Giving Thanks

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Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the United States, which means that this week, many people have been ruminating on the things they are thankful for. I have my own list:

My family – every one of them, because we are always there for each other even when we may be fighting. They give me stability.

My friends – Over the past three years, I have learned who I can count on and for what. They make a difference in my life.

My job & coworkers – I really love my job, and I work with some of the best people I know. These are people that care about each other, the planet, and other people, too. They want to make a difference.

My life – It was not so long ago that my world came crashing down around me, and I wasn’t sure where that was going to lead. When things began to settle, I had some grand plans that didn’t work out, and I was forced to slow down and re-examine everything I knew about myself and what I wanted from life.

Like many others, my family gathered together for our Thanksgiving feast. I made the decision before I left my house to be more present. I left my phone in my purse in a back bedroom, and magic happened.

My sister wrote the blessing but couldn’t read it without crying, so my Dad did it for her. The rest of us were crying, too, since her list was similar to what is above. There is something about speaking aloud how important we are to each other and how we stand by each other no matter what. You could see how our children are in different stages of understanding the importance of that fact. The importance of family. The importance of knowing that you can turn to each one of the people around the table, and they will listen and even help if you ask. Ok, they will help if you don’t ask. This was followed by much laughter and stories and love as we ate.

I had conversations with my nephews and niece that filled my heart with so much love that I believe it will carry me to the end of the year. I had people tell me the difference that I made in their lives, some from when they were very young. For one person, it was knowing they had me on their side, and that made them feel they would be ok. Another person sees my decision to no longer color my hair as being secure in who I am and not giving a damn what other people think. A trait they want to emulate.

I make an effort to let the remarkable people who are in my life know the things I appreciate about them. This year it was my turn to hear that from some of them. And hear them I did.

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