Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Canadian readers out there. Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, usually spent with family or friends, and hopefully spent reflecting on all that we have to be thankful for in our lives.
How often do you actually stop and consider all that you have to be thankful for in your life?
For my family Thanksgiving has always been a big family affair. We all gather together and enjoy a feast of turkey with all the trimmings, though we are very lucky to have each other and we are deeply grateful to be blessed with such wonderful things.
Not everyone has the luxury of a close family, or dear friends to spend this holiday with and for some people the thought of Thanksgiving may even be depressing or lonely, but fear not, even if you are spending this holiday alone you have plenty of things to be thankful for in your life.
Today’s post is going to be a list of all the things you (might) have in your life to be thankful for. Some of these things are obvious, while others are simple and easily forgotten. We tend to take our blessings for granted, forgetting that there are so many others in the world who do not have the amazing gifts we are granted in our lives. Especially as Canadians, we have so many amazing and wonderful things to be thankful for in our country that others throughout the world have to struggle to achieve. (Our healthcare is one obvious example) I hope that as you read through this list you take a moment to reflect and be truly thankful for each item you have in your life, and consider all the others that are not listed here. I will be spending this holiday with my family and reflecting on all the great blessings I have been granted in this life.
Feel free to add to this list if you wish, and share how you spent Thanksgiving. Do you have any special traditions? For those of you who are not Canadian you can still read this list and enjoy the reflection because gratitude is something that should be considered daily, and there is never a wrong time to think about all the gifts you have been given throughout your life.
Life tends to fly by quickly the older you get. When we are young we tend to take things in life for granted, never really understanding the effort it takes to acquire them. As we grow we begin to realize how lucky we are compared to others in the world, and for that alone we must be thankful.
80 Things To Be Thankful For This Thanksgiving:
- Your family – Even if the relationship you have with your family is not good, you should still be thankful that you have them at all. So many people throughout the world have no one at all that relates to their past, their blood, and their lives.
- Your friends – Friendships are one of the greatest gifts that life has to offer. Friends fill a part of your heart that no one else can. Cherish your true friends, and be thankful that they are a part of your life.
- Your enemies – Enemies teach us about ourselves, who we are, and who we want to be. They challenge us to be better people and teach us about patience and strength. Be thankful you have enemies, it means you are living life.
- Your mind – Without your mind you would have nothing. Appreciate that your mind is a big part of your happiness, and your life. It holds your thoughts, opinions, memories and emotions within it, without those things you would be a walking shell of the person you are today.
- Your body – The human body is an amazing and interesting thing. Your body moves you, helps you, heals you and takes you places you want to go. Be grateful for your body and treat it with the respect it deserves. Fuel it with proper nutrition and care for it accordingly. Be gentle with it, and challenge it. Use it to the best of your ability, and most of all enjoy it no matter its shape or size. It is a great gift.
- Your ability to love – Love is a beautiful emotion and something we should be grateful for every single day. Your ability to love is what makes you grow as a person. Love can teach us deep lessons we would never learn any other way. It can teach us about ourselves and about others. It is an amazing feeling, and it is unmatched through anything else. It can lead to pain, or heartache, but it is worth every second to have experienced it at all. Love freely and deeply, for being able to love is what makes life worth living.
- Your ability to learn – Knowledge is a never-ending quest, and is a key player is a happy and fulfilled life. Relish in the knowledge of others and teach yourself as much as you can. You can never know too much, the more you open your mind to learn, the greater an experience life will become. If learning comes easily to you than you should be even more grateful, and you should utilize this tool because some people struggle a great deal to learn even the simplest things.
- Children (your own or others) – Children can teach us so much about living. You need only watch a child’s free-spirit for a moment to see the pure joy they hold inside. Children living in the moment, without much regard for what has happened in the past. They love openly, without restriction, and they take pleasure in every thing they do. If you have children of your own, enjoy them every chance you get because they grow for too quickly and before you know it that time is gone. If you do not have children find ways to enjoy others, or embrace the values that they live by and find a way to incorporate them into your life. You will be amazed by how much you can learn from a child if you are willing.
- Your health – So many people throughout the world, and even the communities we live in, struggle with their health. Every day people are dying, getting sick, and suffering. If you are healthy, be genuinely grateful, because there are many people who are not, who will not be, and who can not be. Health is a profound gift, and not something to be taken for granted.
- Disappointment – So you can learn what matters most, and enjoy success that much more.
- Happiness (and you ability to create it) – Happiness is a state of mind; not a person, place or material thing. This means happiness is a choice, you have the ability to choose it for yourself and create it any way you wish. THAT is something to be thankful for.
- Your mistakes – Without our mistakes we would learn no lessons, so be thankful for all of your failures and what they have taught you in the end.
- Kind strangers – The kindness of strangers can be a magical thing. Look around you and observe all the wonderful things that people do for each other every day. These kind acts may not always be easy to spot, but they are there, and they are making a difference. When it happens to you, you will know it, and when you do it for someone else it may change their life. Always be aware of those around you, and be thankful for their kindness even when you can’t see it with your eyes.
- Challenges – A good challenge makes us strong, teaches us about ourselves, and pushes us to our limits. Challenge is what makes us grow and what moves us forward in life. Be thankful for the challenges you face because they make life more interesting, and they push you in the direction you need to go.
- Choices – Having choices is an exceptional reward, many others in the world are not blessed with this same option. We have the ability to choose anything we want to create in our lives. We have the choice to stay or go, who we want to be around, how we want to live, where we want to live, what we want to do, etc… Our possibilities are endless and our life is only limited by the choices we make. That is an amazing thought, and a remarkable present.
- Animals - Domestic animals give us unconditional love, trust and companionship. Wild animals not only give us food, but also teach us about life and they cycle it takes. They show us strength, and give us all we need to survive.
- Music – Music soothes the soul and is an extraordinary pleasure. It can enhance a mood, or change an emotion. It invokes memories, and creates new ones. It is a gift I am thankful for regularly.
- Laughter – It truly is the best medicine, and something that should be exercised often. Be thankful you have reasons to laugh, people to laugh with, and the ability to do it at all.
- Food – This is self-explanatory, without food we would die, and people do every day. So as you sit down for your next meal be thankful for every bite, and remember that there are so many people who have nothing at all to eat.
- Shelter – A roof over your head is another thing you should be grateful for. It is an obvious one, but we often take for granted that many people throughout the world don’t have this benefit.
- Modern medicine – This is a benefit that is taken for granted so often. Modern medicine saves lives every single day, and is advancing regularly to help save even more. Many countries don’t have access to these resources and people suffer and die unnecessarily. Be thankful that you live in a place that allows you access to these things, it truly is a blessing.
- Dreams and goals – Dreams and goals are what drives us, and knowing they are a possibility is a true bonus. Dream big, set high standards and work to achieve all of your goals. They only thing that is stopping you from accomplishing anything is yourself.
- Freedom of speech – A great number of us live in a world where we can say what we feel without much worry. This is a benefit that is not often thought of deeply. Imagine living if you couldn’t express your opinions freely without fear of punishment should someone else disagree. Freedom of speech is wonderful, and it is something I am thankful for, because without it I wouldn’t be able to write or say half the things I do.
- Your ability to read and write – There are more people than you know that can’t, be thankful if you can.
- Your talents – Whatever they are, utilize them, and be thankful for them. Most of all, enjoy them.
- Your strengths – Just like your talents you should find your strengths and be proud of them. Use them to help yourself, and others when possible. These gifts have been given to you for a reason.
- Your weaknesses – Weaknesses only make you weak if you allow them too. No one can be good at everything. Discover your weaknesses and use them to strengthen yourself. Let them challenge you to work harder, or urge you to ask others for help. Your weaknesses do not have to drag you down, they can lift you higher if you use them the right way.
- The world around you – It only takes a short walk around your neighborhood, or a road trip for you to appreciate the world around you. The earth is an amazing thing, full of life and awe. Take time to connect with the world and revel in its raw beauty. Nature has a healing power like no other, enjoy this treasure, and of course, do what you can to keep it safe.
- Your ancestors and your parents – Without them you would not exist. Many of our ancestors, and possibly even our parents, struggled and fought so that we could live life. Learn about your family history if possible and appreciate all that your ancestors did in order to survive and thrive. Appreciate your parents as well, even if they are no longer together, or if your relationship is not well, realize that it is because of the two of them that you are alive and able to live at this moment. If nothing else, you can be grateful for that.
- Technology – This is something you need to be thankful for if you are reading this post, because without it, you wouldn’t be. It’s not just internet and computers either, technology has drastically changed the world. It helps to connect us to those we would not be able to connect to otherwise, and opens doors we would have never found before.
- Imagination – Without imagination there would be no knowledge. One first has to imagine it is possible to make it possible. I imagination is the foundation for fun, and can lead to great happiness. It is something we often let go of as we grow older, but it is something that can bring us great joy. Be thankful that you have the ability to imagine anything you want, because when it comes to wild imaginations, your only limitation is yourself. This is a fun and exciting tool, use it in a way that makes you happy.
- Your instincts – We were all born with a tool to help us navigate this crazy world, instincts. Too often we ignore those ‘feelings’ we get about certain people, places or things. Although I doubt we are all psychic, our body’s are very perceptive to the energy around us, even when our mind is not. If you get a ‘feeling’ about something, don’t ignore it, consider it before moving forward it’s your body’s way of trying to tell you something. Be thankful for this gift, whether you know it or not it has probably had a big impact on your life, and will continue to do so in the future.
- Faith – You do not have to be religious to have faith. Trusting in yourself, in others and in the world around you is a type of faith. Utilize this tool, and be thankful that those around you have faith in you. Faith is encouragement, and encouragement is what drives us to succeed.
- Freedom – We are so blessed to have the freedom we do in Canada and the USA, there are so many people who fought long and hard to ensure that freedom for us. This is something we should be forever grateful for.
- Community – The community you live is can be an amazing thing. In times of trouble a strong community bands together. When someone is in need, community is there to provide support. Your neighbors and community are something to be thankful for, when you need them, they will be there.
- Seasons – This one is especially true for us Canadians, though we might complain when the temperatures dip into the lows, the beauty that the snow brings is something to be thankful for. Just as the heat of the summer is a wonderful gift as well, we are blessed to have a range of weather here, even if it is unpredictable at times.
- Wealth, not the monetary kind -
- Aging – Getting older may seem a horrible fate, but the truth is it is much better than the alternative. Think back to the awkwardness of your youth, the mistakes and the heartaches. With age comes wisdom, and life tends to get easier and clearer as we grow. Be thankful for getting older, not everyone gets that opportunity.
- Second chances – Most of us have been given the gift of forgiveness or have forgiven someone in the past, and because of this many of us know that second chances are something to be thankful for. The encouragement that a second chance provides is a great gift, and something we should be thankful for and willing to share.
- Inspiration – It is all around you. Take a look and be grateful.
- Employment and Careers – If you have a job, be thankful, there are many that do not. If you have a career, be even more grateful, there are many that struggle just to get by. Having a job and a career are a great blessing in the world today, so even if you are not completely content in your current position be thankful you have it, and make the best of it until you can make the change you desire.
- Travel – The fact that we have a wonderful and amazing world to explore is something to appreciate. If you have had the chance to travel and see different places be thankful for the experience it has given you. If you haven’t had the chance yet, be thankful that the option will always be there when you are ready.
- Siblings – Brothers and sisters can be a real pain in the butt, but they are the people who know you best, and who will always be there for you no matter what. Cherish the bond that siblings can have, and make an effort to strength this relationship as often as possible.
- Good conversations – Be grateful for good conversations. There are people who can not speak, or can not hear to be able to enjoy such things. A good talk can lighten your heart and open your mind.
- Hugs – Hugs are just wonderful.
- Sunrises and Sunsets – The beauty of the sun, the warmth it brings, and the beginnings and the ends that it represents are something to be thankful for. Take time to watch a sunrise/sunset and revel in the beauty of the thing that keeps us warm and alive.
- Sex – Just be thankful someone figured this out!
- Your Flaws – Yes, you should be thankful for your flaws. Your flaws are what makes you uniquely you. Stop focusing on them, or trying to change them and embrace them for what they are, a part of YOU!
- Creativity – You can create anything you choose. That is something to consider and something to enjoy.
- Your sight – You are blessed to be able to see the world around you and the people you love.
- Your hearing – Being able to hear is another obvious blessing, consider what it would be like to never hear music or laughter again.
- Your ability to walk – Your legs carry you all the places you want to go, they give you a certain freedom that many others don’t have, be thankful you have that ability.
- Self-esteem - Be sure of yourself and take pride in who you are. Be thankful for the person you have become and who you are working to be.
- Water (fresh and running) – Millions of people live without this luxury, be thankful you have fresh water/running water available at your fingertips.
- Past relationships – Past relationships teach us about what love is supposed to look like, about who we are, and about what we want. Be thankful you had these experiences, and be thankful for how they helped you to grow.
- Clothing – This is one of those things we take completely for granted. We have the ability to choose what to wear, we have the choice to buy what we want. Many people don’t have this option, be thankful.
- Your Values - Chances are your parents instilled you with a strong set of values, be thankful that someone cared enough about you to want to you to be a good person. Live your life by these basics and be thankful that you have the sense to apply them to life.
- Your childhood – Whether it was great or terrible, your younger years taught you a lot, and helped shape you in to the amazing person you are today. Be thankful that you made it through those years, and are able to learn from them.
- Independence – The fact that you can take care of yourself, choose for yourself, and be yourself is something to appreciate.
- The place you live (your country, city, and home itself) – The country you live in should give you a sense of pride. Be thankful for the city and home you are in because many others have to suffer in places they do not enjoy. Be grateful if you are in a place you love, and thankful that you have the choice to leave if you are not.
- Teachers – Everyone should be thankful for their teachers. It is an amazing gift for someone to make the choice to spend their lives teaching others. Teachers are a huge gift to the world and often under-appreciated. Be thankful that your teacher took the time to work with you, teach you and care about you. They did not have to do these things.
- Birth control – Some people don’t have this choice.
- Fertility – So many people struggle to have children, if you can accomplish this, you are deeply blessed.
- Law – Be thankful that the law is there to help keep you safe.
- Compliments – Compliments make people feel good. Enjoy them and pass them on.
- Positivity – You have the ability to see the silver lining in the cloud, be thankful that positivity is a possibility to you and utilize it.
- Self-expression – This is part of freedom, be thankful that you can wear what you want, look as you wish, and do as you please. Many people don’t have this luxury.
- Being a woman/man – Each holds its own unique gifts to be thankful for.
- Opportunity – It is available to you at every corner, you only need to be willing. Be thankful.
- Being able to swim – This is a talent that is not thought of enough, and is something that can save lives.
- Passion – Be thankful for passion it is what feeds the heart and wakes the mind.
- Charity – The most amazing thing you can do for yourself is help others. Rest assured that if you ever needed it, charity would be there to help.
- Change – We have the ability to change anytime we want to. THAT is something to appreciate.
- Affection – It warms the heart, and shows love.
- Connections – The connections we make with some people run very deep. Be thankful for the chance you get to meet people and the joy it brings to your life.
- The small things – You can never forget to be thankful for all the small things in life. The fresh flowers, sweet treats, and giggles of friends. It is the small things all put together that make the best memories, and make life worth living.
- Curiosity – It is what teaches us, drives us, and leads us. Never stop asking why.
- Life – Obviously you should be thankful for life, and the opportunity you have to enjoy it.
- Time – In a chaotic world, time is precious. Enjoy what you do have because it flies by far too quickly.
- This Moment – Most of all be thankful for THIS MOMENT RIGHT NOW… There will never be another like it, so make it count!
There are so many things to be thankful for besides the 80 listed above. Take some time this holiday (and everyday) to consider how blessed you truly are.
What are the things that you are most Thankful for?
Stories, submissions, questions and requests can be forwarded to:
Until Next Time,
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