I'm thankful all year long. However, this topic always comes up this time of year. Afterall, Thanksgiving is on Thursday.
This topic also comes up in my professional life. I work with people with addictions. Every month, we have a Life Skills Workshop for our clients. One hour of the workshop is a seminar - on life skills, parenting, or drug & alcohol topics. The November workshop is always entitled, Gratitude. Being thankful, having gratitude is a huge part of recovery.
I believe it's also huge for people who are not addicts.
Gratitude keeps us centered and wards off jealousy and negativity. Grateful people not only count and take joy in their blessings, they also influence others with words and deeds by deliberately displaying their pleasure and appreciation to those who should receive it.
Here are 10 things I'm thankful for:
1. My daughter. She is smart, and kind, and she has a wicked sense of humor. I am thankful for her every day. I have become a better person because of her. This is a teenager who saw a girl standing on the road leading out of Wal Mart, asking for money. Kyra was with my Mom, and she wanted to give the girl money - all of the money that she had at home, that she had been saving for something else. My Mom told Kyra to wait until I got home from work. When Kyra & I went back to Wal Mart, the girl was gone. Kyra cried and was so upset the rest of the night. She's a very special person.
2. My family. And by family, I mean my parents and my daughter. My family is always there for me. I appreciate that. My parents help me out with raising Kyra. I know that, if Kyra's school closes early (usually due to weather), my Dad will pick her up (he works nights), so that I don't have to take off work.
3. I'm thankful for my job.
4. I'm thankful for music - and that I'm able to hear. I love music. Music is a part of my life. Songs express how I'm feeling. Some songs remind me of places I've lived, or of people I've known. Some songs remind me of people who are still in my life. I love music - but don't play any instruments and I don't read music. I went to public school in Southern California in the 80's, when arts were being cut out of the schools. I often wonder if things would have been different if I had been exposed to music (education) in elementary school.
5. I'm thankful for my daughter's education. In her school, she is taught art and music. She is also taught about caring for others.
6. I'm thankful for books. I really cannot understand how people can go through life without reading. I read everything! Cereal boxes, stuff on the internet, books, magazines, signs, I've even been known to read the important information in the front of a phone book. But, books! Books take you places you (may never) go! There are times that I'm reading a book, and am surprised when I stop reading and realize that I'm not actually in the place I was reading about (or that the weather's different). I could totally do without TV, as long as I have books to read.
7. I'm thankful for knitting. What do non-knitters do while they wait?!? And how do they stay focused in meetings??? Also, I kind of look forward to winter. One, because I can wear my hand-knit items. Two, because there's always the possibility of a blizzard - that means that I'll be able to stay home & knit (& read)!!!
8. I'm thankful that I was born in this country. While I feel that we have many problems here, I feel that I am very lucky to have been born here. I am a US citizen, not because I did anything special, but because I was born here. And I benefit every single day from living here.
9. I'm thankful that I lived all over the US as a kid. My Dad is retired Navy. I'm thankful for the people I met, and also because my horizons were expanded by having lived different places. I feel that I'm more open to different kinds of people than I would have been if I had lived in Lancaster County all of my life.
10. I'm thankful for my friends. I'm an introvert, so I don't have a lot of friends, but the ones I have are there for me. I know that I can count on them, and that's important to me.
Being thankful, having gratitude is something I think about all year long. I especially think about it this time of year.