Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day: 10 Things I'm Grateful For

Every Thanksgiving people everywhere plan their day around food, and more recently shopping (shame on the stores that are open on thanksgiving night ... It's called Black Friday for a reason). Sometimes we forget what it's really about... Spending time with those we love and expressing our gratitude for everything that we have, not just objects, but our health and family too. Instead of circling what we want in magazines, we should be writing down each and everything we are thankful for. We shouldn't just do this one day a year, but it's better than not doing it at all.

This year has been one filled with such wonderful opportunities, some obstacles, and struggles that has made it difficult to see the positive. 

10 Things I'm Grateful For in 2014

1. My family who have supported me through the year, and who have stuck by my side and believed in my dreams.

2. My boyfriend Sal who has loved me unconditionally no matter how crazy I am, and who has boosted my confidence farther than I ever thought it would go.

3. My friends for always making me laugh, the endless talks about life, and fitting me into their busy schedules. 

4. My health and immune system for staying strong while working in the hospital, among illnesses and colds. 

5. The opportunity to train others at CKO Kickboxing, and for establishing myself as a fitness professional and personal trainer

6. To have a full time job I love, as a child life specialist, in a children's hospital, and to be able to help children and their families cope with the hospital experience. 

7. The warm, comfy seat next to the fireplace in my house. I've never once taken having a roof over my head for granted. 

8. For finding my voice and the confidence that has always been inside of me. 

9. The ability to capture life in all of its glory and document it with words on my blog & pictures in a scrapbook.

10. Time

This year was different than most. My brother's away at medical school, so being that we didn't want him to be alone on his first holiday away, my dad and uncle went to spend it with him. Therefore, it was just my mom and I at home alone. Before we ate though, I headed off to CKO kickboxing to take a 75 minute challenge class, where they collected food for a local drop off. I haven't taken a challenge class in a long time, and it was tough, but I didn't stop. I kept pushing myself, farther than what I thought my limits were, especially because there were cameras all around. Sal and his friend were filming us for a commercial for the kickboxing gym. What better way to start your day off than by sweating! It felt amazing walking out as the snow was falling. 

 I came home, downed my protein shake, and showered. I gathered a blanket, a new book, and a bottle of water on the couch. My mom lit the fire, and shortly after she started heating up the food. 

We weren't going to have a traditional turkey dinner with turkey, ham, and mashed potatoes... Nope, my mom made baked mac and cheese, garlic chicken with asparagus, stuffed peppers, croissants, and butternut squash soup. We popped open wine bottles and started eating. Soup and croissants to start, and then we brought out the delicious food that was now steaming, breathing in the smells of a good meal to come. 

It was perfect, and I wouldn't have had it any other way, okay maybe with my brother and dad, but being what it was, we had a great, relaxing day. We spent it eating, drinking wine, and watching comedies (and Friends)! What better way to spend your day off! You won't catch me Black Friday shopping this year, though I've done so in the past, instead I'll be working and enjoying the night out with friends. Because life is all about the relationships we make, and the lives we touch, not the material things for sale in the store. Enjoy the day with your families, and have a blessed thanksgiving day. 

So tell me, what are you grateful for? 

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