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Updated: Nov 3, 2019

Isn’t this the time of year where we think, “Ahh!!! Thanksgiving.” It’s the time off work. The food. The friends. The family!

Grateful, Blog's by Nichole Banks

For what are we really grateful? Posts scrolling up our social media, reminding us of every reason under the sun to be “grateful”. The pressure just to be “grateful” is unbelievable this time of year! For years, I have tried to be grateful. I really have! I really do have much to be grateful for!

Time off work? Just thinking of the time off alone has me elated. It’s a paid holiday for some. Just to turn around and go back to the rat race afterward. For others, they would love to have your job no matter how menial you think it is.

The food? Can you really be grateful for food; meanwhile, others are starving on a daily basis not knowing where their next meal will come from?! How many of us can say we’ve ever been hungry for more than two days? How many of us throw away our food that wasn’t consumed when it actually would feed an entire family? I love food, but there is an underlying guilt that comes with holiday food too.

The people? Our “friends and family”? So many complain, whine, moan and have negativity spilling out all over themselves. Are these friends that we’ve texted throughout the upcoming days leading to the holiday week? Only to be a surface friend?! Have you added new friends to your circle this year and don’t even know them?? Have you tried to really know your friends? And their families? I need to do better at this. I think we all can.

Family coming or not coming for the meal. Does this excite you or does it stress you out?! Making everything perfect so they don’t judge? Holiday stress, worried about every perfect morsel, only to have a mental meltdown and put it all on a credit card anyway.

So, with all this up and down of the holiday season, what is it really that I am so grateful for?

My dad used to say, “Any day above ground, is a good day.”

Oh, how life’s perspectives change as our lives change. But this phrase of my Dad’s resonates with me every day!

Take for instance, on my way to work the other day, I got a flat tire. It could be worse. The tire could have blown and I could have swerved into on-coming traffic. I didn’t, but it’s so inconvenient for sure! Late for work. Wet. Dirty. I get it!! But having a bad attitude doesn’t help matters either, do they? I mean, it’s just a flat tire. Life will go on.

And my Dad’s words echo in my head, “Any day above ground, is a good day.” Those words of his showed me that with the sweets of life, comes the sours. With the good, comes the bad. With the smooth, comes the inconvenient. May as well learn to take the bad in the same jovial stride as we do with the good!

Life could always be worse. Yes we all have bad days and I know it gets tough to see the brighter side, but on this holiday I am grateful that my Dad’s words hold value to me. He passed away 13 years ago and I’ve had a bright light in my mindset since then. No matter what life brings you, see that you’re grateful for the experience and grow from the lessons.

Oh the lessons I’ve learned and will continue to learn.

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I’m grateful for my readers and want to wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday.