On Thanksgiving, we plan what to do, we cook lots of food, we eat a lot, drink some and see friends and are merry. But most importantly, it is a time to reflect on the past year(s) and take stock on what made and makes our busy life worth living and cherishing. It is a time to give thanks to others, to family, friends, co-workers, strangers, nature, food, animals, the Creator and the forces of life.
I’ve been writing a gratitude journal on and off and I find it a tremendously powerful tool to reconnect with my feelings and to reflect on all the big and little things that make my life special. Especially for a cancer survivor, there is so much to be thankful for. (Read about my 5 year-long journey here.)
“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” – Cynthia Ozick
Here are some things I’m thankful for at this particular moment:
My wonderful family and how we stick together through thick and thin.
My husband who is always with me through good days and bad ones, and whose love is has been fueling my recovery and healing. His touch is electric, the spark in his eye when he looks at me is the same as twenty years ago. Love of my life for ever and ever.
My children and the joy and sometimes worry they provide. I love looking at them, be around them, hear them talk, squabble, be stubborn and assert their way. They are mine and I’m proud of them and grateful for this gift of mothering them now and for as long as I can.
My parents and my mother -in-law, who love me unconditionally and through whom I first learned to love and accept myself the way I am, healthy or sick, complete or scarred, happy or miserable.
My work, the place that gives me structure, asks of me to be my best, provides me with best possible healthcare and a decent salary.
My students who energize me every day even if I’m tired after a sleepless night.
My co-workers who are genuinely caring and loving people and who I can rely on for help and advice when needed.
My friend, who makes me a better person by her shining example. She is the most giving and loving person outside my immediate family that I’ve ever met.
The beauty of nature, the changing colors of trees, the California sky at sunset, the fresh grass after the rain, and for the bluest blue of the vast ocean that welcomes me every day as I go to work.
The sun on my face when I’m in my hammock on weekend mornings. The warmth of the rays and how they seem to bring the healing energetic power straight into my body's cells.
The abundance of food that surrounds me in my kitchen garden and that I can get at farmers markets, and my ability to turn this food into healthy meals that fuel and sustain my family.
My spinning class for letting me forget the ills of the world and for letting me feel super strong, and my instructors who always know my name and motivate me to do my best.
The relaxing bath and the aroma of lavender after a long day at work.
My strength. Only now am I able to realize how frail and sick my body was a few years back. And ont eh emotional side, I cna now look back on the emotional rollercoaster of the past few years and see how far I've come.
The time that I get to spend with my family. Five years ago I thought I got a death sentence but I’m here and every day is magical.
“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” – Buddha