I sit here, writing this post, in front of my blazing fire, cozy on my couch, lounging in my LulaRoe. Reflecting on the past year, and life in general. What life has brought me, taught me, and when it has fought me. I’m marking this as a new chapter in my life, and my life lesson in gratitude.
While it is cliche to be writing a “what I’m thankful for” post as we enter November, I’ve really been working on being thankful every day. Even on the hardest days, when it’ seems impossible to find that gratitude. On the best days, when it’s easy. On the sad days, and on the frustrating days. I find that digging that gratitude out, true gratitude, even when things are difficult can make the difference between bitter and better.
November is admittedly one of my favorite months of the year. It’s autumn; my favorite season, my birthday is in November, it’s Thanksgiving (my Mom makes THE BEST stuffing) and it’s the start of cozy nights in front of the fire, and planning what elf on the shelf is going to be up to this season.
But this November proves to be a bit more difficult. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I lost my Dad. Six months ago to be exact. It would have been his 59th birthday this November 3rd. And, this will be my first Thanksgiving without him.
Being a Mom, in this day and age is hard enough. I always joke with my girlfriend that motherhood is not for the weak. Finding that gratitude most days is the hardest part about my day. We Moms don’t get a break. And life can sometimes throw us a curve ball that was not on the calendar.
But again, in an effort to practice gratitude every day, and to be truly thankful for all of the blessings in our lives, I’ve made a promise to myself to honor my Dad. Rather than reflect on the loss to me, my family, and my children, I promise to be thankful for what he left us with.
My lessons in Gratitude; the short list
- My Dad had an outstanding sense of humor. Laugh everyday.
- A love of life and learning. Learn something new everyday.
- Sailing. With the wind blowing, and your sails trimmed properly, you can go anywhere.
- Friendship. Be kind to everyone you meet. Everyone is fighting a battle you might know nothing about.
- Family. Though we may not always see eye to eye, family is love.
- An exceptional skill to spin a story, and to tell it as many times as people would listen. Grab hold of the moments so that they may become memories.
This year has been an exceptionally trying one. One that has taught me so much. One that has tested me. One that has caused me to re-evaluate my attitudes, relationships, and priorities.
I am thankful that I was able to take the passing of my Dad and turn it into something positive. Something he would have truly been proud of. I am thankful that God gave me the grace to explain this loss to my kids. I am thankful that though I feel my Dad was taken too soon, that we got to know a man so rare. I am beyond thankful for my exceptional Mom, brother, aunts and uncles, and friends who have been nothing short of an exceptional support system for me, my husband, and my kids.
This Thanksgiving…what are you thankful for? Not just the ‘go around the dinner table, I’m Thankful for…’ speech. But what are you truly thankful for?