Gratitude the feeling of appreciation within us.
Being thankful is expressing that gratitude to someone.
And thanksgiving is the celebration of everything that we have to be thankful for.
I recently started a Gratitude Journal, hoping that by capturing little things from everyday I can become more appreciative of my busy and challenging but wonderful life.
And today, although it got left until the last minute, I didn't want Thanksgiving to pass without using this space to give thanks to the important people in my life...
I'm grateful to my parents for their unconditional love and support, and for instilling in me the values of hard work and patience. I'm thankful for the wonderful childhood they gave me, which was filled with so many opportunities to learn and grow. I truly appreciate the responsibility and independence they taught me, and how they provided me with a model for how to raise my own family. On a practical note, I'm also thankful for the fun family visits at the big house or cottage, how they get up early with the girls and let me sleep in, and the holidays for the girls when we need help with childcare.
So many thanks are needed for my sister. I am grateful for all the times she drops by to visit, sometimes with croissants or other goodies, but always ready to jump in and offer us another set of hands. I am so appreciative of all the times she sticks around until bedtime to help with bathtime and stories, how she occupies the girls with creative crafts and activities, takes them out for walks or library trips or knitting lessons, giving us a break or a chance to get some job done. I love how she feels comfortable enough in our midst to intervene in sibling squabbles, tantrums, whining, and other episodes of poor behaviour. Not to mention all the babysitting she has provided for us, offering us the chance to get out some evenings to reconnect as husband and wife, instead of mommy and daddy for awhile. And the effort she makes to ensure I get out on my own with trips to the movies or shopping. She helps us out so often and so much, that it is hard to say thank you enough.
For my in-laws, I have so many things to be thankful. Foremost are the weekly visits which include child care pick-up, dinner, clean-up, dog-walking, and bath- and bedtime assistance. Every week that they come, I am so grateful for the extra hands, and the extra free time in the evenings that I believe I am noticeably more relaxed, more likely to crack a bad joke, more likely to laugh and enjoy the craziness of dinner time. And yet, since it happens with such regularity, I fear that my appreciation is not communicated as clearly as it should be. But I am so grateful. I am also thankful for their generous financial support, family vacations and the general looking after us that they continually provide. They are always offering to help looking after the children when they're too sick for school or daycare or when gaps in childcare arise. And of course, I am also thankful to them for the great job they did in raising their son.
To my husband, I am grateful for his love. He looks after my mind and my spirit, he makes me laugh, he inspires me to dream, and he encourages me to look after and love myself. (Although I'm sure he sometimes doubts this,) He keeps me sane. Plus, he bears an enormous responsibility in raising our family. Women may often feel that they alone do everything for their family. But although I may sometimes feel that our loads are not equally balanced when it comes to chores and responsibilities, I know that I could not do it alone. He does so much more to support me than can be calculated on a chore chart. He is a wonderful father, sharing many good values like self-confidence, healthy living and following ones' dreams. He is fair and stern, but fun and loving. He lights up our home, and my life.
So, although my life can seem repetitive and challenging on a day-to-day basis, I am truly grateful for those people in my life who make it not just easier, but also more rewarding and more fun. I know I don't say it often enough, but thank you. Thank you every day.
This photo is added with sarcasm. Although it is totally counter
to the theme of my post, I couldn't resist.