Thanksgiving Gratitude

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What are you thankful for?

What are you grateful for?

Many times when we read about gratitude and making lists or even keeping a gratitude journal we can feel alienated. Especially when we are going through something that makes us feel depressed, challenged, exhausted emotionally and mentally. Those times it can seem next to impossible to find the gratitude.

At those times I say, “It’s about lip balm.”

There have been loads of studies that come to the conclusion that our lives become infinitely better when we just write down three things we are grateful for at the beginning of the day.

But what if you feel there is nothing to be grateful for?

I had my first chemo 10 days before Thanksgiving 2009. It was the last holiday with my old hair. But I digress.

Back to lip balm. There is a wonderful video going around I suggest you take a look.

Here is the thing. The day dawned. You got up. You have family. You have friends. You are breathing. You are reading this. And if you don’t you have lip balm.

Sometimes gratitude is about lip balm.

It is about taking a breath without effort. Or having medicine so you can breathe without effort. It is about the little things that make life good, like running water, a bed, a roof. It’s not always that though. It could be a cup of coffee. Or a full tank of gas. Or a pretty sky. The birdsong you hear when you wake.

And November 2009? I was grateful for my family, my doctors, the one who didn’t give up til we had an answer, medicine and surgery which meant I had at least a few more months with my family. Our daughters, my mother and brother and friends who supported us. Life threatening illness makes you grateful for big things but also I was grateful for lip balm, moisturizer, water, and vowed never to take them for granted. My kids laughing even my kids fighting, because I got to be there for it and I do still. Gratitude —so simple and yet so life changing.

My dog. Did you know my dog took a nap with me every day during treatment. Especially the first nap after chemo. I was terrified I wouldn’t wake up and my dog laid on the bed and let me hold his paw while I slept. I was grateful to have a breathing loving friend to stay with me while my husband ran around with the girls, soccer practice, making dinner, doing homework.

What are you grateful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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