As Thanksgiving approaches this week, we’ve all been focusing on the things we’re thankful for. It’s a unique holiday, one that asks us to take a moment and forget about all the bad things that have happened over the past year, to forget about our small frustrations and large worries, and simply be thankful for what’s good. And there’s always something to be thankful for, even if it feels inconsequential in the shadow of a daunting year. Even if we’re grieving for someone we miss very much, even if we’re struggling with money or illness or unemployment, for one day we’re asked to stop and find the positives in our lives. It’s a powerful request, one that can be humbling as we stop to think about all that we do actually have.
For the past two years, we’ve asked Legacy.com team members to share the things they’re thankful for. We’ve been so pleased to hear from our truly thankful colleagues each year – you can visit last year’s post here and the 2010 post here. We asked again this year, and once again, we received responses that are thoughtful, grateful, and moving. And sometimes funny, too – because it helps to keep a sense of humor, always!
Adam: I’m thankful for my wonderful family and all the opportunities I have that so many don’t. I am truly a very lucky person, and I’m thankful every day.
Alene: I’m grateful for people who are willing to risk traveling off the beaten path (and willing to risk living without economic security) to create art, music and literature. Those three things have enriched my life more than anything else I can think of. (My kids can’t see this, right? :) )
Angela: I’m thankful for my family and the life I get to have. As much as my husband and I have struggled through the years – as much as it seems like we keep missing the boat or Murphy’s Law rears its ugly head – I just take a moment every now and then and remember… It could be a LOT worse. My daughter is beautiful, loved, protected, happy and safe. I have a roof over our heads, food to eat, neighbors who are kind. We don’t have a war in our backyard, or rancid water, or shacks made from scraps of garbage. And if we ever lost all of our material possessions, we have families that would run to our aid and take us in. That is so much more than most people in the world could dream of. My life may be absent of luxuries, but those don’t keep you warm and loved and I am thankful for every bit of what I DO have and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Jessica H.: I am thankful for wayyy too many things. First and foremost, I am super thankful for coming from a family of people who loved me wayyy too much. I am thankful for my parents, who have set morals in me that are more valuable than money and material things. I am thankful for the loving and true friends that I have that have done so much for me, as I have in return for them. I am thankful for my beautiful three-year-old goddaughter, although it can be painful for me to be away from her, since she’s in Boston. I am thankful for coming right out of college with a few paid gigs within the independent film scene in Chicago. I am thankful to have a part-time job that’s not so stressful with Legacy and working with wonderful people (Seriously! I am!). And I am thankful for having an apartment, living with one of my good friends, in a safe, secure and homey place. And I am thankful for all of the food and liquids that I consume, since I try not to waste it when I think of the countless homeless people that I see on a daily basis. And finally, I am thankful for having the urge to want to be a better me every day.
Katherine: I am thankful for my dog, Riley. I adopted him over 9 years ago right after I graduated college, and he has been a loyal, lazy, amusing, and loving companion. Though he now sports a grey beard and a few extra pounds, I’m thankful that he still has a little troublemaker left in him, even if I’m not always happy to see he has eaten my chocolate chip cookies while I’m hard at work keeping a roof over his head!
Katie: Family, friends, good health, a great job – all continue to be sources of joy and reasons to give thanks. But this year I am also thankful that we have a thoughtful vet who lovingly guided us through the end of our dog’s life. And I am thankful for the animal rescue group that helped bring another cuddly basset hound into our family.
Linnea: The one-year anniversary of moving into my first house just passed, and it’s a good time to remember how very fortunate I am to have a roof over my head… one that’s big enough to extend to friends in need, too. My family was a big part of making the house and the move happen, and I’m thankful for having the greatest family in the world – it seems like every day, I see more evidence of their generosity and kindness.
Lynmarie: Grateful for “woobie” socks, fix-it shops and different sized crock pots.
Potlucks, probiotics and pink-painted closets.
Thrift-store treasures, tree houses and an endless supply of compost tea.
Kind words from strangers, kids with kindred spirits and a complete collection of Elephant & Piggie books.
For well-written memoirs, and the people who’ve already attempted the things which I’d like to do (or am too chicken to try).
For the “theory of multiple intelligences” and all the smart people who surround me every day (and the things learned just by being near them).
For Plan B, and all the challenges and failures of this past year (and the ability to persist).
I’m thankful for the coming of a new year!
Mary: I’m thankful for my mother’s influence throughout my life. It’s been a year of reflection for me since she passed away in January. She was a lovely lady. My mom was kind, cheerful, and appreciative of each day, even throughout many years of poor health. I’m thankful for her love of life. We hope her inspiration will continue in future generations.
Melissa: I am thankful that I have learned to take life one day at a time and not borrow tomorrow’s problems. They will be there whether or not I worry about them. Family is what gets me through each day, hour, minute and for them I am thankful.
Michaelene:I’m thankful for a husband who is loving, understanding and supportive. I couldn’t ask for a better counterpart going through life and this wild journey called parenthood. And I’m thankful for my daughter—the most precious gift I’ve ever received. Her honesty, her intelligence, her laugh…her everything…fills me with a love that is beyond my wildest dreams.
Nancy: I’m thankful for my own hope and faith in myself and the universe! I’m thankful for employment :-) I’m thankful for my gifts, specifically the gift of being a healer. I’m thankful for my beautiful, talented, gem of a daughter.
Paul: We don’t do Thanksgiving outside the USA, but I have grown to appreciate it so I thought I would write something to see if I can get into the spirit:
The leaves on the street
The people I meet
The Sky Grey or Blue
The time spent with you
The food on my plate
The times I’m not late
The work that I do.
The people there too.
My Mum, (miss my Dad)
My kids (good or bad!)
My family and friends
Not crashing on bends
The car letting me out
The drivers that don’t shout
The smile in the shop
The helpful police (cop)
I think that will do
Oh yeah and me too.