This time of year is a good time to sit back and think about all the things for which I’m thankful. I find that the older I get, the more thankful I am; I can even find myself thankful for difficulties that have led me to greater appreciation for what I have. Most of all, I am thankful for the people in my life and all that they have taught me.
I’m thankful for my husband who taught me to golf (not that I’m any good at it!), to enjoy alternative music, to recognize various architectural styles, and many other things through the arc of our 30 year relationship. I’m thankful to my son who taught me that I could love another human being more than life itself…he taught me to be a mother. I’m thankful to my older daughter who taught me that every child is unique and some people know their life’s passion by the time they are in Kindergarten. I’m thankful for my younger daughter who taught me that even extroverts can be shy and that if you go through life with enthusiasm and a willingness to try new things you will have a very rich life.
I’m grateful to my parents, who taught me that getting an education was my primary job as a kid. I’m grateful that, although I resisted and gave up too soon, they tried to teach me to play golf, tennis, and the piano. I’m grateful that they insisted I learn how to swim.
I am grateful for friends who disagree with me on important issues while showing civility and grace, recognizing that there are multiple, valid viewpoints and not assigning mean motives to others to serve their own purpose.
I am grateful for all of the bosses that I’ve had both good and bad; I learned from them all. I learned to give honest feedback, even if it’s difficult. I’ve learned new ways of looking at problems. I’ve learned how to build consensus in difficult situations. I’ve learned not to micro-manage, and how to support people while letting them take on challenges. I’ve learned when to bend the rules.
I’m grateful to my employer for being a positive force in the world; making sustainability part of the equation of every decision in a manufacturing industry. I’m grateful to it for my job and my career and all the things I’ve learned there, all the friends I’ve made there. I’m grateful for the chance to try out different careers within the same company, to learn and grow.
I’m grateful to technology that allows me to put my thoughts out into cyberspace and helps me find kindred spirits, like Transitioning Mom who is also facing down the empty nest years and doing so with humor and grace while raising and homeschooling her girls and running a business. I’m grateful to Sue Healy, a writing teacher and author who shares helpful tips that I use to improve my budding novel. I’m grateful to social media which has allowed me to reconnect with long-lost friends and relatives and to keep current with friends closer by.
I’m grateful to the non-profits of the world and the ones I’ve had the good fortune to work with. I’m grateful for all the people who work in the non-profit sector doing such important and meaningful work. I’m grateful for all the volunteers who give their time to make these non-profits successful. I’m grateful for the young and enthusiastic people who are trying to make my city come back alive again, like a phoenix from the ashes. They are our future.
I am grateful to have my family around me this Thanksgiving, with my son home from college…I know these years will go by quickly!
Find the Joy in the Journey and cherish every moment!