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November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Is Easy When You Get What You Want

I got up this morning once again THANKFUL for all that I have and gratitude for all the prayers answered in my life throughout the year. I silently added a check next to the multitude of things and situations that worked out minus angst and worry. Thanksgiving comes easy as I choose to live my life from a glass always half full.

As I smugly gave another round of thanks my memory took me back to a place in my life when the glass was usually half empty. The intangibles of health, love, family and good friends didn't fit the bill of things to be thankful for during the usual cash strapped days of raising my son. I couldn't spell gratitude as I trampled the things I had in search for all the things I desired that changed with the whim of the moment. I actually thought once upon of time that Thanksgiving was about a full blown eating marathon shared with family and love ones. A typical thanksgiving was waddling to the Black Friday sales as the retail industry cash register drawers budged with cash and credit card receipts. Prior thanksgiving holidays were celebrated as gluttony and excess fueled eating, drinking and shopping. I don't remember exactly when the meaning of the word Thanksgiving began to shift from me, me, me, to the well-being and concerns for people who had/have nothing to be thankful for and yet they were/are. I envied them that elusive quality to express joy when the world was going to hell in a hand basket. I wanted and needed Thanksgiving to be more than a holiday once a year. What I have found over this past decade is that giving up the past and future ensures my thankfulness in every present moment.

So I began to be thankful in all things, and that is not easy. Losing my mother, sister, and two life long girl friends to cancer this past decade gut kicked the joy out of me. But Thanksgiving filled up my pain as the memories and love I had shared with them comforted me. My good fortune was having them in my life at all. This Thanksgiving is a bittersweet one. I have so much, and even sharing it doesn't seem to take the sting out of the neediness that blankets the world. It would be easy to give in to the Thanksgiving of old and numb myself out with too much of everything. But this morning I let myself give into all of the wonderful blessings that I can share with my friends, family, and you, the reader. Today I give thanks for a world once asleep waking to realize that, yes, we are our brothers and sisters keepers. I share the joy of helping to elect Barack Obama as president of this country - a man who embodies the principles and ideals that remind us that anything is possible. Let us remember this Thanksgiving that all we have is all that we need. This Thanksgiving let us pray for those who have, and are, losing their jobs and homes. Let us pray for the millions who are watching their life savings be gobbled up by greed and avarice of a few. This Thanksgiving think of those whose children or spouses are fighting in war torn countries so we could watch Thanksgiving parades and football. Think of those trapped in those war-torn countries too. Then after praying, give to someone else the thing you feel lacking in your own life. Sharing brings more of the "thing" back to you- trust me on this.

In conclusion, our list of concerns may vary, but the one thing we all have in common is the choice to be thankful no matter what is going on in our respective lives. This Thanksgiving consider being thankful right where you are with all that you have. You will be amazed at the satisfaction that fills the empty places. Happy Thanksgiving and Peace to you this holiday.

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