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Thanksgiving! What Makes Me Grateful

Annabel's family

At Thanksgiving, we think about togetherness and the joy of spending time with our familiy and friends. But at the same time, the holidays can also evoke feelings of anxiety. Making a holiday meal, for example, is such a great thing to do for your family, but making perfect turkeys, mashed potatoes and pies is a lot of pressure!

Our use of and perception of time is the same way.

We want to enjoy quality time with others because we know that it might be limited. However, because of our busy lives, family obligations and jobs, our minds sometimes trick us into thinking that our time could be better spent taking care of the day-to-day things.

Annabel's family

Paying a bill vs. making a pie with my mom, for example. What’s more important, really? We all know that answer.

So, wherever you are or whatever you’re doing this Thanksgiving, try to think of your loved ones (past and present) – and your time - as the real gift.

Your to-do list can wait.

In other words, enjoy the nuggets of gold around you. Don’t focus on the things that probably drive you nuts.

A way I decide how to prioritize the things in my life is to say to myself, ‘I’m grateful for ______. ‘

Because I believe our time is best spent thinking about and spending our time on what we truly appreciate and love. What’s more, studies show that being grateful has health benefits, like reducing stress and boosting positive energy.

A quote by the late author, Louise Hay, helps me to remain centered and focused on what I'm truly grateful for:

I have noticed that the Universe loves gratitude. The more grateful you are, the more goodies you get. When I say 'goodies', I don't mean only material things. I mean all the people, places and experiences that make life so wonderfully worth living.

Perhaps the hustle and bustle of the holidays makes it difficult to think about every single thing that we’re grateful for. So, let’s keep it simple by thinking that the idea of Thanksgiving itself is a way to be thankful. After all, it’s a traditional way to bring us together with our loved ones.

This piece is dedicated to my brother, Jonathan Michael Forde, who passed away suddenly in 2007. I am so grateful for our time on earth together. - With love, Annabel

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