This Thanksgiving almost slipped right past me. Traveling across the country has left me scatterbrained, until I stepped into a grocery store and saw all of the pumpkin pie fillings and crusts.
Sean and I quickly succumbed to the store’s Thanksgiving displays and grabbed all the classic ingredients we could find. This list grew to include a few pieces of new cookware, disposable plates and silverware, and a fleece throw that we could sit on for a picnic style feast since we still have not received our furniture from the cross-country move.
We invited over a couple of Sean’s friends. Hosting the holiday with no furniture or TV will make for a simplistic gathering, but I still feel beyond spoiled. My house may be empty, but how lucky am I to have a beautiful home to shelter my family and gather with friends.
It’s so important to boast about the things we are grateful for. Appreciation is meant to be shared, not only to express our thanks to others who brighten our lives, but also to boost our own spirits by countering stress with positivity. How often do we reflect on all that is good in our lives? Probably not enough. The danger in this is that we start to overlook the good until we don’t see it anymore.
So here it goes, I’m counting my blessings. I encourage all of you to do this as well. Happy Thanksgiving!
- My dog: I can’t help but start here because as I’m typing this my dog is licking my face and nudging me to cuddle. Dogs are better at gratitude than us; they dedicate their lives to unconditional love. Lucky me, I have the best dog of them all!
- My marriage: It’s easy to take for granted those closest to us, as they become such a normal part of our lives, and yet these are the people we should be most grateful for. A big part of our wedding vows, for this reason, was spontaneity and a pledge to never take each other for granted. I love that we prioritize this, and though it is easier said than done, I am blessed to be building my life with my best friend.
- My country and our service members: I am fortunate to be in a country that, despite its flaws, is founded upon the idea of equal opportunity. Despite being in a time of uncertainty and political clash, let us not forget how lucky we are to be American. Our freedoms and rights weigh on the shoulders of our men and women in uniform, who often spend holidays away in the line of duty. They are true heroes, and I’m so grateful for each and every one of them.
- The little things: Apple cider, homemade food, baked goods, uncontrollable laughter, cell phone chargers, cars, cheesecake, coffee, soft blankets, ice cube machines, anything at Bed Bath and Beyond … these “things” make our lives simpler and sweeter.
- Nature: In a consumerism-driven society, it is easy to overlook the natural beauty that surrounds us. Having just traveled across the country, I have a newfound appreciation for mother nature. Nature provides us with everything we need in all aspects of our lives.
- Creativity: Easily stifled by routine and societal structures, creativity is fuel for our soul. I am grateful for all the creative leaders, inventors, entrepreneurs, and artists in our society who aren’t afraid to go against the grain, try new things, think outside of the box, and use this outlet for goodwill.
- Social Media: We love to hate on social media, pointing out all of its downfalls: It’s too addicting, too distracting, etc. But, I owe a lot to this digital way of life. It is through Facebook that I re-connected with my childhood friend turned husband; so that’s a pretty big gain. Social media, ever so crucial to companies’ marketing departments, also gave me a salary in my communications career; another big gain. Instant access to information and seamless communication is pretty fantastic, actually. “Like!”
- My health: Another year of good health, with the bonus of a beautiful(sometimes ugly) pregnancy. Physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health are the pillars of our lives. Our wellbeing is a journey. I am grateful for all that my mind and body does, allowing me to live fully.
- Nonprofits: The angel workers of our society. Nonprofits take on the biggest of challenges with the tiniest budgets and resources. They rally communities together on the belief that collective power can make a difference. As I reflect on this past year, one of my biggest blessings has been working for the Make-A-Wish mission. I’m forever inspired because of this chapter. Let us not forget, #GivingTuesday follows Cyber Monday, which falls on Dec. 1 this year!
- Friends and Family: It is our friends and family who enrich our lives. We all get busy and time is not on our side, but the people who remain present simply with their love, laughter and unwavering support keep us grounded. I am beyond blessed to be surrounded by so many good people in my life who encourage me, inspire me and uplift me.