It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada! A time to congregate with family and friends and an excuse to indulge on a delicious meal. The weather has been particularly pleasant in Toronto this weekend – not too cold and not too warm – setting the perfect tone for an Autumn holiday.
I wanted to take this time to share my personal list of gratitude for 2017.
I am thankful for:
Family – For sticking by me through thick and thin; for believing in me; for annoying me out of love, and for always looking out for me. I am also thankful for the extended family I have been able to reconnect with earlier this year after being out of touch for entirely too long. It’s always humbling to reminded of how valuable and important it is to keep those familial ties no matter how hectic life can get.
Friends (Past and Present) – It’s quality not quantity. I am thankful for those that get me; those that I have been able to lean on in a time of need; those that I can be completely transparent with and I know I won’t be judged. I want to give a special shout out to the friends I have made through my blogging (you know who you are). There is something particularly special and genuine about establishing a friendship through your words of encouragement and peace. Only good things can come from connecting with kindred spirits from all over the world through the simple yet powerful act of writing.
I am also thankful for the friends I was once close with and am not anymore due to circumstances beyond my control. Instead of dwelling on what might have been, I am thankful for the experience and for the lessons learned. Although the friendship has dissipated, I wish them happiness, good health, and success in their lives. If our paths are meant to cross again, they will, and if not, that’s okay too.
Healthcare Professionals – I am thankful for this incredible group of people who put everything on the line everyday to help save the lives of others. I would like to give a special shout out to my sister, who is an ER nurse, and who is a constant inspiration to me every day. I don’t know how they do it but I am so grateful that they do.
This year was also particularly special as it marked five years since my mom has been cancer-free. I am incredibly thankful to all the doctors that helped her through what felt like a nightmare and I am beyond grateful for her continued recovery, strength and courage.
Group Chat – The softer side of mobile addiction. It seems so inconsequential but group chats can really be the glue that holds ties together in this digitally-driven generation we are now living in. No matter where you are in life or what you’re doing, you always have that connection through the community of a group conversation. I have personally developed a closer relationship with certain family members and friends just by having a group chat. With all of us leading separate, independent lives, it’s very easy to fall out of touch for days or weeks on end. You could be thinking about each other, of course, but it’s that active communication that ends up lacking which is so important.
With an ongoing group chat, we have a way to stay connected at any given time. It seems like such an obvious thing to have done a long time ago, but with so much going on in our lives, sometimes the most obvious solutions to a problem don’t come right away. Better late than never, right? 🙂
Group Exercise – I’ve mentioned this before and I will say it again: being physically active is so important no matter what form its in, but I am particularly thankful for group exercise classes at the gym, because the level of positive energy that emits from a group class is just out of this world. It’s like swimming in a sea of endorphins!
There is a very special energy about working out with others in unison. The vibe is so live and I actually crave the feeling when I’ve had a hard and long week. I find that when you are working out by yourself, you naturally zone out and just focus on what you’re doing, which can get boring pretty fast, but when you’re in a group class, you actually feel more alive and awake because you’re feeding off of the energy of everyone around you – positive, motivated, like-minded people. It’s incredibly up-lifting.
Through this positivity, I’ve made some amazing friends in the last couple of years for whom I am deeply thankful for. It’s very hard to meet genuinely nice people and I can honestly say that these ladies are all that and more.
Here’s a pic of us from us at our friend’s wedding earlier this year. I particular love this selfie for its candidness and diversity. It’s a perfect illustration of positivity and the impact of leading an active, healthy lifestyle since we all met at the gym.
Peace – Last, but certainly not least, the struggle for continued peace is real, but inner peace is the key to overall happiness and good health. Everything I’ve listed above contributes, in some form, to peace. You get peace from having the right people in your lives, engaging in the right activities, and generally having a lifestyle that exudes positive energy.
I’ve gone through a lot of change this year and it was pretty overwhelming. There were times when I felt that I might just cave and crumble into my own puddle of stress. I have chronic issues with anxiety so it’s especially tough for me to deal with change without over-thinking everything to death; but with the grace of God and a level-headed mindset, I managed to stay on track, though it’s a daily adventure and one that does not end.
My list could go on but I’m sure you get the idea.
Let us never lose sight of what’s really important in life. Like any other holiday, we should never only acknowledge what we are thankful for when a particular day on the calendar rolls around; instead we should often take the time to reflect on our lives and our blessings and internalize this level of gratitude so that it stays with us all the time.
With that said, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. God Bless.
What are you thankful for this year? Would love to see your own personal list.