"Gratitude is the inner feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse." -Henry Van Dyke
Here it is. The end of November.
That time of year when we are reminded to give thanks for our many blessings.
And, of course, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness.
I am thankful for my family, my home, my health.
I'm truly thankful to live in a country of freedom, despite our many differences.
I give thanks that I live comfortably; knowing the water will run, heat will keep us warm, and food will always be on the table.
I know others have it far worse than I do, and I'm humbled.
Despite knowing how lucky I've been, I still find that sometimes, for whatever reason, it seems easier to focus on the negatives.
I struggle with celebrating yet another holiday without my dad, and I think about how much I miss him and wish he was here.
I think of my grandmother, who is still here- but isn't- because dementia has taken huge chunks of her away from us.
I get angry because my husband was forced into a job-change, causing him to leave the place of employment and co-workers he loved.
I feel frustration because there aren't enough hours in a week to devote to writing my current work in progress. It sometimes seems as if I'll never finish!
The list could go on, as I'm sure it could for everyone.
This year, I've decided to dig a little deeper. To take a look at the bigger picture.
I know the things I'm thankful for. I truly am blessed.
And I'm going to search out the positives within the negatives.
Instead of focusing on another holiday without dad, I'm going to take time to remember how lucky we were to have him for all the years he was with us, and revel in the memories. And I will celebrate that Mom is still with us.
I'll hug my grandmother, glad she's still here and that I can give her back all the love and comfort she has always given me. This role-reversal has taught me a lot about patience and what it truly means to love.
I'm giving thanks that my husband is employed, even if it's not where he thought he'd be. He's always taken good care of my sons and I, and this surprise job change could end up being a blessing in disguise. Less hours and a more flexible schedule gives us more family time. Together. That's what really matters.
I will be happy for every smidgeon of progress I make in my writing, ever grateful that I've found at this stage of my life something I love to do so much that I miss it when I can't spend time on it. I know I'll finish the novel, because the story won't let me rest if I don't!
I am thankful, for so many things.
When I find myself drifting toward the negatives, I will pull myself back to all of the countless positives in my life.
I hope you all have a positively festive Thanksgiving day, spent with the most important people in your life.
And when the potatoes burn, the gravy spills, and the kids are screaming...
Remind yourself to find the good hiding within the bad, and enjoy your day!
Keep On Reading!
Kristen L Jackson
Author of KEEPER OF THE WATCH,
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