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An attitude of gratitude. 20 things to be thankful for this year.

Marcia Wright

November 1, 2021

When is the last time you thought about what you’re most thankful for? If you’re like most of us, it was probably last Thanksgiving. But even crazy and chaotic years have their points of light, so here’s a handy list to help prepare yourself in case you’re put on the spot at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. By the way, It’s also a good reminder of just how much we have to be thankful for.

  1. Family. Sure, they can be overbearing, frustrating and even weird at times. But they’re your overbearing, frustrating weirdos, and they love you, too.
  2. Relationships. The one who pretends not to notice your morning breath, sees you without makeup, endures your rants about work, and still loves you.
  3. Good friends. Friends are family who will actually tell you just how dumb you were to do that thing you just did—but they’ll also stand by you to the end.
  4. Home. Whether it’s a shoebox apartment or a sprawling house, it’s comforting to have your own little corner of the world to come home to, dust bunnies and all.
  5. Pets. Dogs, cats, ferrets, hamsters—there’s nothing like unconditional love in a fluffy package to snuggle with when you’ve had one of those days.
  6. Health. The last couple of years have shown us that good health—both ours and our loved ones’—is truly a gift to be grateful for every day of our lives.
  7. Modern conveniences. Electricity, dishwashers, indoor plumbing, air conditioning, cars, smartphones. Can you imagine life without them? 
  8. Streaming services. The ability to watch anything from your favorite childhood shows to the movies and series everyone’s talking about—on your schedule.
  9. Virtual meeting apps. Even without a pandemic, the ability to talk in real time and see the faces of distant friends and loved ones is miraculous.
  10. Snow days. Is there anything better than going back to bed (or at least working in your PJs) when it’s 10 below zero with snowdrifts up to your windowsill?
  11. A caring boss and co-workers you like. If you have these, we’d bet you already appreciate how much nicer it makes coming to work each day. 
  12. Toilet paper. For obvious reasons.
  13. Kind people. A lady in the grocery store line who lets you go ahead. A teenager who holds open a door when your hands are full. Kindness is still out there.
  14. Good books. Oh, the bliss of whiling away a rainy weekend on the couch, absorbed in a new book or a beloved familiar story.
  15. Email questions…that can be resolved in one reply and with one sentence.
  16. Memories. The ability to connect your past to your present teaches you, gives you perspective and comforts you when you need it most.
  17. Pizza and chocolate. The two most vital food groups. ‘Nuff said.
  18. Travel. The world is opening back up to us. Maybe not as fast as we’d wish, but we have options again for seeing new sights and making memories.
  19. GPS. Life is all about the journey, but sometimes you just can’t afford to get lost. And you don’t have to worry about folding a GPS the right way.
  20. Our planet. Earth is truly a wonder; a big blue marble that, at last count, has supported 117 billion humans over the millennia—and will hopefully survive to support many more.

So there you have it; a (somewhat random) list you can print off and slip into your pocket to be pulled out at Thanksgiving dinner—or any time you need a shot of optimism and a reminder that we have so much to be grateful for.

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