Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Thanksgiving is a state of mind.
"I just can't believe where this year has gone!"
And I agree. It seems like just yesterday it was November 1st and now we're looking at December 1st next week. I put the Christmas decorations up early this year just because I wanted to. And this is the first year that I will not be working during the holiday season.
This year has seen a lot of changes - not the least is taking early retirement and learning to live on considerably less money than I did when I was working. I've had to learn to negotiate the stresses of not only a financial crunch but melding my life with that of my mother who is living with me. And if truth be told, no matter now much you love your mother, it is not always easy to again live with her when you are an adult. I've seen the addition of a new family member - Mandy, my silky terrier who is both a delight and a challenge (more delight than challenge, I'm happy to say). And on top of all that, I'm contemplating and working towards a move to Tennessee sometime next year.
I have to confess that in all this, I've had a difficult time maintaining a grateful attitude. Stopping work early has been a blessing because it took me out of a very stressful career and allowed me to be with Mom now that she needs me more. But, tightening the financial belt has not been something I was very grateful for. I could go on but you get the picture. My attitude for some reason has been to look at the negative in the situation instead of what is there I can be thankful for.
But, it has hit me the last couple of days that even in challenges, health issues, big changes on the horizon - there is so much to be thankful for. And I've overlooked those things in favor of only seeing the things I wish were different.
So, even though this may make for a long post - here are a few things that I am grateful for.
~~Even though money is tight, we have food on our table, our bills are paid and the car has no mechanical issues.
~~Even though I can't be with any of my children and their families for the holidays as I had planned, I can still spend it with my brother and SIL and nephew.
~~Even though I have health issues, I am beginning to see some improvement in some of them and I have a God who heals.
~~Even though the stubbornness of raising a silky terrier can be very frustrating, Mandy has brought laughter and love into my life and I treasure her.
~~Even though I would love to own a home, it is very nice when something happens like a leak under the kitchen sink this week is promptly taken care of by conscientious owners. With that in mind, renting isn't so bad!
I am slowly learning something that I've known all along but chose to forget . That gratefulness is not always overt and spontaneous. Sometimes you have to reach out and grab it or at the very least realize that it's there. When you begin to look around you at what you can be thankful for, it is suddenly very apparent that you are very blessed.
My wish for all of you readers is that your Thanksgiving Day be extended to a year-long event, that you begin to whisper prayers of thankfulness to our God for what He has done for you. For some of you, that will come easy. Others may look at that as a challenge.
I'm somewhere in the middle.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.