I have read a lot of research articles this week on the healing power of gratitude. It can not only bring you a sense of peace but be restorative as well. So, I wanted to take just a minute and share 10 things I am most thankful for this year. Some are big, and some are small, but they are all powerful.
- My health: I will turn 50 in a few months. I am so thankful that I am fairly healthy, have won the battle with obesity, and have found healthy foods and a routine I enjoy and can sustain.
2. My husband: Raising a child with special needs is incredibly difficult and can be often devastating to a marriage. We have found a way to navigate those rough seas, and after 25 years still find ourselves to be best friends (even though we don’t always agree.)
3. My kids: I am blessed to have 2 great kids. They could not be more different and they both bring me joy and fulfillment in very different ways. I would be lost, and definitely not the same person, without them.
4. Good books: My love for reading is very strong. My daughter shares my passion for reading, and you will often find us cuddled up in front of the fire reading a good book. There is nothing better.
5. A warm quilt: Living in the North, I have found my quilts to be even more important to me. But it is not only the warmth they bring, but it is also the creative release they provide. Teaching myself to quilt in those first years when my son was diagnosed saved me. It gave me something to focus on that had nothing to do with the disability world. So, yes, my house is filled with quilts, but they have healed me as well as kept me warm.
6. A clear trail: My daughter also shares my love of running. This Thanksgiving holiday, we went on a long 10 mile run on our favorite rail trail. Well, we had an unexpected snow earlier in the week, and it was still on the ground. Running on snow is TOUGH. I was so thankful when I would look ahead and see some melted tracks. It is the little things that can make all the difference.
7. A good plan: As I embark on this new journey of trying to find possible employment for Jimmy now that school has ended, I am thankful for a good plan that was put together by a talented group of people. We forge ahead, making adjustments when needed, and celebrating those small victories.
8. A willingness to let go: I have always been able to overcome disappointment fairly easily for some reason. I am thankful that the bumps in the road have not derailed me. There is a lot I could be resentful about, but I choose to let it go and be grateful for what I have now. I have come to realize that this is not easy for many people, and I am thankful that I am able to focus on the present and plan for the future while letting past disappointments fade away.
9. Good running shoes: I do A LOT of running. It is critical for my mental health. (If you are a runner, you totally get what I am saying.) At my age, equipment is everything. Just having a really good pair of shoes that can pound the pavement day after day, is definitively something I am thankful for.
10. A cloudy day: It is funny, but on a walk with my son the other morning, I had the realization that I am a cloudy day kind of person. I love the way everything feels kind of muted and soft. The colder the better, but cloudy days are my favorite.
I hope everyone find something to be thankful for this holiday season.