With Thanksgiving being tomorrow, I guess you could say I’m counting my blessings. And while I wish I could say that I automatically do that quite often, it seems like this year I’ve had to make myself be thankful. You see, Thanksgiving is kind of a hard holiday for me. It was my dad’s favorite holiday; the time of the year when he got the entire family together for a big celebration that culminated in us all saying what we were most thankful for that year. I always came up with trivial things to say…I was thankful for my home, my job, the awesome new handbag that I had picked up as an early Christmas present. But I never really said the things I was really thankful for. I guess I just always assumed he knew.
Now that I’m preparing for my fifth Thanksgiving without him, I’m determined to change that. I’m determined in his memory to say the things and more importantly the people I’m thankful for. And I’m determined to not make the mistake I did with him with my remaining parent. Because through these last years, my mom has become something to me that I never could have imaged. She has become my rock, my mentor, the person I look up to more than anyone and most importantly of all, my best friend. And though realizing these things, I’ve realized that these moments with her as part of my life are more precious that I ever could have dreamed and they are worth being thankful for.
I’m thankful that she’s been there to show me what a mom should be. To encourage me when I’m feeling overwhelmed and when quite honestly, the kids are driving me nuts.
I’m thankful that she’s been able to share her own experiences and walk me though the challenges of being a mom of a preschooler.
I’m thankful that she acts as a sounding board when I think my teenager is going to drive me crazy with his sullen ways and instead encourages me to show patience and grace because I too was once a surly teenage who drove her crazy.
I’m thankful that she has helped me walk through dating, marriage and becoming a wife. That she’s been there through the hard times when tears fell freely and though the good times to celebrate the special moments.
I’m thankful that I simply have her in my life. I’m thankful that she now resides with us part time and can be involved in all the little moments. I’m thankful that she’s only a call or more often a few feet away and that her love and support never falter. I’m thankful that in those times when I am so lost, so frustrated and so confused, she’s always right there to point me home.
But above all, I’m thankful that I’ve gotten to share this journey through life with her. I’ve watched her soar, seen her grieve and through all the moments, she’s taught me more than I could ever have imagined. She’s shaped me. Changed me. And helped me become who I am one moment at a time. And for that, I am truly grateful.
This holiday season, it’s time to remember the people and the moments that are worth being thankful for. In a world where hateful newsfeeds and ugly stories fill our lives, we’re becoming disconnected and forgetting that life is a journey of thankfulness. We’re living together but being alone. And now is the time to change that. Research proves that simply writing down what you are grateful for triggers positive health benefits of gratitude. I know that writing down all the things I’m thankful for about my mom did that for me and took a holiday I have dreaded and turned it into one I’m extra thankful for this year.
Now, I’m challenge you to be thankful as well and I’m not alone in issuing this challenge. In fact, American Greetings is partnering with the United Way Worldwide as part of the ThankList campaign to turn this season into on of gratitude. It starts with me. And with you. Because it’s up to us to change the conversation and say two simple words: thank you!
Here’s all you have to do. Create your own ThankList; a list of people you want to express gratitude toward for helping to shape your life. Just tweet or share a post on Instagram or Facebook with the names (or even the picture) of the people you’re thankful for and include the hashtag #ThankList. For each #ThankList shared, not only will you be filling friends and families news feed with reasons to be thankful but American Greetings will also donate $1 to United Way Worldwide! These funds will be used towards hunger preventing, giving others a reason to be thankful.
So don’t wait! Today, tomorrow and for days to come let’s replace the negativity with gratitude. Let’s share little moments and memories we’re thankful for and change the conversation. It’s time to stop dwelling on the bad. On the sad. On the negative. And instead fill the world with gratitude for the people who have shaped our lives in big and small ways. It’s time to say Thank YOU!
Tell me, who are you grateful for this holiday season?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.