When I set out to write this, I thought it would be really hard to narrow my tremendous gratitude down to three things. It was a good challenge and made me dig a little deeper. I have spent the last couple of days getting my house ready for the holidays, working quietly with classic Christmas movies playing in the background. When you spend the day alone with your thoughts, digging through old family ornaments with the memories swirling, it is a perfect time to reflect.
- The first thing I am thankful for is what I call my perfect past. Oh, I am not saying I was perfect or that I had a great time over the years. Quite the opposite, in fact. I call it perfect because of everything I learned about myself through the journey. Sometimes it was fun and easy but often it was hard, sad and a struggle. Probably the most powerful gift I gave myself was to get over the feeling of being a victim. I feel as if I have finally grown up.
I cherish the memories of places I have been and the people I have spent time with and look forward to an exciting future watching my grandbabies grow.
- My health is a gift that I am very grateful for. My mother died when she was 43 and my dad died when he was 41. It is strange to think that I am the lucky one now, remembering them in their prime, when so many of my friends are dealing with the trials of aging parents. I lost two very dear friends this year and miss them terribly. I am thankful that my health is well and hope to live many more years. Now that I have finally begun to publish my books, I feel like I am just getting started!
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3. My alone time is precious and I am grateful that I so enjoy walking in a forest or by the ocean, quietly watching the sunset or just sitting with a cup of tea.
Often, all day long, my house is quiet and I am alone with my thoughts. When I am not working, I reflect on my loved ones, living and gone and miss them and appreciate them all.
This is a season when we welcome family time. After all the preparations, racing around finding just the right gifts, wrapping them all—and the bedlam of unwrapping them, decorating the house, shopping for the food, fighting traffic, making the big dinner, finally we all get to sit down together.
In my family, we have a tradition at the table called “High, Low, Grateful”. We all take our turn telling about the high and low points of the day, and what we are grateful for at that moment. It is wonderful how the world stops and we focus on each other. It is also awesome what comes out of the mouths of babes.
This holiday season, please take a moment to pause and list your “High, Low, Grateful”, either to yourself or to the loved ones around your Christmas dinner table. There are no rules except you have to be honest. It’s ok to acknowledge the good with the bad. That’s what life is.
So, to paraphrase three things I am grateful for:
- My perfect past that has taught me the tough lessons that have made me the strong and happy woman I am today.
- My health that allows me to race into my future, embracing all that I want to achieve.
- My gentle solitude that allows me to appreciate my family and friends through missing them.
My very best wishes to you for a wonderful holiday.