|(Thank you for the pretty image, etsy.com)|
It is Thanksgiving Day in the United States today and I am thrilled to read all the gratitude posts. A few years ago, some twists and turns in my life, most notably my Mom being diagnosed with interstitial lung disease (ILD), cause unknown, in 1997 forcefully made me realize how priceless life is. The doctors gave her a maximum of six months to live. Each day became precious. Each moment was valuable. At the back of our mind was the dreaded thought of “what if …..she was no more?”
However, her positive attitude and the birth of my son literally kept death at bay for the next twelve years. So blessed were we. What a gift life now was. On February 8, 2010, when she passed away at the hospital after five days of being on full life support, unconscious and hooked to a series of equipment, I was devastated. I still find it unbelievable that she is no longer present among us. But like it or not, life has to go on.
I work from home and because of this, it was even more tough for me to come to terms with my loss. Sometimes I think I will grieve as long as I live. My Mom was my best friend. She would often say that even if I committed the most heinous crime, she would support me. And I would laugh and tell her I’d never take her up on that, because – well – I had no intentions of consciously committing any crime -heinous or not.
Not surprising, then, that I consider life a privilege. I begin my day with a prayer of thanks for what I have and what I am about to receive. I am grateful for:
- My routine, which gives me a warm sense of stability and a day to look forward to
- Every challenge I face, as it makes me stronger, more creative and more resilient
- My family, who love me unconditionally
- My health
- My friends, who are there for me, no matter what and who magically sense how I am feeling and call. I am blessed to feel it too
- The fabulous bloggers I meet, who prove that it is indeed “one world” and geographical barriers don’t matter. Thank you, Internet, for enabling me reach out. I love my friends!
- My work, which I love and enjoy, and gives me an income to make a difference in the life of the less privileged
- My neighbors, who always have a good word for me and smile
- The people I know, and who enrich my life
- Everything – that just about sums everything up, right?
Last year, around this time, I came up with the concept of a Happiness Jar – what fun it has been to continue it. On little slips of paper, each one of us at home writes down whatever makes us happy and drop it into the jar.
|Here is my Happiness Jar, holding our Happiness Jar. He will be 15 tomorrow!|
I would enjoy opening the jar once in a while to read a random bunch of slips – and this would take me on a nice trip down memory lane. Now, just seeing the jar fill up makes me so grateful.
Here is a lovely post by Lisa of Grandma’s Briefs: These are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving things.
Thanksgiving, to me, translates to “giving”. Back in August this year, I went nuts at the thought of spring cleaning my house. I knew it had to be done but had severe starting trouble. I realized I was building up my overwhelm simply by assuming I had to tackle it all at once. Then, one day, a bright idea occurred to me. I decided I’d spend ten minutes every day, walking through the house and picking two things to give away. Best idea I had, I tell you. The joy of giving is something else. I initially meant to do this for a month to see how it goes. But now, I enjoy the habit. If I am stumped for something to give on a particular day, I simply cook and distribute food packets to my street dwellers. Other easy ways I’ve discovered, for giving and celebrating every day, are:
- Phone a family member and say I love you. Of late, we’ve lost so many dear ones that just about any moment is a good time to tell your relatives you care, regardless of your relationship.
- Buy someone a meal. Too many people don’t get enough to eat.
- Sponsor a meal at my local welfare home for girls.
- Give away a set (or more) of clothes each time I buy something. Okay to give even when I don’t buy something
- Cook a little extra and go distribute it to the street dwellers
- Food too cumbersome? Make some lemon juice and distribute
- Give away an old cardigan. It is winter after all
- Give away a couple of bed sheets
- Run an errand for someone
- Email two friends, recalling a past happy incident and relive the joy
- Compliment someone
- Smile at someone
- Hug someone
- Share jokes, share laughter
- Give a bunch of flowers to someone. Unless they have a respiratory problem – in which case, think of something else they like
- My best friend rarely remembers my actual birthday. Sometimes she is off by a few months – and I love her for baking a massive cake and arriving at my door, tray in hand, ready to celebrate. I learned this from her: Buy or make a gift for 5 friends, for no reason at all!
See how that list could go on and on? 🙂
and not giving it” Arthur Ward
I posted a photo on Facebook and asked the question “What are two things you are thankful for, at this moment?” And was overwhelmed at the responses. Take a look at the post here on Facebook and – please do add your own answer! I tried copying that conversation here, but it did not reproduce well. then I made an image file – but that doesn’t show up clearly.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.~ Author Unknown
I appreciate each and every one of you. Very much.