What Are You Thankful For This Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is almost here! The time of year when we gather with our most beloved family and friends to celebrate all of the wonderful things we have to be thankful for. So in the spirit of the holiday, let’s reflect on the things–big and small–that help make our lives complete!

Family

Most people can look back on their lives and recall the special moments they shared with their family. Whether it was a weekly game night, or parents rooting us on at a sporting event, or even memories of holidays like Thanksgiving. These memories build over time, and in many ways, help make us who we are. The bonds we share with our parents, grandparents, brothers or sisters, aunts and uncles, and others are some of the strongest we’ll ever have the privilege of knowing. They are the foundations on which many of us build our lives and support us through tough times and good. There’s a reason Thanksgiving is a day associated with being with our families––it’s because in many cases, it’s one of the most basic things we are grateful for. However, some people don’t have families, or at least not ones that are active in their lives. Close friends often form a family to be grateful for.

Yes, our friends are in many ways a second family. They’re great because, unlike our blood relatives, they choose to be part of our lives! This is one of the most special elements of having friends. If we’re in a bind, if our kids need help, if we need to borrow something, they come through, not out of familial requirement, but out of their desire to help a friend. Friends are people we can talk to when no one else will listen. They help us become more of ourselves, accepting us for exactly who we are, and even helping us avoid becoming someone we don’t want to be. Our friends are a beautiful part of our lives that we should cherish and be especially grateful for this time of year.

Our Home

They say home is where the heart is, and I agree. Our home is our respite. It is where we can be our truest selves. It’s where we watch our children grow, experience our most intimate moments, and rest our heads at the end of a long day. We must always be grateful for our homes. It doesn’t matter if it’s big, small or something in between. There are so many people in this world who do not have a roof over their heads and it would be a sad day indeed if those of us with the privilege of having a warm place to call our home didn’t show gratitude to this.

The World

As I’ve written before, it’s easy to get bogged down with the idea that the world is a sad place. Yes, when we look on social media or turn on the news, we’re inundated with this idea. But the truth is, we are privileged to live in such a beautiful and wondrous place. From the love shared among two people, to thousands of people enjoying their favorite artist at a concert, to the beautiful metamorphosis taken by caterpillars that turn them into magnificent butterflies…when we really think about it, even the worst of it pales in comparison to the joy new parents feel in their heart, or the love of two young adults blooming. We should all be grateful for this life in this place.

This Thanksgiving, I challenge you to really think about everything you’re grateful for. Yes, even the tiniest things, like your neighbor letting you borrow that cup of sugar, or the gentlemen letting you pass on the highway, or even the cooing sounds of your new grandchild. Relish in this beautiful life and be thankful for every single moment you get to enjoy it.

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Darlene Quinn, Darlene Quinn

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