Reasons for Thanksgiving

Giving Thanks is Day to Day

It's the holiday we all take a moment to think of things we are thankful for. I have many. Here's just a few.

  1. Faith. I was blessed to be raised in the parochial school system where religion was part of the curriculum. I was even luckier to be pulled along in my faith years ago by people like my friend Pat and continually challenged to seek deeper faith today by people like Brandon, Claude and Nick.
  2. Wife. We celebrated 25 years this summer by taking a trip to Nashville. She is still someone I laugh with daily, sometimes doubling over. And while we snip and snipe at times, she is still the best thing that ever happened to me. She taught me how to love.
  3. Kids. I don't know what we did right, but they came out pretty good. After years in the trenches fulfilling physical needs, then years meeting emotional ones, they're finally starting to find out who they are. Good students, compassionate hearts, smart and funny. I can't wait to see where they end up in life.
  4. Extended family. Though I only see them a few times a year, we all still get along really well. There's something to be said for all that we've been through together making up the glue that holds us together. We have our warts, tics and goiters (goiters?), but you can't deny the love that runs deep.
  5. In Laws. Our New York (and Milwaukee) family is much the same story. We only see them once or twice a year, but when we do, we laugh, love and reminisce about all the things we've shared together. As we all age, we realize that every time we get together is precious.
  6. Friends. Old friends and new friends. Friends near and far. We appreciate that when we get together, it's just the same as when we first met. Good friends are like that, and I am thankful for each one of you.
  7. House. She's 93 years old and has definite quirks and creaks, but she is home. With all that's going on with the refugees in Syria and other places, it's time we're ALL thankful for having a roof over our head. 
  8. Health. Every day I walk by a Senior Activities Center as well as the March of Dimes center for special needs kids. And every day I am reminded that I am incredibly fortunate to have good health, mentally and physically. The senior center is a reminder that the clock is ticking and you're only as young as you feel. 
  9. Job. Next year will mark my twentieth year at Waukesha County and over 30 years in GIS and Mapping. If you'd have told me that coming out of school in 1985 with a degree in Geography that I would work in my field (cartography) for 30+ years, without a day waiting tables or driving a forklift, I would have laughed my head off. 
  10. Dog. Toby is as much a part of my daily routine as going to work. He loves me unconditionally and only wants three things in life. A walk, some love and whatever I'm eating.

In the day to day grind, we all tend to overlook how lucky and privileged we are in this country. We spend too much time getting mad, shouting about our political differences, and spending money trying to get more of whatever we think we need to be happy. How about taking some time today and this season to be thankful for the things that we should really be thankful for? Let's not look at what we need next, but rather, what we have and have had. 

Because life is rich, and I for one, am THANKFUL for being around to enjoy today. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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