Thoughts about gratitude

Gratitude has become one of those buzzwords we hear a lot.  If we wait for it to come over us like happiness or sadness, we may wait a long time. But if we practice gratitude daily, not just on Thanksgiving, it will be more readily available to us. I like to think of gratitude like savoring. We all get what it feels like to savor a delicious piece of pie. If we take the time to really savor it, to take those moments to let the pie linger in our mouth, to chew our bites slowly, that is the experience of gratitude. It is NOTICING all the aspects of the pie we like…the smell, the taste, the texture. Last night I sat with my children (almost all my children) and savored each of them as they spoke. I gave silent thanks that they were smiling, present, enjoying, and thriving. I gave additional thanks for their health, for the contribution each of them makes to the family, for their humor and for their beauty. As we ate, I noticed that we had a begging dog under the table, who was not only begging but was passing gas (all traits so not welcome during meals), and then the thought occurred to me how much we will miss having her there when she is gone. I looked at her pathetic but adorable face….begging….hoping for one of us to drop a ravioli or some meat sauce her way and I smiled, smiled with gratitude for our loyal dog who shows us so much unconditional love.

We always have a choice about how we look at the events and people in our lives and we can ALWAYS find something to be grateful for, even amidst painful and unwanted situations. My sister has been undergoing chemotherapy. She lives in Washington DC but came up  to New York to be around her 4 sisters and mother while she receives treatment for lung cancer. Cancer sucks but having my sister here in New York is a gift! I have been grateful for the opportunity to spend more time with her and have a different relationship than I have had in the past. We have become closer as a result of cancer and we are both grateful!

Today, on this national holiday set aside to celebrate gratitude and family and friends, I hope you can find something to be grateful for. I wish for each and every person reading this that they will NOTICE the gifts that show up, even those disguised as hardships! Happy Thanksgiving!

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