How I Am Practicing Gratitude This Thanksgiving


I have a lot of blessings. I know this, but at times I have forgotten to count them, forgotten to practice gratitude. It always seems easier to look at what we don’t have instead of what we do have. Well, this year it will be different. It will be the best Thanksgiving ever, and my son Michael is the big reason for this change in my mindset. He is an amazing little boy living with autism in a world that does not always understand him, or know how to help him. He gets anxious, discouraged and worries, yet he always has a small on his face, gets up from defeat, and tries again.

And this year, his Mom will do the same thing. She will look at all she has, instead of what is missing, and remember that by opening herself up and reaching out to others, she receives more in return as well.

With Thanksgiving coming up at the end of this week, I am thankful, as usual, for the most important things in life: health, family, friends, love, a home and food on the table. And this Thanksgiving, I am also thankful that I have been blessed by God and the universe with the courage to finally start pushing forward with my writing, building a dream that has lived within me for some time, a dream of sharing my words with the world and helping bring people together. That, after all, is what writing and storytelling at its most basic does. That is why I have always loved, and still do love, telling and hearing stories, stories that others write and speak of, and stories from my childhood and my family’s life that they tell me. There is so much we can learn from one another, and I think that the sharing of words and thoughts can only help people in the world grow in a more positive way and connect in a more positive way to themselves and each other.

Our family usually celebrates Thanksgiving by eating a nice family dinner, saying a prayer of thanks, and hopefully, weather permitting, going apple picking later in the day. With the days getting shorter and cooler, we will also take the time to sit and talk, tell stories and reminisce.

For me, practicing gratitude this Thanksgiving means doing more storytelling and sharing more memories of my youth while my husband shares stories of his with Michael.

I want him to grow up feeling the connection that storytelling brings to a family. He already loves when I read books to him, and though he struggles with reading, loves to tell us what is happening in the pictures. But telling stories is different. It helps us look back at the good times we had as children and adults, and remind us of our blessings. We can see how we have grown and changed and who in our lives helped us on our path. This is the way to truly live a positive life and see what we can then give back to the world in return.

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