Thanks, you might hear that a few times today…

At the risk of posting something on Thanksgiving day and having it get lost in your feed…I like this saying & it’s fitting for Thanksgiving week. Sometimes we get so busy that we forget to stop and be thankful. Instead of worrying about what we lack, we should focus on what we have. Many of us live in abundance – we don’t worry about our next meal or where we will sleep. I didn’t thank God for the ability to walk until I broke my foot. Then that simple thing that we take for granted suddenly becomes a big deal. I wasn’t thankful for my health until I had cancer and my life forever changed.

Everyone has a story. We’ve all had some event or circumstance that shapes who we are and the journey that we travel. Sometimes they are huge, significant things like death/loss, cancer, accidents etc. Other times they are small and we don’t recognize it at the time (or maybe ever). For example, back in 1993, I went to a 4H picnic & walked over with a friend to a group of “the cool guys.” The one guy asked where my ex-boyfriend was. I explained that we weren’t dating. He said, “I’m sorry.” I said, “I’m not.” The rest is history. Small, every day occurrences can shape our lives significantly also. That cool dude became my husband. Life forever changed. You may look back on an ordinary day and realize that it was a turning point.

We all also cope with those significant changes differently. Some people feel sorry for themselves, some pretend it didn’t happen, and some are more vocal. I’ve been more vocal about my cancer journey than some. It doesn’t make my way better – this is just how I cope. Writing stuff out is like making a big list. Have you ever made to-do lists? I have plenty. (I’ve been known to make a list or add to it so that I can cross something off). I do think that sharing with people allows you to bring them in, share in your joy or pain and feel more connected. You might learn something about them or yourself.

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful on purpose. Today you may hear people be thankful for family or friends or a big turkey dinner. There will also be people who are alone, scared, homeless or wondering where their next meal will come from. They might be cold, tired or struggling with addiction. Not everyone enjoys the 4 day weekend filled with food, football, shopping &/or family. I say this, not to make anyone feel bad, but to make you aware that you probably have so much more than you realize. My husbands job at the school opened our eyes to the struggles that some kids face. Some of those kids worry about more than just turkey. They worry about being safe, where to sleep, what to eat. Yes, we have way more to be thankful for than what we realize. When we really think about it, the list could be very long. Sometimes it might not make sense.

I wondered if I should put this quote in, because it seemed kind of negative… but to me, it is a reminder to be thankful for our struggles, challenges and even difficult people. Maybe an odd thing to be thankful for, but hasn’t a difficult person also shaped your life? Did they make you realize how strong you really are? Did they make you strive to be nicer? Less judgemental? More loving? We learn a lesson from everyone who touches our lives. What path we take is up to us. Fill up with turkey and blessings this weekend, but take some time to relfect too. Peace be with you on your journey of enough.

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