THANKSGIVING: something we can all agree on

Our family Thanksgiving feast has been successfully prepared, served, and cleaned up. After a game of Ticket to Ride we will dig into our masterpiece pecan, apple, blueberry, and strawberry rhubarb pies. Right now, I have a few quiet minutes to share some thoughts on gratitude.

Religion, psychology, and self-help programs constantly remind us how important gratitude is to our happiness and mental health. In a contentious world, it’s a relief to have a holiday most people can  agree on. A day set aside for expressing what we are grateful for, for celebrating unity, for focusing on what is right and well in our lives.  My sense of well-being is daily sharpened when  I review my blessings. Here is my official 2014 Thanksgiving list.

– I am grateful for quiet time each day to contemplate my life and gain perspective. I am grateful for the inner voice of peace that motivates me to be positive, love others, and create beauty.

-I am grateful to be alive. In 2007 I had a battle with cancer, there was good reason to suppose I wouldn’t survive this inexplicable illness. Amazingly, I won that battle which has granted  me greater courage and resilience in the face of all my subsequent challenges. I am grateful for the lessons of cancer and for the emotional, spiritual, and physical healing which continues all these years later.

– I am grateful my husband is alive. This past year has presented Ralph with a persistent health challenge. His right arm and hand underwent many surgeries to relieve pain from nerve damage. In the process, he ended up with a life threatening infection. Perhaps it was my cancer experience that galvanized me for this battle, helped me know what steps to take, and how to demand the care he needed to save his life. He has always been a strong and sturdy support encouraging me to enlarge my talents and enjoy life. More recently, he gave me the gift of golf and all its adjoining physical and psychological benefits. I need him to remain with me in this earthly sojourn to be my companion,  my caddy, for many years to come.

-I am grateful for family. I had wonderful parents who gave me a solid foundation that has kept me steady every day of my life. A foundation of perspective and learning that instilled in me a love of family, a desire to start my own family, and the inspiration  to pass on the lessons of love and light they gave me. My children have in turn magnified that love and light in their subsequent life endeavors.. They are kind and gentle souls who make the world a better place.

– I am grateful for the freedoms I enjoy in the United States of America. Through my various readings and studies, I have developed an ongoing relationship with the founding mothers and fathers. Their combined courage, intelligence, and keen moral insights brought about a miraculous transformation of civilization unequaled in human history. I can’t overstate the value and wisdom I’ve gained from  studying their lives. More than the freedom to move and do as I wish, their knowledge, ideals and inquisitive dispositions have helped me open my mind and spirit for finding what freedom truly means to me.

-In my home we love to cook. I am grateful for the abundance we enjoy which allows us to create delicious meals, from Thai Curry to Yankee pot roast. I am grateful for the years and years of miraculously managing to feed my family thousands of meals, and sharing with friends our humble casseroles and rich stews

This Thanksgiving, no matter what our differences, let’s give thanks together as one, happily counting our blessings, and reaping the joy of gratitude

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