The last four months have not been very typical for me.
In June I saw all six of my grandchildren even though they live in three different provinces and are each busy with jobs, school and activities. We celebrated the birthdays of each just because we were together despite the date on the calendar at the time. We had fun!
In July, five of my first cousins got together in Regina for a family wedding. There are so few of us and there aren’t that many weddings in society anymore so it was really special! While in the Queen City I was also able to share most of a day with my 88 year old aunt who is my oldest remaining blood relative.
In August, I set out for the eastern coast of the United States for my first holiday in two years. It wasn’t very typical for me. In 15 days I rode in 6 airplanes, 3 trains, several taxis, a tall sail ship on the Atlantic, a Boston paddle swan boat, 3 hop on hop off buses, a tour van, a rental car, several escalators and people movers as well as an Amish buggy pulled by a horse. I also climbed hundreds of stairs and walked several miles.
I arrived home at the beginning of September just days before my seventh grandchild arrived. Nariya (think Mariah with an N at the beginning) is the first baby we have had in eleven years so she is just thrilling our hearts.
Last week I was in Calgary where I received two new professional certifications based on the cutting-edge research in the world of neuroscience. When I arrived home, the Government of Canada had mailed Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan forms for me to complete. I really don’t have any retirement plans because I love my work but will soon have a bonus income that isn’t based on the number of hours that I work each week.
And now I am repacking my luggage for a trip to New Orleans. My older son won the trip and has invited me to accompany him because his wife works in a school and can’t take time off to travel with him.
Life is good and I am so thankful!
But even if only one of these things had occurred, I would still be thankful because I am healthy, have loving relatives, kind friends and an interesting career.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. Life isn’t perfect. I frequently experience days that are filled with stress and long hours. Sometimes people say things that hurt me or I say things that hurt them because I haven’t been thoughtful enough before I opened my mouth. The bills arrive regularly and there are times that the unexpected can throw me for a loop. It takes longer to do some things and yes, my memory isn’t as good as it used to be.
But I know that I have choices. And I choose gratitude.
It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving to be thankful though. You can adopt this attitude every day of the year. You just have to remember where to put your focus.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!