As Thanksgiving Day approaches, I am reminded of the words of Melody Beattie who said, “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” With a profoundly grateful heart, I share the following 10 things for which I am thankful.
- A job. I know far too many good and talented people who are unemployed. In graditude for my job, I look for ways to network with job seekers. I hope to encourage them and also to share what I’ve learned from my own career transitions.
- Holidays. Though I’m thankful for my job, I’m also grateful for time away from the office. Everyone needs a little downtime. I create pauses in my daily schedule to ground myself. I look forward to a weekly sabbatical away from work. And I enjoy the change of pace that a holiday like Thanksgiving can bring.
- My Family. Next month Carol and I will celebrate 35 years of marriage. This year we’ve welcomed two new members into our family—our son-in-law Nathan (Jennifer’s husband) and our daughter-in-law Annette (Bryan’s wife). We’re also thankful for our son Greg and his daughter Kayla, and for his new job as an elementary school teacher.
- My Friends. Friends are special, and thankful for each and every person in my life. I value the diversity of age, race, politics, religion, socioeconomic status, education and even personality. Together we share the adventure of life’s great journey, though we may be at different places along the path.
- Health. Good health is often unappreciated until it’s gone, but as a cancer survivor I want to live each day with an awareness of my health and well-being. (Living more healthfully will also be one of my upcoming New Year’s resolutions.)
- Health Insurance. No matter where one falls in the national debate on health coverage, having access to quality medical care is important. I’m thankful for mine.
- Personal Freedom. I’m fortunate to live in a country where the majority rules while the minority is protected, where we all serve the collective good while holding onto our individual freedoms and where, in turbulent times, we can celebrate our rich history while anticipating better days to come.
- Transportation. My car is nothing luxurious. I bought it used and it’s even more used three years later. This year I’ve “invested” hundreds of dollars of repairs into it. I’m grateful, though, that it continues to get me to the important places I need to be, and I’m also thankful for the hundreds of accident-free miles I’ve driven it it.
- Shelter. This year, too many people have been foreclosed upon and too many of my “neighbors” are homeless. I’m thankful that I have a place—be it ever so humble—that I can call home. I live in a house filled with love, with the frequent laughter of family and with precious memories of times spent there with people I care about.
- Today. I was reminded that each day is a special gift when I once asked a co-worker how he was doing. He replied, “Today is the best day of my life.” The next day I asked the same question and got the same response. On the third day when I asked for clarification, he said, “I decide every morning to live in the present and to make today the best day of my life.” With deep gratitude to God for giving me yet another day of life, I can honestly say that today is the best day of my life. At least so far.
Life is good. God is good.