainly been my most supportive follower - big thanks to him too!

I'm thankful for @SouthDallasFood (South Dallas Foodie) because she cracks me up. Pretty much every day.

I'm thankful for @MiguelForDallas (Miguel Solis, former Dallas mayoral candidate, DISD Schools Trustee, and Managing Director of Coalition for a New Dallas)  because he inspires me. He never stops working to make Dallas a better place and to give children here a better future.

There are so many more, but I'm gonna stop here. If you are contributing to conversations about Dallas and Dallas things in a positive way, trust me, I am very thankful for you. Thank you for being you!

November 24

I'm thankful for all the wonderful aromas of the season, and for the way a certain smell can instantly transport you back to your childhood.

November 23

I'm thankful for dogs. I don't have my own furbaby right now, but all the people I love also have dogs I can love on. Win win.

November 22

I  am so very thankful for my coworkers. I work with a great group of people, and our collaborative efforts always surprise us in a good way. That's a pretty rare thing, I think.

November 21

I'm thankful for all the wonderful food choices we have in Dallas and delivery services to bring them to you when you don't feel like getting out.

November 20

I'm thankful that I was born and raised in America. I never talk politics on my Twitter, and I won't now, but I think way too many of us take for granted how much of a gift that is.

November 19

I'm thankful for coworkers who make "work" much more pleasant than it could be.

November 18

Keeping it simple with my gratitude this week. Day 18: I'm thankful for tacos.

November 17

I'm thankful for the occasional "perfect day." Today I spent time with a friend and we enjoyed art and music and food together. The weather was gorgeous, and I've discovered a new interest that I'm definitely going to dive into learning about. I can't think of a single thing that would have made this day better. And I hope I'll be sharing this new subject with you soon, here on

November 16

For the first time in my 30-day challenge, I didn't post my thank you. I was going to post it in the evening, but I got engrossed in a project, and I looked up and it was after midnight. Which brings me to what I'm thankful for, and that's the state of mind called "flow." We enter that state when we're working on something that holds our interest and requires our concentration. If something is too easy or too hard, you won't enter flow. If you have no interest at all in the thing you're doing, you won't enter flow. But if it's something that makes you happy and is within your ability level, you'll look up at some point and find that much more time has passed than you're aware of. It's a wonderful feeling, and anyone can experience it. This is another reason that #FindYourHappy. has so much meaning for me. (But if you have time-sensitive responsibilities or commitments to get to, I'd recommend setting an alarm, lol.)

November 15

When you have a steady job with weekends off, it's easy to take weekends for granted. You won't find me in that camp. I'm thankful for weekends and VERY thankful for the people who work on weekends so I can shop and eat out and do fun things.

November 14

I'm thankful that it's OK to give up sometimes. I don't mean completely give up, but just re-evaluate and focus on other priorities. Or ask for help if you're sure your priorities are right and you're just overwhelmed. I've abandoned my attempt to write 30 posts in a month. When I realized I wasn't making time for friends in order to have time to write about 10 coffee shops or another hidden treasure, I knew I was headed the wrong direction. So I'll have some great holiday posts for you soon, as well as a few anytime sights and stories to enjoy. But I'll also take time to enjoy this season of my life. Making time for the things that matter most is essential if you want to #FindYourHappy.

November 13

Day 13: I’m thankful for people who speak my language. And no, I don't mean English. Never underestimate how awesome it is when someone "gets" you (and vice versa.)

November 12

I’m thankful for reminders that hard times don't have to be debilitating. I hate cold. I mean really hate cold. But the ducks outside my office window were swimming around and dabbling for food in the frigid water.  If they're OK, I'm OK.

November 11

Today, I'm thankful for veterans. I'm  a 3rd generation veteran myself, although my time in the US Army was cut short due to injury. But I'm thankful for my grandfathers who served, and my father who served and instilled this value in me. There are other ways to serve your country or your community and I'm thankful for all who make that choice.

November 10

I’m thankful for lazy Sundays. Today I took a break from just about everything.

November 9

I’m thankful for pretty places. Bright colors, flower beds, twinkly lights. Places that make you smile every time you drive by.

November 8

Today I'm thankful for friends! I loved reading my Facebook birthday wishes yesterday. I've made a couple of new friends this year, and my bestie and I are still going strong. I love showing you happy places in Dallas, but in the end, it's friends who help you #FindYourHappy.

I'm taking another night off from posting stories, but I'll be catching up this weekend. The story I have planned for today will introduce you to a new friend I made this year who just said goodbye to his cubicle to travel full time. You're going to love his photos and stories!

November 7

Today I'm thankful for another trip around the sun! That's right. It's my birthday. And with every passing year, I have more to be thankful for. I'm behind on posting stories, but my next article will be about places to get birthday freebies in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Check back tomorrow evening for updated links to my latest stories!

November 6

I’m thankful for the people and organizations who preserve cultural history. Written history is important, but visual history - old buildings and their stories of a way of life from the past connect us to our past. And if we’re wise, they connect us to the future too. For my article post today, I’ll step out of Big D and tell you about some of my favorite downtowns in the DFW area.

November 5

I’m thankful for beautiful architecture, and in Dallas we’re surrounded by it. Much like art, brilliant architecture has the power to make you feel expansive and small (in a good way) at the same time. I probably give a different answer to “What’s your favorite building in Dallas?” every time I’m asked. In my article post for the day, I’ll be sharing quite a few of my favorites. 

November 4

I'm thankful for the many, many things to do in Dallas and DFW. I just finished my weekly list of Things to Do, and it's astounding how many different events and activities there are for all types of people at all price points. There are almost too many to choose from. Case in point, I haven't decided exactly what today's article will be about, but I'll put a link here once its done.

Update: Today's post is Fun Dallas Tours That Locals Love

November 3

I'm thankful for art today. I'm grateful that we can express ourselves though art or other talents, and I'm grateful for the artists who do. If you spend any time at all in Dallas, you'll see very quickly how much our city values art. I'm grateful for the corporations, individuals, and non profits and their benefactors, who make art accessible to the public in so many places and so many ways.  Every museum and every gallery and every unexpected venue for public art in Dallas is a blessing to count. My article today is about an area in Dallas where you might not expect to find so much art.

November 2

I'm thankful for sunshine, especially when it's cold outside. I'm not really an outdoorsy person, but I'm definitely a sunshine junkie. Dallas averages 234 sunny days per year, nearly a full month more sunshine than the US average (205 days.) Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas is a great place to spend a sunny day.

November 1

I’m thankful for immediate gratification. OK, that doesn’t sound very noble, but in this case, I’m talking about a particular kind of instant gratification - the ability to quickly satisfy our need for information. Mostly via the internet. I’m a very curious person and it’s not unusual for me to “look things up” several times a day. Every day.

When I’m writing (at work or for and I want to find just the right word, I only have to type in “the” and autosuggest pops into the URL bar, ready to go. All I have to do is press enter and I’m off to the races.

I can find out how things work or why things are the way they are in a matter of seconds. Identifying movie actors or tracking down song lyrics is pretty quick too.

It makes me wonder how we lived before the internet! I’m clearly not the only person to give this significant thought. I love this clever illustrator’s lots-of-laughs take on pre-1990s life.

Which brings me to the downside of vast quantities of information being immediately available 24/7.  One minute I need a quick answer and the next I’m so far down a rabbit hole I’m craving garden vegetables.

Despite so many shiny object detours I can’t count them all, I’ve finished my first post for the month. Read about a hidden gem in Dallas that should be on any Dallas visitor’s must-see list. It’s the perfect starting point for my 30-day Thanksgiving project - Thanks-Giving Square in downtown Dallas.

My Personal 30 Days of Thanksgiving Challenge

I’ve seen “30 Days of Thankfulness” challenges on social media, and I’ve participated before. But this year, I’m taking it to a whole new level. I’ll be sharing a quick note about the things I’m grateful for every day of November. You can read them here and on my social media. I invite you to join me in doing this in the way that works best for you.

I also plan to write 30 letters of thanks (probably by email) this month, although I won’t promise to do one every day.  But by the end of November, I promise I will have written at least 30 thank you notes.

Finally, I’ve set a goal to put 30 new articles on in November. Most of them will be about things in Dallas we can all be thankful for. I’ll definitely allow some latitude for this one, but I’m aiming to add and share one every day. Even if I don’t succeed, it’s still important for me to make the attempt, for three reasons.

First, setting goals is the best starting place for accomplishing goals. I’m usually good at setting goals and making plans, but my follow through needs some work. I can’t think of a better time to work on that than during the month of Thanksgiving.

Second, I think it’s important to be thankful for the lessons life gives us and not just the pleasures. If we’re thoughtful, we can learn from our failures as well as our successes. If I succeed, I’ll be proud, and if I fail, I’ll still be proud that I tried. I’ll learn what works and what doesn’t for me. I’ll reap the benefits that come from writing (or doing any particular thing) daily. I’ll learn more about being a better writer and a better person.

Lastly, and most importantly, I want to show how thankful I am that I have space in my life and all the tools I need to do things that bring me joy. Showing gratitude with our actions is important too.

If you’re reading this, I’m thankful for you, too. If you are the only person who sets eyes on these words, you - “just you” - have brought "just me" happiness, just by being you! I thank you.

All the best to you in this Thanksgiving season!!

-Kristina Rowe

Back to the top to read the 30 days of posts.