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Thanksgiving: “What if today we were just grateful for everything”
By Kelly Bledsoe
kellybledsoe@triad.rr.com

Thanksgiving is much more than a big meal with family and friends.  It’s a time to be grateful for all of the good things you have.  We must be thankful, not just on Thanksgiving, but each and every day. Even when things go wrong, rather than lamenting what you feel is lacking in your life, just channel an attitude of gratitude. Take stock of your blessings and perhaps you will be amazed at just how much you have to be thankful for.

Shelter, food, family, friends, community…if you have these then you are wealthy. My dad used to tell me, “If at the end of the day you can count on one hand your true friends, then you are one of the lucky ones.”

Thanksgiving was my parent’s favorite holiday. They would spend weeks preparing for the feast and festivities. The weekend was filled with love, laughter and everyone’s favorites. This year I will spend my first Thanksgiving without both of my parents. My sisters and I have decided to have Thanksgiving at their home. We hope this is a wise decision. But in respects to this article it is fitting and imperative to pay tribute to the two people who influenced, nurtured and guided us on our journeys and to be grateful for the amazing life lessons they taught us.

As I spend this last Thanksgiving in my parent’s home I am prepared to focus on all positive aspects in my life. I will take nothing for granted. “I will be grateful, if just for this day, for everything!”

We all have seasons in our life, blessed and challenging. But despite our own personal trials every morning, why not wake up happy and hopeful, recharged with an appreciation for life.  “What if today we were just grateful for everything.”

Dreams of the future shouldn’t diminish appreciation for the present. Don’t be jealous of others; what they do or have has no bearing on you. My mom was fond of reminding me and my sisters, “Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.” When we were growing up, we didn’t have much, other than family; which became our family motto: “Family is everything,” and I was rich with family!

To this day, before carving the turkey my family’s tradition remains. After saying grace each member of my family reveals whom and what they are grateful for in their life. It goes without saying, “Family” always comes first.
 
Saying it out loud reinforces the gratitude within us. My older sister is a list girl, the queen of sticky notes.  If it helps, make a written list of all things you are grateful for. Read your list every day, building and reinforcing your attitude of gratitude.  Don’t waste any time with what you feel you don’t have, simply count your blessings!

Choose an attitude of gratitude. Let your attitude become an abundance of appreciation. “I will be grateful, if just for this day, for everything!” I hope that as this holiday season approaches each of you will begin your practice of gratitude. Today is the time to be thankful, remember good times, and embrace those who enrich our lives.

Make everyday a day of Thanksgiving. And always keep in mind, in the simple wisdom of Charlies Brown, “What if today, we were just grateful for everything.”

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

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