It’s Thanksgiving, dear readers, and that has me thinking about gratitude. When I was younger, there were so many things that I took for granted – important things like health, time, and the people that I loved. I’m old enough now to have lost some of the people that I loved, old enough to have had some health scares, and old enough to hear the ticking clock. My children are growing up and moving toward independence, and I am getting too old to keep wasting time.
Complaining is one of my favorite ways to waste time. My friend and I have a game that we play at work when we’re tempted to complain, called “turn it around.” It goes like this: instead of saying “I hate my long commute” I say “I’m thankful that I have time to listen to podcasts and a job that enables me to provide for my family.” Instead of saying “I’m tired and I wish I didn’t have to take my son to soccer practice after work” I say “I’m thankful that I have a wonderful son and that he is healthy enough to play soccer.” This game reminds me that some people would love to have the things that I’m complaining about, so I should keep quiet unless I have something positive to say.
No one’s life is exactly as they want it to be. We have all suffered; we all have things we long for that we don’t have or things we’ve lost that we miss. Today, I choose to look for the good in all of it.
I am grateful for the dreams that haven’t come true because they give me something to keep dreaming about.
I am grateful for the goals I haven’t achieved because they give me something to strive for.
I am grateful for the tears that I’ve cried because they help me appreciate the belly laughs.
I am grateful for loneliness because it helps me appreciate companionship.
I am grateful for my scars because they remind me that I am a survivor.
I am grateful for the friends who have let me down because they showed me who my true friends are.
I am grateful for the illnesses that taught me to appreciate my health.
I am grateful that the loved ones I’ve lost remind me to cherish every moment with the ones who are still here.
I am grateful for broken hearts and broken promises because they will help me recognize love and faithfulness when it arrives.
I am grateful for storms because they help me appreciate clear skies.
I am grateful for scarcity because it helps me appreciate prosperity.
I am grateful for the people who brought laughter and love into my life, even if they didn’t stay as long as I wanted them to.
I am grateful for the wrong people who have left my life and made room for the right people to come.
I am grateful for simple pleasures: a cup of my favorite coffee in the morning, a glass of my favorite wine at night, or a great show waiting on my DVR after a hard day’s work.
I am grateful for another day to make someone smile, and I’m grateful for the people who will make me smile today.
Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers! I hope that you have much to be grateful for, and I hope that you spend your holiday surrounded by those you love, eating delicious food and making memories that you will cherish for years to come.