Yep, that’s my family photo from sometime long ago. I’m the one on the right with the peek-a-boo belly.
It’s Thanksgiving week here in the U.S. and I’m feeling pretty nostalgic. It’s a time to celebrate all that we are thankful for and enjoy a big turkey dinner while gathering with family and friends.
Thanksgiving is one of those Holidays that had to grow on me. As a kid, it just seemed like a day to eat a lot of ham. Yes ham… and sometimes lasagna. Our family didn’t have the traditional turkey dinner because…. well… my father had to work on a turkey farm during his childhood and his job included chopping off turkey heads. Have I just inspired anyone to become vegetarian?
Of course while growing up I didn’t know that my father had this experience, my parents spared me the details, and when I asked why we didn’t have a turkey like everyone else, they just said “We like to be different.”
Eventually I learned a little bit more about my father’s life growing up in the 1940’s and 50’s and not having a traditional home environment. It took me far too long to really appreciate him and the life he created for himself despite his difficult circumstances.
During my childhood, prayers were just memorized words to me and holidays like Thanksgiving seemed boring. Somewhere in my mid twenties, I began to appreciate life on a deeper level. I learned how to be truly grateful and alas, comprehend the essence of Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Day holds a special place in my heart and I like to have it resonate with me for the entire week. It’s a week of reflection, reminiscing about Thanksgivings days of the past and having a deeper appreciation for my family and my father who past away six years ago. Sometimes I chuckle a bit when I think of how much of a hard time I gave my parents about our Thanksgiving ham and their preference for “elevator” music playing in the living room. All I wanted to do was watch the parade on television… ahhh, childhood.
It took me a while really comprehend deeper levels of gratitude and appreciation, but I’ve come to understand that’s just part of life’s process. As a little girl, I loved Elly, my red stuffed animal elephant. I was grateful and appreciated Elly’s companionship, and that was about as deep as I could go at the time.
These days I find great joy and serenity as I melt into feelings of gratitude. It’s rewards are tremendous. Just stating the things that I’m grateful for lifts my spirits and creates a feeling of love and abundance, and I feel exponentially more blessed because of it.
Some of my every day gratitudes:
- My Family
- My love, G
- My wonderful Friends who let me be me
- My health
- My passion for Ballet and having an amazing teacher and a wonderful place to dance
- Dancing in my very first Nutcracker performance just a few weeks away
- Discovering the books of Louise L. Hay and learning about the “totality of possibilities”
- Being able to connect with God and the divine
- The endless ocean
- The winter season and cool crisp mornings
- Dark Chocolate
- Life’s Affordable Luxuries
- My warm red fuzzy slippers
- My old friend Elly
- A glass of red wine in the evening
- Scented Bubble Baths
- Joy and Laughter
- Cozy warm feelings on cold winter nights.
- Cool breezes on hot summer days
- Organizations that help people in need
- The incredible amount of love and generosity in this world
Please join me, and share your gratitudes. I’d love to hear them!