Today is our official day of giving thanks in the US. At a recent team meeting, I asked the attendees to write down who and what they are thankful for. I’ve just finished reading their notes and am warmed by their graciousness. They thanked their families and teammates. They appreciated not only specifics but also the support and patience from others. I think they are more connected to each other for having written these things.
Do you give thanks every day? I don’t mean the kind of thanks where you thank your god; I mean the kind where you express your gratitude to those in your life. This ranges from those to whom you are closest, like your father or spouse, to those whom you will never meet again, like someone who holds the door open for you.
There is plenty in life to discourage or frustrate us. That woman in line ahead of you who took the last chocolate croissant? Check. That driver who cut in front of you? Check. Your kid, who crashed the car again? Check. Check. I’m sure your list goes on, just as mine does. Sure, life could be better, but there is a difference between hoping for better and being bitter about not having it be better right now, correct? I’m not sure what the difference is except gratitude. Giving thanks not only helps the recipient but it also soothes the sting inside of ourselves from other disappointments. It redirects our attention to what we have, to what works. It reminds us that these things, too, are those that we might have done without.
Here is what I am grateful for this Thanksgiving:
- My husband, who is ever giving.
- Our sons, who make me laugh.
- My parents, who raised me with a solid work ethic.
- My father, who teaches me joy.
- My brother and sister, who are always accepting, no matter how long since my last call.
- My husband’s family, who are the best in-laws anywhere.
- My friends, who don’t put up with my antics and yet still make me feel loved.
- My team, who never fail to make me proud.
- My classmates, who humble me with their friendship.
- My friend Josh, for his service.
- Our dogs, who learn so quickly, especially when there is a reward at hand.
- Our annual trip to the Big Island, which feels more and more like home each time we visit.
- My career, which is both a reflection of my achievements and an opportunity to do more.
- My health, for teaching me that I have limits and reminding me of how much I can still do. And isn’t that the moral? Yes, we have limits, but life is sweeter when we are grateful for all the things that go our way.
Our girls – who are perfect for snuggling with on a breezy Thanksgiving day. Except when they fiercely chase the squirrels in our back yard. 🙂