November has wound its way to Thanksgiving. I find myself looking for the little things, the things I take for granted for which I seldom give thanks. What I’ve found is, well, a lot.
Oxygen. Never do I consider that I will turn in for the night and wake without fresh air to breath. For oxygen, I am thankful.
Food. I buy it, cook it, eat plentiful amounts—often too plentiful—every day. Oh, we say a quick prayer of thanks before meals, but it could be that the prayer has become rote, rather than real. For nourishment, I am thankful.
Heating and cooling. I’m not talking about the experts who repair the units, though I appreciate them very much. I am talking about walking into a warm home in winter and a cool house in summer. For both, I am thankful.
Roofs. Home roof, car roof, store roofs. For a roof of protection over my head day and night, I am thankful.
Memories. I attended my first funeral visitation at age 13 for my 8th grade English teacher. I expected to enter a room full of tears. Instead, people embraced, smiled, laughed. They came together to reminiscence about good times they had enjoyed with my teacher—their mother, sister, and friend. For memories, I am thankful.
Smiles. One person who gifts her smile upon another puts a negative day on a positive course. For smiles, I am thankful.
Laughter. It’s my favorite exercise, and yes, the best remedy for all that ails us. For laughter, I am thankful.
Children. All of them. For their innocence, their antics, and their simple, yet wise words. For children, I am thankful.
Carolyn’s pie crust recipe. That crust has brought great joy to my family in many an apple pie consumed over the years. For Carolyn’s pie crust recipe and her generosity in teaching me the secrets of assembly, I am thankful.
Kind people. The driver who waves you ahead in traffic. The stranger who sees you have only one or two items and tells you to go ahead of him in line. The store clerk who quietly gives you the discount for the coupon that expired the day before. For kind people, I am thankful.
Sleep. It’s how I recharge my batteries to meet the challenges and thrills of each day. For sleep, I am thankful.
Transportation. Cars, planes, bicycles, trains that take me where I want to go. For transportation, I am thankful.
Natural stress relievers. Tennis, writing, reading, watching classic films, spending quality time with family and friends, hearing the ocean, reveling under a true-blue sky. For natural stress relievers, I am thankful.
New socks and underwear. They are the greatest of feel-good insulators. For new socks and underwear, I am thankful
Forgiveness. Perfect I am not. For the act of forgiveness and those who offer it with genuine hearts, I am thankful.
Apologies. They ease tension and right ships. For apologies—proffered with sincerity and accepted with humble gratitude—I am thankful.
Losing. It reveals weaknesses and mistakes that lead to improvement. Losing teaches one how to be a gracious winner. For losing—even though I don’t realize it in the moment—I am thankful.
Winning. Winning is, well, exhilarating. For winning, I am thankful.
Normal. Normal is not, as many believe, synonymous with “boredom.” Normal is routine. It’s tradition. It’s predictable and probable and anticipated. Normal keeps me grounded. Inject a few thrills and adventures into normal, and life is good for me. For normal, I am thankful.
Unearthing the little things, the things I take for granted, reminds me that I am blessed in a big way. May we all focus on the blessings—there are so many blessings—as we celebrate Thanksgiving.
writer, blogger, columnist