Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Gratitude

This past year has been a tougher one for me than most years are.  It's been a year of cuts at work, a year of back pain for my spouse, a year with the death of my grandmother.  But there have been blessings too.

I love the holiday of Thanksgiving.  It's a clear cut holiday, although I know we are headed for the time when it becomes part of the Black Friday shopping frenzy--in fact, this year is likely the one when we discover that it's already happened.

But for many of us, Thanksgiving is about a day off, a day to eat a good meal, a day to spend some time with the people we love.  It's not loaded with emotional traps, like Christmas can be.  It's not loaded with such potential for disappointment, like Valentine's Day can be.  It's fairly straightforward.

It's a good day to remember to be grateful.  It's a spiritual discipline that most of us would do well to incorporate into our lives more frequently than just once a year.

So, let me begin today.  I still have a job.  I'm grateful for that, even as I'm sad for all my colleagues who have lost their jobs.  I'm praying for ways to soothe the people left behind and to soothe myself.

I'm grateful that my spouse isn't dealing with a more serious disease, like cancer or MS.  His pain likely has a cure, even if it means we're not college kids anymore.

I'm grateful that I had the years that I did with my grandmother.  I'm grateful for her example of how to live a good life, even if it's not always the good life I'd want for myself.

I'm grateful for my own good health.  I'm grateful that I have food and a house and clothes. 

But mostly, I'm grateful for friends and family.  I'm grateful for the good things they're experiencing.  I'm grateful for all the good times we've had together.  I'm grateful that we continue down life's road together.

I'm hopeful that the coming year will be better than the past one.  I'm grateful for my optimism that may flag, but always undergirds my outlook.

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