Not sure if I think there's a difference between Giving Thanks and Thanksgiving, but some people seem to think so. At any rate, today I am thinking about the things I treasure, enjoy or just plain like a lot in my life and Giving Thanks for them.
Giving Thanks is something we don't do often enough. I think most of us are thankful for the blessings in our lives, but we don't often think about it. It's just another thing that gets lost in the flotsam and jetsam of daily life. The Thanksgiving holiday is beneficial for just that reason: making us consider life's blessings and giving thanks for them. So here goes.
Number one has to be my family. I was lucky enough to be raised in a solid middle class family who loved me, loved God, and provided the things I needed in life. The older I get, the more I realize that this is truly a blessing and I am so lucky to have grown up in this manner. So many people do not have this opportunity and it makes all the other blessings in my life possible. My concept of family has grown over the years, and encompasses five generations of my birth family and the family of my husband. In my case, that's about 200-300 people, maybe more depending on how you count, some passed away now, but all of them "my family".
I give thanks for books and reading. This is, and always has been, one of my favorite things to do. I collect books at book stores, garage sales, rummage sales, thrift shops and used book stores. I never feel more wealthy than when I have a large stack of unread books sitting on my shelf. All the thoughts and plots and characters are just sitting there waiting to give me joy and hours of pleasure. The topics lean heavily to murder mysteries, but I throw in all kinds of other genres to keep myself entertained. Sometimes, buying an unknown book by an unknown author turns out to be a revelatory delight, providing insights and contemplation into my own psyche as I follow the characters on their own inner journeys.
I give thanks for my home. It's nothing fancy, but I love it. I've lived here for 35 years now and have watched small trees grow into large trees, watched bushes, perennials, and bulbs flourish and die out, be replaced and flourish again. We raised our kids here, made life-long friends and we've had the same neighbors for all that time. I give thanks for them too.
I give thanks for eggs, beef stroganoff and cheese, just a few of my most favorite foods that give small pleasures to daily living. I give thanks for having done work that I enjoyed, for giving others employment through my company, and for meeting hundreds of people, if not thousands, in my life that showed me the delicious variety and complexities of the human beings in the world.
I think you get the idea. There are thousands of blessings in all of our lives and it's too bad that we usually forget about them until it's the special day of Thanksgiving that comes only once a year. I think I will join Thanksgiving with New Year's and make a resolution to find one thing a day for which to Give Thanks. I think that making this an imperative in my life can only enrich and expand the gratitude I know is there but is not spoken of enough. Actively Giving Thanks seems like a good way to live a life of Thanksgiving every day of the year.
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