Giving Thanks

This week, as we have been driving around, my son has noticed people putting up Christmas decorations around town and at different stores. He was very upset when he saw this. His comment? “Are we just skipping Thanksgiving?” My almost-9 year old knows that November is the time for giving thanks!

Give thanks for your blessings!

Friends, last year around this time I talked about Thankfulness, and how much we lose when we skip over from Halloween to Christmas, without taking the month of November to sit back and count our blessings.

I love Fall. I love the change of seasons, the crazy weather swings, raking leaves (and letting my kids jump in them), pumpkins and Pilgrims out around the house, and taking the time to remind my family of all of the people that we have in our circle.

leaf pile joy
I shared this picture last week in our group Q&A – isn’t this the ultimate joy of fall?

November is our month for giving thanks. It is the time to pause and reflect on life, to start off the holiday season reminding ourselves of how blessed we truly are. Take the time to count your blessings. Take the time to be grateful. Because we live in the greatest country on Earth.

Elections come and go, but the sun still rises and sets every day.

This has been a crazy year. Across the board, for everyone.

I started the year with my “resolution” reminder that None of us are Perfect. Hasn’t this year been the ultimate reminder of that? A global pandemic, record hurricanes, fires, and other crazy weather. Schools completely closed and parents having to juggle work and kids and school and all the things. Or losing jobs and having to figure out what’s next while also managing kids with no daycare. Women leaving the workforce in record numbers in order to be there for their kids.

This year has been hard.

At the same time, I am giving thanks for the extra time we had at home together as a family. We had regular family breakfast, lunch and dinner most days in March, April and part of May. We had kid fights, Zoom frustrations and a lot of “togetherness” – and we had long walks, movie nights, make your own pizza/taco dinners, and family game nights.

In a “normal” year, we travel off and on all summer long. This year, we pretty much had weekends home together, and we only took a few road trips around our state in July and August. And it was fun!

My kids did go back to school in person in September. And I am so thankful that, other than 10 days with the teenager doing remote learning in the middle, they have stayed in school since then.

I had been waiting – for years – for my youngest to start Kindergarten, and the opportunity for me to go back to work more in some capacity. This year, I waited again, because of the unknowns with school and life and all the things. I am thankful I’ve had these couple months to myself during the day. I have read books again. I have cleaned my house top to bottom. I have nested a little bit.

Now, I’m ready to get back into something work-related. My possibilities are endless. Do you love anticipation? I do! I love imagining all the possibilities. I love coming up with ideas and brainstorming how to make them all work. Whatever I do, it will still revolve around my schedule and me being home for my kids. I am so thankful for those possibilities!

I am unbelievably thankful for the last 12 years (12?!) I have had, juggling life and taking on projects that have interested me, in a variety of industries and covering everything from food blogging to energy education. I have had so many amazing work and life experiences since I graduated college 20 years ago. And I wouldn’t trade any of them. I look forward to taking on new things and new adventures.

Whatever comes next, I am looking for the fun. I am looking for things that make people happy. I want to find the joy in life and help other people do the same. Life is meant to be enjoyed! We should all be finding happy, finding joy, and looking for all the good things. Giving thanks for all of those things, every day.

My family has always had a tradition at Thanksgiving dinner to go around the table and have everyone – from the smallest child to the oldest grandparent – list things they are thankful for. As I contemplate all the reasons I have to be thankful this year, first and foremost is my family. My kids are amazing. My husband is a great father, loves to cook, and always finds the fun for all of us. And our parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and extended tribe are all a great support system for us. I don’t know what I would do without all of them.

I am also thankful for all of our friends, both here at home and across the country/world. We have so many wonderful people in our personal network – our “team” is extensive. I could not even begin to list them all here – you know who you are. I am grateful for each and every one of you.

November is for gratitude. Take this time to give thanks for all the things and all the people you have in your life. Be thankful for having a roof over your head, food on your table, and people in your life who love you. Everything else is just noise.

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