This week in the States, we’re celebrating Thanksgiving, and this year our table’s going to be pretty small. Oh, not the table itself or the amount of food on it. I make sure the girls pile that table high with everything I’ve come to expect at Thanksgiving: turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato pie, green bean casserole, stuffing, deviled eggs, olives, sweet pickles, and so, so much more. I’m getting full just thinking about it. No, when I say small this year, I mean by the amount of people who usually surround it. One of our sons moved back to Virginia, and another is still in Navy boot camp. His new wife is flying out to spend the day with him, which is great for Zac, but also one less person around our table. You’d think I’d be happy because that leaves more food for me, but really, I’d rather share my food; at least on Thanksgiving.
However, I also look at it with a sense of thankfulness, because it shows they’re chasing their dreams and goals; they’re accomplishing things they want to accomplish, and that makes me proud. We’ve raised strong children who grew into strong adults, people I’m proud to know, and for that, I’m very thankful.
Life isn’t always easy or fair. We all go through those periods where we want to pull our hair out—well, I would if I had hair—and ask the universe why us, but though those moments seem to last forever, they’re only a small bump in our lives. If we grit down and push through, we’ll make it, and we can be thankful that we’ve been made stronger for the journey. I’m thankful for those, like my parents, who I’ve witnessed go through things and keep their thankful mindsets. My dad was a go-getter. He worked since he was seven years old, and even now at eighty-one, he still finds things to do to keep him active with a little pocket change. He was the one who taught me my work ethic, and to always stay positive. “You can only do what you can do,” he would tell me. “No sense in worrying yourself sick over what you can’t control.”
He also taught me the joy of being content with what you had. Build a home you never want to leave, and you won’t be fighting to go everywhere else. Be satisfied with the little you have, but work for what you want. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more and working toward that end, but if all you do is strive for more, never pausing to slow down and look around, you’ll never enjoy the things you already possess. If you can’t appreciate what’s in your hand, why should the universe give you more?
And so, we’re a thankful family. We’ve accomplished quite a bit and are accomplishing more daily. We may not be rich, but we have more than the bare necessities (see what I did there?). Have a mindset of thankfulness, appreciating the simple things in your life, and then, when the bigger things come along, it won’t ruin you. In a society that tends to be a little too greedy at times, make sure you’re one of the thankful ones.
Which brings me to this: I’m thankful for you, my readers. I’m thankful that you take the time to read my stories, but even more that quite a few of you reach out and tell me what you think. I’m thankful for the reviews, the notes, and the comments in my readers group. I’m thankful for the encouragement, the support, and the smiles and laughter you bring to each of my days. I’m thankful you’ve decided to join me on this journey, and I look forward to what’s to come in the future. Buckle up tight. It’s going to be one hell of a ride.
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