Giving thanks where thanks is due



Every Thanksgiving I try to put into words, some of the things I’m thankful for, using this space. Sometimes with life’s ups and downs it’s hard to always see the big picture — but I find if you think about it hard enough there is plenty to be thankful for.

It doesn’t seem right we only take one day a year to be thankful for what we have, we should always keep in mind those things we are grateful for — no matter how small or insignificant we think they are.

Here’s a good start — if you have food to eat, a roof over your head, transportation, people who care about you, or people you care about, then you’re already doing well. Some people sadly lack these very basic things in their lives — things most of us would take for granted.

We should each focus on the positive aspects of our lives and take nothing for granted. Be happy every day for the things you have, not unhappy over the things you don’t have.

I’m thankful for the wonderful people in my life, like Anita, her family, my kids, Lucy and Sam, and my brother and sister and their families. I’m thankful I have a job and a vehicle to get around with. I’m thankful for my home and my health.

There was a time when I didn’t have some of these things and I remember feeling sorry for myself. Gradually, with faith and perseverance and the help of loved ones who still cared, I got my life back and have worked hard to keep a hold on those things that matter most.

If you dwell on things you think will make your life better if you had them — more money, a bigger house, a fancy car, a better job or career — you’re only going to lose sight of what is really important.

Then there’s the little things I give thanks for. The things nobody else probably notices, but they are things that I just find warm, or amusing or sometimes just downright hilarious.

• For the end of another election year. Every year we have a major election I spend months dealing with accusations of bias, complaints about fair and equal coverage and a barrage of “he said, she said” comments directed back and forth by candidates. I survived another one, though I think I pulled out a little bit more hair than usual and shook my head so many times in nearly fell off.

• For the sense of nostalgia I have seeing my daughter in her senior year at the high school I graduated from, planning for her future college education and career. It’s hard to believe she was just a little girl in pigtails heading off to preschool and now she’s driving, taking college courses and getting ready to put on her cap and gown in the spring.

• For Anita reminding me sometimes I need to take a deep breath, relax and to stop letting the unimportant stuff get to me so much. She keeps me grounded, that’s for sure.

• For my son, Sam, and his silly, sometimes sarcastic, sense of humor. He has mastered the art of sarcasm well for only being 11. Makes me think he is a chip off the old block.

I think if we just stopped to think every day about what we’re thankful for, we could make every day a day of Thanksgiving. Though we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the big meal that goes along with it — so we’ll save that for the fourth Thursday in November.

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