These days we hear the word “gratitude” thrown around so much that I can only hope it is not one of those “buzz” words that we have started to tune out. And hopefully it’s not just at Thanksgiving time that we actually take a moment to step out of our busy lives and look around at the good. Did you know that there are now lots of studies out that showcase how keeping a gratitude journal (or just mentally stockpiling as you go) can actually be beneficial to your overall health?
I love Thanksgiving. Anybody who knows me well knows that it is my favorite holiday Though I am a big lover of giving gifts, it is a nice time of year when no gifts are actually required; it’s simply about being together, having fun, eating comforting foods that we’ve been eating on this day for years (our traditions are rich just like I bet yours are) playing games, and cuddling up with a good movie. There’s also some mandel bread lying around which reminds me of my Grandma Jeanette (who always had some in her freezer in case somebody was nice to her at the hair salon, the bank or the dentist). Nobody will play $100,000 Pyramid with me any more (rightly so). And on any given Thanksgiving you can usually find a few people upstairs in the loft watching football, a few people downstairs on the couch napping, smells of stuffing and pineapple souffle (yes, pineapple souffle wafting through the house (it is a family favorite and sooo good) , maybe a game of mah jongg or backgammon or Balderdash going on in the corner, and maybe (just maybe) the women are getting a little rowdy while checking on the turkey and giggling like not one day has gone by since we were all in the kitchen together checking on the food. Snacks are out, apple cider is out, maybe some deer wander through the backyard. This year our surroundings will be different this year (we’ll be in Florida instead of West Virginia or Virginia), I know that good memories are to come, and I can’t wait for the sunshine, warmth, and palm trees to help us create these new memories. As long as I’m with those that I love, I could be in Timbuktu and be OK (though I’d prefer Florida).
Though I think about my blessings every day, silently to myself or in a journal, this year I wanted to just share a few with you before the holiday. So here goes:
I’m grateful that even though I’m treatment, I can travel to be with my loved ones this Thanksgiving.
I’m grateful that my relatives and I love each other.
I’m grateful that my relatives and I like each other.
I’m grateful that I can eat my favorite foods on this holiday.
I’m grateful that my treatment doesn’t fall during Thanksgiving week.
I’m grateful for warm showers, meditation, gratitude confetti, green juice, blueberry smoothies with bee pollen, and warm cozy sweaters.
I’m grateful that each member of my family plays an integral part of my team from research to hand-holding to calmness to making me laugh to sending me feather tattoos.
I’m grateful that my friends forgive me for not calling, emailing or texting more.
I’m grateful that even though yesterday I was so tired I cried, I was still able to go out for a walk and enjoy nature.
I’m grateful for autumn in New England.
I’m grateful that my co-workers (and my boss) seem to miss me and send me nice notes telling me so.
I’m grateful that my nephew loves to cuddle, lets me call him Pop-tart (and hopefully will until he goes away to college), and keeps me laughing.
I’m grateful that my best friend’s kids want to FaceTime with their Sam Auntie so that I can tell them just how much I love them.
I’m grateful that my best friend A has the wisdom and heart to walk this path with me– all with such grace on her part.
I’m grateful that my best friend M has taught me the value in meditation, patience, and compassion.
I’m grateful that my Mom is my best friend.
I’m grateful that my husband is my best friend.
I’m grateful that he gets me.
I’m grateful that I have a beautiful office where I am writing this from.
I’m grateful that my family would go to the ends of the earth for me and my health.
I’m grateful for my doctors, researchers, physician assistants, medical assistants, nurses, nurses who give me my infusions, people checking me in at Dana-Farber, my surgeons, my nutritionist, and everybody who has ever smiled at me or said a kind word to me at any of the institutes/hospitals where I have ever been treated.
I’m grateful that my oncologist hugs me when he sees me.
I am grateful for the nurse Alexia Marcous who took care of me when I was in Brigham & Women’s Hospital after my surgery last February.
I’m grateful that my surgeon wants to do everything he can take to help me, and bonus: He has a great bedside manner!
I’m grateful that there is a shot that can help with my glaucoma. Having said that, I am also super grateful for Ativan.
I’m grateful for the support of the Cancer Hope Network.
I am grateful that I can sleep every morning until I need to.
I am grateful for naps.
I am grateful for my kitties who cuddle with me and sit on my chest and purr and make me pet them instead of looking at my phone. They are reminders that nothing on my phone is as important as what’s right in front of me.
I am grateful that through my meditation and spirituality practices these last few years, I have learned how to let go, forgive, and find freedom in the unknown (sometimes).
I am grateful that Facebook has kept me connected to so many kind and awesome people.
I am grateful for the Jimmy Fund.
I am grateful that my husband understands my need for coffee.
I am grateful for YOU.
What are you grateful for? xo.