Giving Thanks

Recently celebrating Thanksgiving prompted me to stop and think about what I am grateful for. As I’ve shared before, this year has had its fair share of low points, so I wanted to use the week of Thanksgiving as an opportunity to look back and focus on what I am thankful for in spite of the rough times I experienced. As I wrote my list of thankfulness, I was amazed to see just how blessed I am.

Here are a few things I highlighted:

Family | This year has dramatically enhanced my gratefulness for family. Although I missed them when I lived in Ohio, being only 7-hours away from them made me not miss them nearly as much as I do living 20+ hours away in Florida.

My appreciation for them grew by leaps and bounds in October when my sister was rushed to the emergency room with stroke symptoms. The uncertainty of the situation, combined with the knowledge that I was so far away from them, hit me like a ton of bricks and made me realize just how much I value my family. They have been with me through thick and thin (figuratively and literally), and I see them as my greatest champions.

Life Lessons | Unfortunately, I don’t always recognize the lessons that can be learned from hardships when I’m in the midst of them. But looking back, I see that this year has taught me more valuable things than I could ever begin to list. How to measure success, how to roll with the unexpected punches life throws my way, and how to find contentment amid unforeseen circumstances are a few lessons I’ve learned that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

Friendships | Moving away from Ohio meant that I had to say goodbye to many of my friends, but the cross-country move has taught me how those relationships can remain active at a distance. So even though they aren’t always close by, I am grateful to know I have a strong network of friends that has grown throughout the years.

These incredible people have called to check up on me when I’ve been feeling low, FaceTimed to walk me through cooking an unfamiliar meal, and sent a barrage of memes and funny quotes that brighten my day. Each friendship has developed uniquely, but they’ve all been equally meaningful.

I am the first to say that it’s not always easy to focus on what I’m grateful for, so I want to make an effort to keep the spirit of thankfulness alive year-round instead of only highlighting it once a year. I have been immensely blessed in the areas I’ve mentioned as well as many others, and that is something I never want to forget.

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