Thanksgiving and thankfulness

I know there are many Americans who’s only view of Thanksgiving Day is that of a day to feast on Turkey, Pies and all the fixin’s… to sit around the TV watching the game, or to take a nap after dinner… often referred to as, “succumbing to a Turkey-induced comatose state”.

For many, it is a day off of work, and an opportunity to kick-back and relax. But I think we often get over-focused into the things we do, rather than the reasons we should. I think we should consider what we have… no, not material wealth necessarily. Rather, what is more important than ‘things’, money and prestige. In fact, it can be easy to get complacent and take things for granted.

So, with that in mind, here are a few of the ‘things’ that I think we all should be mindful of and thankful for, not just on Thanksgiving Day, but throughout the year…

People: I think we should be thankful for the people in our lives, for those we’ve been blessed to know, for those who have touched our lives, and for those no longer with us who we do, and will forever miss.

Opportunities: Not the ‘business’, or ‘education’ kind… the opportunities we all have to touch someone’s life in a positive way. Even as simple as saying ‘good day’, or looking the server in the face and saying a heartfelt ‘thank you’. It often doesn’t take much to brighten someone’s day… and who knows… you might just turn out to become someone else’s inspiration without even trying!

Challenges: Yes, you read that right… even the challenges of life are something to be thankful for. The saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” comes to mind, and as direct as that may sound, there is a grain of truth to it. The hard times in our lives can actually be a blessing in disguise (if we take advantage of them).

They offer us the opportunity to push ourselves through things we may not have thought possible, and can build our character. The challenges I have faced are important to me (now), because I know there is hope on the other side of each challenge. That doesn’t take the pain out of the moment, but I think it is an interesting point to keep in mind while going through the trial.

Life: Although having life is of course thank-worthy, this isn’t what I am referring to in this case. You see, life isn’t fair, this I know well… but that doesn’t mean that life isn’t good! There is plenty to be grateful for… even during difficult times.

I’ve been through my share of trials, physically, emotionally and financially. It reminds me of something my mom once told me, “No one goes through life unscathed”. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people. To me this is a way of describing what I like to call the “that’s life” factor.

When I am down, I know how hard it is to feel optimistic and positive about life… but dwelling only on my disappointments is no way to get out of that doldrum. So, if you are going through one of life’s challenging times, why not use Thanksgiving as a springboard to trade in some frustration for fulfillment in ‘counting one’s blessings’… and please share a smile with someone today… oh yeah, and thanks for passing the biscuits 😉

Remember, positive changes can happen all around us… but they still start one person at a time!

Thanks for reading and Happy Thanksgiving!

–Buddy Tetreault

Buddy Tetreault

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