Thanksgiving Monday

“Bless us, and these your gifts, which we are about to receive,” said my brother-in-law at the head of the long dinner table where 18 of us sat, stopped in time for a moment of silent gratitude.

It was Thanksgiving dinner, an afternoon where once a year we gather to celebrate our blessings.

• Our family and friends
• Our health
• The food we eat and the loving hands that prepared it
• The fresh air we breathe
• The beauty that surrounds us
• Unconditional love
• Laughter

Our blessings are more than just ‘stuff’. They are emotional experiences where we think about happy memories, appreciate the present moment, and have hopeful thoughts about the future. They are not rights; they are privileges and gifts in our lives.

Years ago, someone sent me a story titled “I Am Thankful”, written by an Unknown Author. For me, it illustrated the meaning of being grateful for the ‘small’ things in life. Here’s an excerpt.

I am thankful for the husband who is on the sofa being a couch potato because he is home with me and not out at the bars.
For the teenager who is complaining about doing dishes, because that he or she is at home, not on the streets.
For the mess to clean after a party, because it means that I have been surrounded by friends.
For the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means I have enough to eat.
For a lawn that needs mowing and windows that need cleaning, because it means I have a home.
For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means I am able to walk.
For my huge heating bill, because it means I am warm.
For the pile of laundry and ironing, because it means I have clothes to wear.
For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours, because it means that I am alive.

And finally, for YOU –  for being who you are and touching the world with your presence.

On October 2nd I published a blog Happy October that included a Happiness List – ten things I can choose to do to tap into happiness and joy during the month. One of them was ‘Count your blessings.’ I just did. Now it’s your turn.

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