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Be thankful for what you have

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You might have noticed my smiling mug was absent from last week’s paper. I was stuck in a hospital bed and was too ill to write a column. I’ll spare you the details.

In the depths of my illness, in between feeling miserable, missing my 5-month-old and my husband at home,and just generally feeling cruddy about being stuck in the hospital, I struggled to stay positive.

When things are bad, it’s easy to dwell on why things are bad and feel sorry for yourself. But it’s times like those that should put life into perspective.

No matter how bad each of us thinks we have it, somebody else has it worse. I’m pretty sure there were people in the hospital who were a lot sicker than I was and who didn’t have anyone to visit them. I had visitors and I was getting the care I needed to overcome my illness. I was thankful for that.

Thanksgiving was Thursday. You might get stuck on the notion thatit’s just about stuffing your face with turkey, watching football, and putting up with your family for a day.

It’s really about counting your blessings. No matter how bad you think your lot in life is, you have something for which you can be thankful. It doesn’t matter if you’re wealthy or poor, fat or skinny, bald or sporting a lush mane. Your family, no matter how dysfunctional you might think it is, is a blessing. Your friends are a blessing. Your job, even if you don’t particularly like it, is a blessing. The meal you stuffed down your gullet on Thursday was a blessing.

It’s easy to take for granted the good things in your life. Don’t.

Be thankful for the clothes on your back and the roof over your head. Be thankful for the food on your plate. Be thankful for the people around you, even if they drive you nuts, because they care about you and someday they will be gone.

I am thankful for my husband, daughter, parents, siblings and their families. I am thankful that we can keep a roof over our heads and afford to eat every day. I am thankful that I have my health back. I am thankful that I have a job I love most of the time and that I am lucky enough to raise my child in the same place I grew up.

Since I have all of those things, the things in my life that I find annoying or negative really don’t matter. In between the bad, there is a lot of good. Know that not everyone is lucky enough to have the things you have, even if you think what you have is meager compared to others.

Thursday was about being thankful, but that’s an idea that shouldn’t be confined to just one day. The blessings in your life are there every day. Don’t take them for granted. Appreciate them. Be thankful for them.

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