I love Thanksgiving. It's without a doubt, my favourite holiday. There's no stress of gifts, no expectations; just a really kick-ass meal and good conversation with people you love.
But it's really the idea of giving thanks that resonates. It's a great time to reflect on the year that passed and take stock of what is good in our lives. (I actually use many holidays as check-in points throughout the year, since they're often ideal reflection-starters.) Here's what I'm thankful for this year:
Family. I spent Thanksgiving with my in-laws, their best friends, my brother-in-law and our kids. The actual biological children of my in-laws (my husband and his sister) were absent from the meal due to conflicting obligations (work and a trip). Yet I felt totally at home and happy to be with MY family at the meal. I hope my in-laws felt the same about us. I am truly grateful that the definition of family is so all-encompassing and that love crosses all kinds of boundaries. (I get to eat with my parents and sister later today -- and that's an entire post of gratitude unto itself.)
Health. This is a topic that many of us take for granted. Oh sure, we all pay it lip service, but do we live it? I came home from Thanksgiving dinner to news of a friend's illness. I hate that it takes moments like this to remind me of the importance of good health and being thankful for it, but thankful I am. She would want me to be.
Friends. I am not good with bad news. I sort of run around like "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" So I need to mobilize troops, get action started, focus on something other than the fact that the sky is falling. When I shared my worry over my ill friend, my friends rallied around instantly offering help to someone they don't know. My heart swells with joy when I think of the friendships I've cultivated over the years. Thanks friends. You're amazing.
Sweetspot. From my colleagues to my readers, everyone helps to make this job sweet. I know if I come in with sad face on Tuesday, some part of working here will brighten my outlook, be it a comment from an office mate or left online by a reader. Thanks.
My husband. He works so hard, yet still manages to be a family man. He makes us feel loved, cherished and safe; when I'm down he immediately says what I need to hear. He's my rock.
My kids. Looking at their sleeping faces last night, I felt a sense of calm. Knowing that when they wake you up the next day, they will make you laugh is a godsend in tough times. Their ability to live in the moment at all times teaches me to put the brakes on over-thinking things. And they inspire much-needed hope that everything will be OK. I'm lucky that I get to be their mom every day.