With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I’ve started chatting with Ryder about the holiday and what it represents.
(Believe it or not, 4-year-olds grasp the concept of Thanksgiving very easily if we simply substitute “thankful” for “likes a lot”. Of course, coming from Ryder, one can expect cars, vacuums and gummy bears to be on that list.)
I decided that I too wanted to make a list of the things I am thankful for; but let’s be honest, you can likely guess the contents: my beautiful boys, my wonderful extended family, health, happiness… yes, it’s all terribly predictable.
And so I began thinking about the little things I’m thankful for. You know, the small stuff that in the end, somehow made a huge difference. Sometimes I laughed; often, I cried; but for the most part, I am thankful.
I am thankful that I was never a conventionally pretty or popular girl. Being ignored for most of my high school life was likely the greatest gift ever. For when other 15-year-old girls simply had to toss their hair or flirtatiously giggle, I had to be funny, witty and interesting. Yes, I was the forgettable girl with the great personality – the one the boys didn’t want to be set up with. At the time, I spent countless nights wondering how I could make myself more popular, more trendy and definitely more pretty. But in the end, the fact that I had to depend on my wit and charm – not my looks – allowed me to develop my inner beauty. Later, when I finally blossomed, not only was I a looker – I was charismatic and likable, too.
A Charitable Cause.
I am thankful for my first boyfriend. He was a cute, popular boy and for some reason, decided to pluck me out of social obscurity. One day, huddled behind the high school portables, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I thought I’d combust with happiness! We ended up “dating” for 2 months – a lifetime when you’re 16 years old. To this day, I still don’t know if I was a “She’s All That”-esque charitable cause (certainly no on else could figure out the attraction – not even my friends!) but I’ll forever be thankful that he spent a small portion of his life making me feel so special. The confidence that ensued helped me keep my head held high when other boys rejected me (sadly, my social life did not pick up after that brief stint – see Inner Beauty).
I am thankful for books. For the scores of authors who have taken me on adventures, journeys of self-awareness and have tugged at my heart with tales of love and betrayal. Books that have been my companion on rainy afternoons, long Go-Train rides and certainly during the wee hours of morning when I should have been sleeping but was too engrossed in the story to let go. I think about the weekend when I read the entire Twilight trilogy and did nothing else, and smile. I think about the authors who take the time to tell their story – dedicating years, or decades, to the cause – knowing that they may face rejection at multiple intervals. I am in love with books.
A Broken Heart.
I am thankful for the man I almost married. I am thankful that he unceremoniously dumped me over the phone after promises of marriage and kids. Yes, I can laugh about it now! Because extreme heartbreak calls for extreme measures: I (gasp) joined an online dating service and met the man of my dreams. It’s easy to see in hindsight that I wouldn’t have been happy with my life had I pressed on. There wasn’t anything wrong with him, and there wasn’t anything wrong with me – but there was something wrong with us. I am thankful I accepted defeat rather than champion a lost cause.
The Sister I Never Had.
I am thankful for my best friend. There was a time when we talked alike, dressed alike and liked the same boy bands. And then we grew up, but we never grew apart. Today, she is more family than friend. I say this because I take her for granted; she is expected to listen to me whine about my often monotonous daily life. I cancel dinner dates because my child has an ear infection. I forget about her feelings from time to time, and always forget to bring her birthday card (I think I presented her 32nd birthday card to her at her 33rd birthday, or something atrocious like that). But she has the kindest heart and the most sincere spirit of anyone I’ve ever met, and I am grateful every day that she loves me anyways, as I love her.
I am thankful that no matter what happens in my life, and no matter where life may take me – I can fall to my knees in prayer and ask for the strength to persevere. Faith, beliefs and religious views are a very personal thing, and I don’t wish to quote the bible or impose my beliefs on anyone else. But at many points in my life, I’ve found solace in the fact that I can unload my troubles with the fervent hope that someone is listening.
Letter of Termination.
I am thankful that I quit my day job. Four years ago, I received a letter in the mail stating that my position as an Employee Satisfaction Specialist would no longer be available upon my return from maternity leave. Yes, I panicked. I had been groomed to take over the corporate world; since completing university, I hopped from one business environment to another, always with the intention of moving up. However, after contemplating my fate, I decided to throw caution to the wind and do what I always wanted to do – write stories. Today, writing stories is my job. And my job is awesome.
A Tall Glass of Haterade.
I am thankful for haters. I am thankful for every rumour started, every whispered insinuation and all the hurtful gossip that surrounds women who have achieved a certain level of success. Blather on! Because while all that chitchat is happening in the background, I’m working. And I’m working my ass off, without a thought of compromising my integrity by involving myself in the drama. Enjoy your Haterade! I’m too busy counting my blessings – and my bank deposits.
I am thankful for my readers. At this very moment, you could be on any other website (I vote for Epicurious.com, if you must leave) and yet you choose to spend a moment in your day with me. Every time I hit “publish”, it is with the intent that someone will read my thoughts, views, or random rants. Thank you for your feedback, support, laughs and hugs (even virtual ones) – they reinforce my social media existence, and drive me to continue telling stories.
What are you thankful for? Happy Thanksgiving!
I am thankful for having the greatest family, including the woman of my dreams, and the 2 sweetest boys on the planet- Ryder (Roonie) and Reid (Zoogie). Can life get any better?
Aren’t you the sweetest husband ever? xo
Loved this post! Love the way you took what some people would look as bad things and turned them around for better.
Thank you Jolee. I am a firm believer that my glass is always half full :)
Oh Lena…such a lot of love went into this post!
I totally understand the theme song “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I was humming it today. Yeah you for your sunny positive outlook. Love it and am so glad to count you as one of the things I am thankful for!
Thank you my friend :) As always, I am thankful for sweet, supportive friends!
Thank you Caroline. I’m thankful for you!
Thanks for sharing — I loved reading this. It inspires me to put some deep thought into what I’m thankful for this year.
My pleasure Victoria – we all need to step back and say thank you, especially at this time of year!
Lovely post. Put so much perspective on the things and reminds us all that every raincloud has a silver lining.
LOVE it – so true!
Simpy beautiful post. And YOU are beautiful inside and out Lena!!! I always remember the first time you posted a picture of yourself because I was shocked (in a good way!!!) that you are so talented and so gorgeous!! I am thankful that you write stories for me to read!
Aw, I am blushing! And now I really need to send you a picture of when I was 14 years old, LOL!
lol I am laughing at the thought you ever having trouble finding a boyfriend! lol but seriously, really nice post girl! count those blessings!
Thank you Jennifer :) You too girl! You cup runeth over with goodness :)
i too am thankful for my sista from anotha mista….love you to the moon, no, mars! xoxoxo <3
Love you so much! xoxox
Great post! I’m grateful for my family.
One of the BEST things to be thankful for! Happy Thanksgiving Huguette!
Great post – as always!!!
Thank you Soulla :) Happy Thanksgiving!
Im thankful for my improving health. Thankful I have raised my eldest child to adulthood – educated, employed and married recently – whoop! And even for the basic things like a roof over my head.
I love everything you are thankful for, Lisa :)
Love the post. I love the glass half full view of life. Really we have so much to be thankful for. Thanks for the post
Thank you for reading, and taking the time to comment Cathy! Thankful for all my supportive readers!
I’m am thankful that I could raise two beautiful boys.
Margaret, I want to be in your shoes one day :)
Hey Lena nice post!!
i try to look on the sunny side of life too!!
Hmmm too many to things to be grateful for. Well I guess I am greatful for being born in Canada as a women it has let me (us) do whatever we want really and be gratful for all those things it can bring!
Have a Great Weekend!!
An EXCELLENT reason to be thankful, Allie – you’re absolutely right! Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanks for this post! We forget sometimes all that we have to be thankfull for
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from the West Coast!
Thank you Anne! My very best wishes to your family as well!
I am thankful for posts exactly like this one, Lena.
Sometimes it’s difficult to see the trials and tribulations in life as a blessing – it’s wonderful to have that reminder!
Thank you. ♥
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family
Oh Soozle, I am thankful for the opportunity to connect with amazing readers like you! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family too!
Thank you for sharing your stories. I am impressed with your creativity, both in the way you artfully blend words and in coming up with new ideas for your blogs. I’ve enjoyed reading them and appreciate your openness and authenticity.
Wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving and if I’m not mistaken, that is the same day as your blogiversary. Early congratulations on your fourth year! MTFBWYA. ;)
AC, thank you for being so instrumental in my life over the past eight years. I feel like we’ve known each other forever! You’ve always been there for me and my family, and I am very thankful for all those long walks. I miss them terribly.
We love you!
Great post! I am thankful to have met you. You are an inspiration to this little blogger.
As you are an inspiration to me, friend! xoxo
Beautiful post from a beautiful person! It’s so important to step back from the busyness of life to reflect on and remember the truly important things in life! I’m thankful that after too many years passed, I can call you my friend :)
The feeling is very mutual, my friend :) Thank you for being a wonderful supporter and beautiful person, inside and out… not to mention the best baker ever.
Oh gees, reading this post got me quite emotional just because this year has been quite hard for me on many different aspects! Reading your post just reminded me that despite the not-so-good things that has happened/is happening, I still have a lot to be thankful for even though it’s not always so obvious, especially in the midst of everything that is happening. x
That’s it, Jenny – it’s hard to be thankful when you’re going through hard times, but in the end, there’s always something to take away from it. Sending you hugs and much strength while you make your way through the not-so-good times. Rainbows ahead, I promise.
I’m Thankful that my mom is cancer free after battling it twice! Happy Thanksgiving!
And I am thankful for your mom – and your family – as well! Happy Thanksgiving Huguette!
Excellent post Lena! I loved this entire list and agree that there is a positive side to everything. I’ve learned that the gossip and hatred of others comes with the territory of success. It’s sad. I believe so strongly in supporting and encouraging each other as women and friends.
It was so nice to sit down and chat with you during BlogHer, even briefly. Hope to do it again soon. Sorry you won’t be attending Blissdom, but I’m sure you will have a wonderful time with your family in paradise ;).
Thank you Nadia! It was so nice to chat with you too; you are exceedingly wonderful. I’m sure we’ll see each other again, and yes, we’ll have to carve out more than a few moments!
I am also thankful for my Faith, my friends and for the resiliance that my job hunt is teaching me! I am also thankful that I’ll be seeing many old and new friends at SCCTO in a few weeks.
Wonderful things to be thankful for, Jenn!
Haterade is my new favorite word. Beautiful post.
I just read this again and then forwarded to my sister, who is in a high pressure job, with lots of stress and 2 young kids. Many of her colleagues are male and do not have the double duty pressures many women have. I like strong women, I like to see how they persevere, and succeed. It is inspiring, as are you and my sister and so many of the women I am getting to know through facebook, and blogs and twitter. Happy Thanksgiving. Cheers because what doesn’t kill us makes up stronger.
Thank you Cathy, for such a kind and meaningful comment. Best of luck to your sister – I think she’ll come out just fine!
Lena!! I love this post! You are my inspiration. Thank YOU so much!
You’re too kind Kristina! Thank you for your support over the years – means so much!
Awesome post Lena!
Great post – good way to keep life in perspective!
Thanks Marissa and Pamela!
Thankful for health, job, family and friends.
Those are wonderful reasons to be thankful, Sharlene :)
A bit late, but I’m thankful for family, friends, good health and my two little fur-babies :D
So cute :) Great list of things to be thankful for!
So much to be Thankful for. Great reminders for us as we’re so blessed.
Thank you Monica :)
This was a beautiful post…Thank you very much it made my day.
Thank YOU Colleen for taking the time to leave a lovely comment for me.
What a beautiful post, thanks so much for posting this:)
It’s my pleasure Doris. Thanks for being a great reader!
This is a wonderful read. Thank you very much for sharing so much with us! Loved it
Thank you Tania :)
this is amazing! Grattitude conquers all! well said Lina!
Thank you Maria!
What a thoughtful list.
Thanks Shirley, so kind of you to say :)
Lovely. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for sharing. I am just starting to write down three gratefuls each day…I appreciate this!
I love that you are writing down three things you are grateful for each day Lori!
I am thankful there are wonderful people like you who remind me that I am very thankful for all that I have (and for things I don’t have).
Thank you Patricia. I am thankful for readers like you!
…Very nice for you to share with us…I am thankful for my family and the fact that I still have both my parents when so many of my cousins have lost theirs.
That is a very wonderful reason to the thankful, Colleen :) Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Areta!
The post is great very inspiring very thoughtful post there is so much to be thankful for :)
Thank you Jennifer. I’m thankful for kind readers like you!
I enjoyed reading this! I know it’s not Thanksgiving but I am thankful for many of the same things as you. Of course, my family, friends and health. I’m also thankful for the bullies who taught me that I do not want to be that type of person. I’m thankful for my first and only high school boyfriend that made me feel like I could be liked by a guy (I was also a late bloomer and was not one of the “pretty and popular girls”. I’m thankful for my second and current boyfriend of almost 7 years who has taught me so many things and boosted my confidence more than anyone else and who made me realize that I don’t have to do my hair and make up every morning before anyone seen me. I am thankful for so much more but the number one thing would be my kids. They have taught me there is so much more to life than going out drinking, staying up late and sleeping in all morning. They gave me a reason to get up in the morning and have taught me patience and so much more! I could go on and on..we all have so much to be thankful for if we just stop to take the time to think about it :)
You are very right, Mandy, and I loved reading your thoughtful, insightful comment! You have much to be thankful for and I’m so happy to see you counting your blessings. As always, wishing you my very best!
This is such a tearful post for me to read. Beautifully written as always. I love reading anything you write. I found reading this brought back painfull memories of my time in school but I think I can look back now with grace and forgive them.
Thank you Teresa. And forgiveness is a wonderful thing; it cleanses the spirit of hate and allows us to move on. Wishing you many, many blessings and things to be grateful for this year!
I am thankful for clean water when so many do not have access too
Such a true statement, Andrew. You’re absolutely right.
Beautifully written! The sister post took my eye – and reminded me to always be in closer contact even when miles separate. Thank you.
Thank YOU Inez – staying in touch is so important.
I are ally enjoyed reading this post… It makes us all stop and think about the small things that make us, us!!
I too am thankful that I was never popular in high school, and had to develop a personality. I also grew up and became a “total package” ;)
Thank you for sharing.
Woot! Love that Karen!
I enjoyed reading “I Am Thankful”. You are a good person and I look forward to following your blog closely going forward.
Thank you Alexa :)
I am thankful for my amazing hubby who has stood by my side no matter what life has thrown at us (& it definitely has thrown us an unpleasant curve ball these last 2 years)
That is amazing Patricia :) All the best!
Great blog post! it made me think of the near-misses i have had in my life and how better off i am without certain people/situations in my life. I am definitely thankful!
Wonderful to hear, Sarah!
Hello, Lena. I loved this entire article. You certainly have a way with words and are very articulate and funny. Reading this article left me with such happiness. Thank you for this treasure and for reminding me of my treasures, too. Lena keep on writing and I will keep on reading. ;)
Thank you Michelle :) You definitely brighten my day with all your kind comments. Wishing you the very best!
what a beautiful piece about Thanksgiving – straight from the heart.
Thank you Robyn :)
What an incredible post! I love how you shared points of your life that many may not precive as “Thankful Moments” but your did!
There’s always things to be thankful for :) Thanks Tammy.
:D Love your blog!
:) Thank you Amy.
Thank you Amy!
Being presently grateful and thankful draws even more positive things in your life! ( As dwelling on negativity draws the negative… ) Thankful for heath, family and friends and believers of me, the Tooth Fairy online ☺
Love that! I think many wonderful people believe in the Tooth Fairy :)
Loved this post. Thank You for sharing
thankful for a dear husband, loving family and a job
:) Wonderful things to be thankful for!
Thanks for listing such wonderful thoughts on gratitude. After reading this blog I am inspired to today to finally start a gratitude journal and list three thankfuls each day!
Love it Lori, I think a gratitude journal is a fabulous idea :)
nice blog and writtings and topics
Thank you elodie :)
I am thankful to come home and get my family round of Hugs!
That sounds DIVINE Matthew!
very thought provoking post Lena; great things to be thankful for.
Thank you so much Robyn :)
What a great post Lena, it was very touching, thank you!
Thanks for reading, Sharda!
I really enjoyed hearing what you are thankful for and sorta feel as though I know a little bit about the person you are rather than just trying to win some random thing on your blog…btw the husband comment after your blog post was awesome…its obvious you have a supportive family…laterz
Thank you Kiley – so sweet of you to take the time to comment. I appreciate it!
It’s so important to be thankful… all year long. If we aren’t happy with the things in our lives, what makes us think we’d be happy if we got the things we really want? Hmmm…
EXACTLY. Great perspective, Amanda!
Loved your post Lena. I can relate a lot to this as I believe everything happens for a reason. I am happy for everything life has thrown my way!
Thank you Cheryl! Tight hugs to your little one!
I’m thankful for this man who has put up with me for so long. He really does have alot of patience.
BTW this is a great post. Things do happen for a reason. That’s what I believe
Thanks MLV. I believe it too :)
My husband and kids.
Those are great reasons to be thankful :)
Always count your blessing!! Love this!
Thank you !
Always great to remember the good in your life. I practice gratitude everyday and my outlook on life is better because of it. I am thankful first and foremost always for my family.
Sounds like you know what’s important, Tanya!
I am thankful for my family and friends
:) Thanks for sharing Amy.
I am thankful for my beautiful family
A wonderful reason to be thankful~
This post puts it all into perspective, we whould all be thankful each and every day. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Angie :)
Honestly, I’m thankful I wake up each morning and get to face another day.. which leads me to be thankful for everything in life. The good and the bad.
Wonderful perspective Darlene!
Thank you for sharing
Just reading through some of your reader favourites and I can see why this is one of them. I can relate to everything you are thankful for (well, except the job one, I always had a job, which I am thankful for). So glad you decided to write these blogs, I think you have found your calling !! I believe that everything happens for a reason, although we sometimes can’t see it at the time. Keep the blog posts coming !!! :)
Thank you so much for being such a great reader Flora :)
I am thankful for everyday with my husband. We have had a year together last year I did not know if I would get. I am blessed.
Oh Lori, that is so wonderful.
I know this is a bit of an older post- but its refreshing to see- that there are so many things to be thankful for- family, friends, work, home. I am a lucky lady !
We all are Beth! Thanks for commenting!
you have a wonderful healthy attitudw thank you so much for sharing
Thanks Jo-Anne :)
What a beautiful post! You have a wonderful outlook on life! Best wishes to you, and may life be full of wondrous pleasures for you!!!
Thank you Debbie – and you too!
It is great that you can be thankful for things in your life that seemed terrible at the time but were in reality another opportunity.