An Attitude of Gratitude

The U.S. is celebrating Thanksgiving this week, a time to gather around the table with friends and family to celebrate the harvesting of crops and to remember all that we are thankful for. I think our neighbors and friends, the Canadians, have a more appropriate date in October when crops are actually harvested. Here in Michigan we are pretty frozen over and anyone harvesting now needs to take it straight to the freezer without any processing.

We have learned that expressing gratitude is good for our health – both physical and mental. Most of the time I am very thankful for the beauty of my world and the wonderful people who inhabit it. There are periods, however, when life is just plain hard and there doesn’t seem to be much to be grateful for. As Tawny posts – sometimes we feel blue and just can’t see life without the blue tint.

I like to smile and laugh and feel good inside so here is my adjustment of my attitudes along with some reflections about life.

My sister died this week and that sucks. BUT: How wonderful to have blogging buddies all over the world who have sent me loving and caring words of support. You are appreciated and have comforted my aching heart. I have been reminded of how caring and loving my children are. I have friends and cousins who fill my world and give me the security that help is close, if I ask. There are new people coming into our family circle. My son is engaged and she has welcomed us into her extended family and her two children have joyously entered our family circle. That is a three-fer! Both grandsons are finding their paths and are in long-term relationships, one of them getting married in June. My three granddaughters are growing up to be beautiful, both inside and out. I smile big when I think of my family. We can easily fill the house with laughter and love on holidays.

Our five-year-old frig took a dump. BUT: We are fortunate we have the funds to buy a new one without having to forego paying another bill. We found one, after a day of shopping, that is even more perfect than the old.

I just discovered that the new frig isn’t magnetic so I can’t display my collection of magnets from all around the world. BUT: (Editorial comment: Pull up your big-girl panties and deal with it Pat. This doesn’t even deserve space on the post.) I realize that my frig is full of food and that is more than the majority of the people of the world have.

The chronic condition that leaves me in pain and fatigued most days, can only be controlled not cured. BUT: I have a good doctor that helps me control symptoms and I have more than adequate insurance to pay for what I need. There are medications that have made it possible to gain a whole lot more functioning and I have learned how to control my lifestyle to ease symptoms. My husband, children, family and friends understand and are sensitive to my needs. I am still doing some pretty amazing things – when I want to.

I sometimes miss the excitement of work and the income. BUT: Retirement is wonderful. I am thankful that I could afford a DSLR camera because I am energized by the world of photography. I am now able to travel to places that are exciting and fill my hard drive with photographs. I discovered the world of blogging and have met so many wonderful bloggers who fill my days with interesting images and words. I have enough resources to be a snowbird in southern Florida, leading to new friendships and a reduction in bad-body days.

I am also grateful for:

Beautiful music like the Messiah and Granddaughter plucking out Worried Man Blues on her guitar.

The grand mountains of the Pacific Northwest and the rolling farm fields of Michigan.

Virgin Redwoods in California, maples in the midwest, and palms in Florida.

Great gardens with exquisite plantings and the random plantings of Black-eyed Susans and daisies in my garden.

Great paintings in famous museums and the portrait of J & I done by our future step-granddaughter.

The people who shone a light to guide me, the privilege of guiding those who walk behind me, and the young people who are teaching me new ways.

Walking in the cold surf of oceans and lakes, and slipping my achy body into our hot tub.

And most of all sharing meals with the people I love. Wishing you many happy meals either in celebration of holiday or just of life. Blessings to you.

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21 Comments »

  1. Your post was a joy to read Pat. Sometimes life just sucks, but there are always good parts. Your attitude reminds me of a favorite quote: “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.” Happy Thanksgiving Pat. I hope your day brings you loads of good things.

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    • I absolutely love the quote – I’m going to print it out and put it in my new planner. I try to fill my life with good things to sustain my through the sucky times. Thanks for the good wishes – today will be full of joy. I have the turkey in and guests that bring me joy will be arriving shortly after noon. How much better can life get? I also wish you loads of good things today and over the week-end. Blessings to you and yours.

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  2. Lovely thought provoking post – thanks for sharing all of that with us Pat.
    I know where you are coming from, even in our darkest times there is light. I love my life, has it’s up’s and downs sure, but overall, it’s a thumbs-up…. but if my late wife hadn’t died suddenly, none of this would have happened. If I hadn’t done certain, perhaps regrettable, things in my early 20’s, I wouldn’t have even met her either… life and it’s mysteries, eh?
    Take care and have a lovely Thanksgiving, all things considered.
    Spike

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    • Thanks, Uncle Spike. The one thing I believe beyond all doubt is that it is better to love and get hurt by the loss of love than to protect myself from the hurt by never getting close to anyone. I love loving! 🙂 My husband and I talk about our fear of loosing each other, and because of it we make sure we spend lots of joyful time together. I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and weekend.

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  3. If we can raise ourselves above the cloud of defeat and sadness we can see the many blessings that we have. You’ve shown in this post that there are many things – no matter how small – to be grateful for. Being grateful doesn’t have to be the way someone else has proclaimed it should be; it’s the way it should be for us.
    Blessings and Namaste …
    Isadora xoxo

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      • ~~~~~~~~~ : – )
        Namasté is both a spoken Indian expression and a symbolic gesture that people use when greeting each other or in parting. Pronounced “na-ma-stay,” the term derives from Sanskrit and literally means “I bow to you.” It’s more commonly translated as “the divine light in me honors the divine light in you” or “the God within me greets the God within you.” Namasté is the recognition that we are all equal and share a common divinity – defined by Deepok Chopra

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