This is the time of year when we drag out the cookbooks, or the catering menus, and think about our loved ones past and present that have been around our dining table.
Also, how many bottles of wine it will take to get through Thanksgiving?
Going into the holiday season can also be a time of reflection of who and what we are thankful for. A time where we look back on the year with an emphasis on gratitude.
I love Thanksgiving because it give us a chance to focus on the positivity in our lives, instead of rehashing all the painful or embarrassing moments. Those memories we save for New Year’s Resolutions like: “My New Year’s Resolution this year is to not overindulge in drinking during the holiday parties and knock over the company Christmas tree.”
Not that I’ve ever seen or done that before.
We can all find something we are thankful for. Some may have to look a little deeper, but trust me, you can always find something to be grateful for if you search hard enough.
One year, while in the throws of a Myasthenia Gravis crisis, I spent the evening in bed listening to my happy family downstairs laughing, talking, and worst/best of all, eating. I remember thinking how lucky they were to be able to swallow food as I hadn’t done so for a very long while.
I longed to join them, but as I laid there I also wondered about all the others who were unable to be with their families due to an illness – just like me.
Then it hit me.
We may not be able to control our situations, but we can control how we perceive them and grow from it.
I took that moment to start writing. I wrote about how I felt about living with a chronic disease, what I was dealing with emotionally at the time, and everything I learned in the process. With each word I wrote I thought of my fellow sickies laying in their beds. I also wondered how they were processing the hand they were dealt as well.
As I continued to write and process my circumstance, I started to notice a change within me. I saw things in a different way, I understood life on a deeper level. Most importantly, I felt incredible gratitude for simply being alive.
Slowly, I became thankful for the lessons I was learning along the way while living with a chronic illness.
If someone would ask me if I would have chosen to go down the disease path again to achieve the wisdom I learned along my answer would be, “Hell No.”
[clickToTweet tweet=”We take our lessons as they come and make the best out of what we have in front of us.” quote=”We take our lessons as they come and make the best out of what we have in front of us.”]
Being thankful is a decision. It’s the choice of, “Is the glass half full or half empty?”
We can choose to get stuck in any situation or we can choose to learn from it. When life gets tough, the best gift to give at Thanksgiving is gratitude.
Being sick is hard, really hard for many of us, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t take a break and find something, anything, to be thankful for.
I am thankful that the words I jotted down while in the middle of a medical meltdown turned into a book, Wellness Warrior – Fighting for Life in Fabulous Shoes. That book turned into a #1 Bestseller on Amazon which I’m even more grateful for.
My thought while writing it was to reach every sick comrade I could and let them know they weren’t alone, I was there too and I was pulling for them. Thankfully (hopefully), now they know.
I started the Pay It Forward program, where when you buy my book and give one to a friend in need for free, because I want to be able to reach those that don’t have a roadmap to feel thankful yet. If you haven’t giving a book to someone that really needs it yet, do it now. You won’t regret it.
Show someone that you are thankful for them, especially if they need a little cheering up.
It’s easy to get stuck in sorrow, we’ve all done it at some point. The best thing about Thanksgiving is that it can help us reframe our sorrow to gratitude, even if it is just for a little while.