What I’m Thankful for and Why

by Abby on November 23, 2011

Turkey cookie with candy cornTo warm up for Thanksgiving, we asked our boys to tell us what they’re thankful for. Miles, age 5, said “My brother and toys.” Riley, age 2.5, said candy and one of his friends in the neighborhood. I like those answers; they’re honest. If someone asks me what I am thankful for, I’ll usually rattle off a list similar to many people’s  – my family and friends, my health, my job – without really considering WHY I’m thankful for those things. So here’s the what AND the why:

My family. And by that I mean not only my 2 gorgeous sons and fabulous husband, but my extended family as well. Growing up, we were not geographically close to many relatives. I didn’t have tons of siblings and cousins around like many of my friends. I only saw my grandparents once a year, if that. But now that I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that even if I don’t see them as much as I’d like, my family’s there for me, and each other, when they’re needed. I am thankful to be related to such kind and generous people.

My friends. I’ve never been the girl with the most friends, but I have some great ones, old and new. I’m lucky enough to count some of my neighbors as friends, which is extra-cool. And as I recently rediscovered, it’s great to reconnect with friends you don’t see every day. You know that feeling when you haven’t seen someone in a while and it’s like you’re picking up right where you left off? If there’s one common thread among all my friends, it’s that they are real – honest, authentic, flawed, compassionate. And funny, too. That’s important.

My health. File this under “things I take for granted.” As more and more people I know struggle with serious illnesses, physical and/or mental problems, their own or their children’s, I am more aware and thankful for good health than ever before. Taking care of myself, getting enough rest, eating well and exercising are things I constantly strive for.

My job. It’s not easy to make a living as a freelancer writer; even the most successful in my profession will admit that. But I feel lucky that I don’t have to choose either my job OR raising my children. I get to do both. On my recent girls’ trip, I was struck by how different my friends’ work situations are, and also by the fact that there was no perfect scenario. I have one friend who commutes 2 hours roundtrip a day and pays an exorbitant sum for fulltime daycare. I have another friend who’s a stay-at-home mom whose husband gets home every day at 4:30pm. Yet no one’s situation is perfect or without sacrifices. It made me see my own work situation in a different light, and be thankful for it.

And, listen: since I’m all about being real and authentic, my list of things I’m thankful for also includes wine, babysitters, TV, my comfy bed, and my hairdresser. And of course, all my wonderful blog readers.

So let’s hear it: what’s the #1 thing you’re most thankful for and WHY? (No partial credit!)

READ O’ THE DAY: This article about a generous act by fellow Maryland blogger Jill Smokler, aka “Scary Mommy,” warmed my heart. Go, mommy bloggers!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Lou Mello November 23, 2011 at 8:24 am

If I have to choose just one thing I am thankful for, it would be my best friend, the lovely Miss Teresa. She has always been the better of the two of us and keeps me grounded.

If I can sneak in a 2nd thing to be thankful for, it is definitely family and friends. Family spread out all over so we don’t see one another too often, but, we are always there for each other.
Friends that are also everywhere, including cyber space, but, so very important to me even though we only see folks every so often. We have moved a few times and we always have very good friends where we have lived and staying in touch with them is just as much fun as hanging out with the neighbors watching football and enjoying a great Thanksgiving meal.
Sorry I went over my limit. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving to all.

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Abby November 23, 2011 at 9:42 am

That’s OK, Lou. No limit when it comes to giving thanks, right? Happy Thanksgiving to you & Miss Theresa!

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Angie November 24, 2011 at 6:31 am

Okay, I’m going to follow the rules and cheat a little bit at the same time. The #1 thing I’m thankful for? My life.

Here’s what I mean: These days, when people ask me how I’m doing… or how’s Shawn and kids?… or how’s the pregnancy? etc etc? I say great. We’re all great. And I mean it. I tell them things are good and I can’t complain. Because I can’t. This is the one time in my life I’ve been able to honestly say that. Of course it’s not perfect! Of course there are “issues.” Of course there are bad days. But that’s life, too, and I no longer feel the need to point that out. I’m ditching the disclaimer: My life is good, except this one little thing. No, my life is good. Period. And I’m thankful. I’m going to ride the train as long as I can.

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Angie November 24, 2011 at 6:32 am

ps– okay, this makes two… but I’m very thankful for you, Abby. And I mean that, too. Happy Thanksgiving!. May our paths lead us to an in-person meeting one day.

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Abby November 24, 2011 at 8:04 am

Thank you, Angie! Right back atcha. I am positive we’ll meet in person. At your book signing, or on our Today show appearance on writer moms, or… 🙂

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jetts31 November 24, 2011 at 10:58 am

You hit the nail on the head. We’re all thankful for our friends, family, etc but whats more important is why we’re thankful.
As for me…I’m thankful I just get the chance to wake up in the morning for another shot to do something great for those people I love.
Happy Thanksgiving

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Nic Trick Steinbach November 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I am most thankful for my awesome husband these days. I have blessed with a partner-in-parenting. I wrote a blog about the WHY recently http://pickles-and-onions.blogspot.com/

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