I love Thanksgiving. It has everything a great holiday should have. Food food and more FOOD! Thanksgiving, of course, gives us all the opportunity to gather with friends and family to actually reflect on the bounty of our lives. Gratitude is truly one of the most important ingredients for happiness and Thanksgiving offers just the forum to express those feelings.
Occasionally I enjoy doing list columns and my mind has been a bit more focused on doing lists ever since I became a contributing writer at 12Most.com. So, herewith is my list of ten things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving. Please add any that you believe belong in the comments section below!
1. My Health
My late mother always said that without health you have nothing. I fully agree. Every day that I wake up feeling great is another day that I “Thank God” for the blessing of good health. Do I have aches and pains? Of course. Do they stop me? Not one bit. Should I lose a few pounds? Duh.
2. My Wife
Men do better married. In every category: longevity, happiness, and health. When I was a 24/7 single dad, it was not easy. Managing my kid’s emotional health after my divorce and their mother’s abandonment was stressful. Dating again was no picnic, though I will admit I had a little fun here and there. BUT, when I met my future wife and realized I’d found a wonderful partner, my life definitely improved substantially. My wife brought harmony and order to our home. Love and good food, too. I love you, darling!
3. My Kids
I always wanted to be a dad. The irony was that I didn’t finally become a dad until four days after my 40th birthday. My second son was born three years later. Has the journey been nothing but fun and games? You know the answer, but all the stops along the way have enriched my life. And, ultimately my single parenting inspired this, my second career. My boys are now 15 and 18. They are young men. I am in awe of what they’re achieving and what may be for each of them in the future. It feels like a live soap opera or a great novel. It is the best story of them all and I so want to see how it turns out!
4. My Good Fortune
I’ve often said, quoting Dennis Prager, that gratitude is the key to happiness. I indeed am very grateful for so much and so much good fortune. Yes, I made some of my luck but some of that luck was just a good roll of the dice. To be able to pursue a second career that is giving me such satisfaction and the opportunity to reach and touch other parents is the greatest fortune of them all.
5. Born in the USA
You can’t discount luck when you consider where you were born. I was fortunate to be born in the USA. I wasn’t born in a poor 3rd world country, born into poverty, or born into a system that didn’t offer much of a chance. I was born to two loving hard-working blue-collar parents that gave me EVERY chance to succeed. I was lucky.
6. Mom and Dad
Without a doubt, I was blessed with two amazing parents. My mom and dad each suffered very rough sailing in their lives. They suffered the loss of two of their three children, and enduring many serious illnesses and numerous serious surgeries. Did any of this make them despair? Not in my view, as my parents always had a positive word for every one in their lives. My parents are gone now, having passed away at 89 and 90 years of age. I miss them but thank God everyday for the love and support they showed me every day!
7. Social Media
I’ve extolled the values of Social Media in my columns and on my radio show. Social Media has opened up so much to me. I’ve met people from all over the world. It’s given me speaking opportunities at incredible conventions and it’s allowed me to learn and grow every single day.
I’m writing this while on my first ski trip of this season. I love the snow. I love to ski. I love the mountains and the fresh air. It’s my second love, after my wife and boys.
9. My Community
Community is a word that has been sort of hijacked by Social Media. It is almost as ubiquitious as “engagement,” which refers to interaction via Social Media. My “community” includes all of you, that read my columns, all the participants that come to #DadChat every Thursday evening (6:00 – 7:00 p.m., PST) on Twitter, and all the great people I’ve come to know at the above-referenced conventions and through other Social Media platforms, such as Facebook.
10. My Dogs
This year, we sadly lost one of my beloved dogs, Tache. She had been a member of our family for 15 years. Her “boyfriend,” Simon and her sister, Charlotte, survive her. These dogs have provided comfort during dark periods –especially the dark days of my divorce – and love and affection all the time.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Please share your thoughts with me via @BruceSallan at Twitter, my “A Dad’s Point-of-View” Facebook Page or contact me through BruceSallan.com. I wish you all the very best!
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