I smiled this morning as I recalled something José told me a few years back. His colleague, who had a son in the US, told him of the terrible hurricanes that her son and family had experienced. Then she went on to say, “People are so glad to be alive that they’ve decided to announce a holiday next Thursday and give thanks for God’s protection.” José realized she was referring to Thanksgiving Day, smiled and decided not to educate her.

Thinking about this, I’m wondering if she was not right. Shouldn’t Thanksgiving be a day to celebrate that we are alive? What better gift can we have then life itself?

Transforming Common Days Into Thanksgiving

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The celebration of Thanksgiving is not part of our Indian culture, so pardon me if I offend anyone by what I say next. I get the concept of setting days aside for special celebrations – birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, #GivingTuesday, Thanksgiving and so on. What worries me is the rest of the days – the ordinary ones. Do we keep all our expressions of love and affections for birthdays or do we express love all year around? Is Christmas the only day we celebrate the fact that God lives among us or are we aware of this on ordinary days too? And so with Thanksgiving, is that the only day we’re mindful of the abundance we enjoy or are we constantly grateful for life and all that it brings our way?

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward

From my experience, there is nothing as life changing as gratitude. It has changed the way I look at life, made my life so much more meaningful and allowed me to heal and forgive. Yes, I still have miles to go, but I’m on my way. Gratitude helps me to see how every bad thing is an opportunity for learning and growth.

This month, as always, I have plenty to be grateful for, but I’ll focus on the gift of my family, especially my Dad who celebrated his 90th birthday on the 4 of November. We had a celebration with the extended family and it was wonderful to have an aunt, an uncle, my brother and my nephew speak about Dad and the person he is. They brought out different aspects of his life and personality – a son and brother, a Army officer with a distinguished career, a loving Dad and a doting grandfather. The common thread was his faith, his reaching out to help others, his ability to adapt to changing life circumstances and his self-effacing nature.

Thanks Dad for being an example to so many, not least of all to me! I’m grateful – even if I have crazy ways of showing it, at times. 😉

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Seated: Mom and Dad Standing from left to right: my eldest brother, his wife, their daughter, my second brother, my nephew, me, José

Today, I invite you to focus on gratitude as you make your way through the day, and attempt to look at everything through with grateful eyes. It’s amazing how different the world looks through gratitude-coloured lenses!

Kimberly Montgomery’s 21 Day Gratitude Challenge is another chance for us  to make gratitude an integral part of our lives.

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Our Gratitude Circle post is a regular feature on the 4th Thursday of every month.

Join Vidya Sury and me by writing a gratitude post and linking in to us and adding your linky to our Gratitude Circle Hop post. The linky is open for a whole month. Add this pretty badge to your post/ site and visit and read the other posts linked.

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