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What I’m thankful for


There is so much to be thankful for on a day like THIS day.

On a day where countless scores of people and their loved ones will sit down at a table and over-stuff themselves with Turkey and all the fixin’s, I finally found it in me a desire to write down some thoughts.  I miss writing a great deal from time to time, but I also suffer greatly from a lack of motivation to do it on most days, which lends to the reason that it’s been more than a month since my last blog entry.  But on today of all days, where we sit and recant the things that we’re thankful for, I had a few thoughts that I wanted to get down.

What  I’m thankful for the most, is the gift of today, and the joy that I find in it.  It seems like it’s the most simplistic of things to be thankful for, but in reality, it’s probably the most difficult to remain focused upon.  So many things happen in life that allow me to stray from my focus of this that it’s always nice to be refocused on the things that really matter.  And nothing is more important than the gift that we’ve been granted in today.

I believe that we as human beings suffer from a terrible disease.  It’s called, “the take-it-for-granted disease.”  We wake up in the morning, and we take that for granted.  Our bodies, have the ability to breath in oxygen, and our lungs the ability to process that so that we can have air to live off of, and we take it for granted.  We laugh, cry, eat, drink, love, and every emotion in between, and we’ll take that for granted.  Every simple thing that happens throughout the course of the day is often taken for granted as it comes as an expectation that it was simply going to happen.  I don’t want to take these things for granted.  Quite the opposite.  I want to relish in the gifts that they truly are and be joyful that I have the ability to get up in the morning, to walk around, and to embrace all of the joy that has been gifted to me on THIS day.  Because the reality is, all of the days that happened in the past, they’re gone now…and they will NEVER return.  While the days in the future, I’m not worried about because they just haven’t happened yet.  But THIS day, this amazing gift that I’ve been given of TODAY, I’m going to celebrate for all I’ve got and be as joyful as I possibly can, because THIS day, is the ONLY day that I’ve got.  And I’m tremendously grateful and thankful for that.

Finding the joy in today needs to be a simple thing despite how difficult it can be to focus upon, and it makes me appreciate those that I love and care for all the more.  I woke up this morning simply happy that I’m loved by so many people that have taken moments of their life to express their love in many different forms.  From my wife Traci, to all of our kids, to my family and my friends, I know that I’m loved, and I love as much as I’m capable in return.  And I’m extremely thankful that today, I have the ability to express that love to others.

I think that there are a lot of people who have a difficult time expressing the joy in there life, and it saddens me.  I think that there are a lot of people who simply don’t have an answer to one of the more simplistic, yet difficult questions that there is.  A question that really defines your character.  The question is simply “WHY do you get up in the morning?”  What’s the reason?

Now every person that I know, even most small children can answer the question of when they were born.  From the time that you enter this earth, you’re reminded of your birth date, and it’s something that you can celebrate those 3 numbers every year.  Nine-Five-Seventy Eight.  Those are mine.  Everyone knows there own.  It’s a simple answer to a simple question.  But when asked the question, WHY you were born gives most people pause.  WHEN is easy.  But most people really struggle when they’re asked WHY they were born.  I mean, an alarm clock can tell you WHEN to get up in the morning, but it won’t tell you WHY you should get up. There has to be a reason that you do, and it’s those reasons that I’m most thankful for.

I find that the reason that I get up in the morning is to seek out joy in whatever way that I can, in order to simply express my gratitude for the gift that I’ve been given in THIS day.  I remember when my kids were little and I would grab em, and just, well, pick them up and toss them into the air and catch them, and they would just giggle, and smile and beg for me to “Do it AGAIN dad!  Do it AGAIN!”  There was so much joy from the activity that they just didn’t want it to stop, and that’s the thing that I want for me and for those that I love.  I want the people I know to experience that kind of joy all the time.  I want people to be happy, and it starts with learning to appreciate the simple things in life, like not taking for granted the single greatest gift that we’ve been given.  This day.

I love bringing joy to my family.  As a parent, nothing….and I mean NOTHING makes me happier than to watch my children experience joy.  It becomes difficult sometimes to remember this as life finds a way to get mucked up.  Life has a lot of suffering, and pain, and sorrow.  And somehow, we have to find ways to pull ourselves through these realities that life is going to give us and still find the joy’s in our life.  When things are at there worst, that’s when we truly need to hold onto the most simplistic of things that we’re joyful for, and share that joy with others.  For in the midst of the greatest suffering, there is great joy still in the little things in life.

I’ve struggled mightily these past few weeks with finding my joy.  Since April, there has been less and less work related opportunity, and the financial situation between Traci and I has really become increasingly worrisome.  I’ve never been in a situation before where I’ve been stretched this thin financially.  But in the midst of our difficulties, I take great joy in all of the little things.  I choose to be thankful for the joy that I do have, the joy that this day is a tremendous gift.  An opportunity to spread joy with others, and remain thankful for all of the wonderful things that I do have, and the love that I share with others, and the love that I receive from those I am fortunate enough to know.

In previous years, we’d have family over to our house as we hosted the big dinner.  But this year, so many medicinal issues are in the way, as well as financial that we simply couldn’t afford to do the big dinner.  So as I sit down with an extended family this year, because our family is too elderly or too ill to make it to our dinner table, I’m going to remind myself of the joyful things that make answer the question of why I get up in the morning.  And I’ll remember them, and be thankful for them.

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  1. December 6th, 2011 at 07:24 | #1

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    • Paul Ellis
      December 6th, 2011 at 08:26 | #2

      Glad that you enjoyed it. Thanks for your comment.

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