the power of grateful

In the Americas, especially the US and Canada, today is Thanksgiving: the day to look back at the hardships we have endured and to count the blessings we enjoy, especially having gotten through those hardships.

The food is part of it, the family gatherings, the football (I remember the men all gathering around to watch the Army-Navy game when I was a child–big Navy family), and if we remember to do it, we look around at one another and realize how lucky we really are.

Yes, even in the midst of the aforementioned hardships, we’re still lucky. Blessed, if you will.

And now, in these uncertain years, we would do well to remember it. While yet we breathe, we still have phenomenal opportunity to get it right, or make it right, whatever “it” happens to be: the chance to forgive a loved one, even if you can’t do it to his or her face; the chance to change a bad habit or change your heart or recognize hurt or love and do something about it.

This past year, I spent most of my time in New York, working on a contract that turned out to be a great opportunity for learning, even while I struggled with my own demons and my own body’s reaction (not good) to living in Manhattan. As much as I love New York, as I like to say, New York doesn’t love me so much.

In the end, though, I came away with vast new knowledge, new affiliations, new experience and a much better understanding of my own abilities–and perhaps more importantly, my own limitations.

I came home.

To East Tennessee.

Yep, I can now call it home, because it is. I was greeted by friends who had missed me, warts and all; greeted by one of the most gently beautiful landscapes in the world; greeted by my humble home, of which I am now so proud, because it’s my humble home.

So this year, I’m grateful for my home, my family, all of whom I love; grateful for my friends, to whom I can now give my whole heart and not hold part of it back for greener pastures; grateful for the experiences, good and bad, that make me who I am today; grateful for surviving my difficult life and continuing to learn from it.

There’s so much more, because I’m certain as I’m sitting here that there are a zillion more blessings of which I’m not aware.

And I’m grateful because I had a truly lovely day today, and tomorrow is another day, another chance to get something right, do something good, choose something beautiful.

And always to love.

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