However you spend your Thanksgiving this year—with friends, with family or alone—there are so many things to be thankful for. As a reminder, I created a quick list for you (and myself!) to review as you navigate through an often stressful day of the year!
- The 19th Amendment. In 2020, we celebrate the centennial of the 19th amendment giving women the vote. We should remember with gratitude all those women who marched, cajoled, spoke, pushed and carried the banner. It wasn’t easy or popular, but they persevered. So, when the family starts on the usual political discourse, just sit back and think to yourself, “People worked really hard for women to have the right to vote, so I’m going to tune out the rhetoric for a minute and be grateful women have a voice.”
- The people who have their holiday decorations up in mid-November. Yes, I know, they seem to be rushing the season, but I find it very cheering to be driving home in the dark at 5pm and see those festive lights. So, even though I won’t begin decorating as early as they are, I appreciate those who love the season and share the spirit.
- The do-ers. These are the people who organize the potluck, manage the office holiday party, bring the extra pie, run the PTA and on and on and on. Whatever their motivation, they’re out there getting things done—maybe not the way you or I would, but people are benefiting from their actions, and that’s a good thing. So, set aside the grumbling, pause for a minute and be grateful that, whatever the motivation, there are people out there willing to go the extra mile.
- The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I love this parade. I love watching the Rockettes, the balloons, and the bands. It just makes me happy. It’s just not Thanksgiving without the parade on television in the background while the dinner is cooking.
- Medical research. For many, football is as much a part of Thanksgiving as pumpkin pie. But for me, it’s so difficult to watch amateurs and professionals alike crunch into each other, knowing the damage they may be causing. So, until there’s a way to prevent these injuries (other than not playing the game, which seems unlikely), take a moment to say thank-you to those who are willing to be a part of the research. It’s a big decision to donate your brain to help us understand chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Those who decide to contribute deserve a moment of gratitude.
- Fresh air. Whether you step outside to escape the crazy or take a walk to work off that big meal you just had, be grateful for fresh air. We take it for granted that we can, almost every day, breathe deeply and freely. Spend a moment just breathing and being thankful.
- Sunset. However you spent your day—and whether it was just as you wanted it to be or somewhat less than perfect (or a total disaster)—you can always marvel at the sunset, and give thanks for the day. Or, you can give thanks that it’s over and you survived! Or both...
The list is eclectic and it’s meant to be. Each day, we have an opportunity to find something for which we are grateful. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, and it can be something that no one else would choose. But the important thing is to find it, name it and celebrate.
What are you thankful for today?