Giving Thanks – 2014

With all the turmoil in the world today–the unfortunate events down in Ferguson, world poverty and homelessness, and senseless wars being fought by brave men and women who feel it’s their duty to protect the rest of America–it’s easy to forget how to be thankful for all the good things in life.  It can also feel hypocritical to some to celebrate a day that children are taught was a friendly meeting of Pilgrims and American Indians, especially when you learn later in life exactly what transpired shortly after that first feast.

But in the face of all those things listed above (and countless others), I think this holiday is the perfect time to sit down and reflect on everything that’s going well for you, yours and the world.  So here are just a few thing I’m thankful for this year . . .


I’m thankful both for the family I was born into and the family I’ve now chosen for myself.  As a kid, I used to love going to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house for Thanksgiving.  We’d get a great meal, I’d see my cousins and we’d go outside to play (or make ice cream, if the weather was warm enough).  When I got older and grew in a different direction than my cousins, I hated feeling like I had to go visit with family members that I didn’t really get along with just because it was a tradition, but we did, and I still usually enjoyed myself.  But now it’s so wonderful to have my own family and holiday traditions.  We actually like each other and have a lot of fun when we’re together.


I’m grateful for traditions, both old and new.  Craig and I have certain movies that we watch every year at this time (we also do this for Christmas and Halloween).  We go out every year on Black Friday with the sole intent on buying our Christmas tree.  Then we come right back home so we don’t have to deal with everyone else on the road.  And from the day after Thanksgiving up through the weekend after New Year’s, we get to look at that gorgeous tree lit up and adorned with ornaments that hold special places in our hearts.  Athena has also started a tradition with us that–whenever she’s with us on Thanksgiving–our holiday meal is a fondue.  We only do the meat and veggie fondue, and we use vegetable broth, so it’s healthy and tasty.  And since I’ve never been a fan of turkey, I have absolutely no problem granting that request of hers.


I’m grateful that I have a good relationship with my mom.  I know of many people who can’t stand their parents, and I’m glad that I’m not one of them.  We’re not as close as we were when I was younger (having a family of your own can do that), but I still think she’s a great person and I still consider her a good friend.

I’m also thankful for my therapist who has helped me clearly see areas in my life that need work and improvement.  She’s a great confidant that has helped me grow a lot over the last year plus.

I’m grateful for the many wonderful people that I call my circle of friends, my heart family.  They’ve helped me get through some rough spots, and shared LOTS of laughter with me and I couldn’t love them more if we were related by blood.  Top of that list is my best friend, Nikki.  For two people who are incredibly different in many ways, we have such a great time and we really travel well together.  I hope she will always be my best friend.

I’m thankful for my stepdaughter, Athena.  After I reached a certain age, I felt that I didn’t want kids, but I’m so thankful that I have her.  She’s a bright, mature young woman who’s funny and fun to be around, and I’m truly enjoying watching her grow into her own person (even with whatever challenges come our way).

And last, but not least, I’m incredibly grateful for the love of my husband, Craig.  His unconditional acceptance of me and his unwavering support have helped heal many of my past hurts (as true love is supposed to do).  He’s encouraged me to go after my dreams, even when I didn’t always believe I could achieve them.  I truly feel home when we’re together, and I look forward to spending many more Thanksgivings with him.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

I hope you found some time yesterday to remember at least one thing that you’re grateful for and hopefully that memory will prompt you to recall others.  Because once you start seeing the great things in your life, you’ll be amazed at how many others show up.



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