I think I might have beat you to Thanksgiving this year! Sorry! We had ours yesterday. My family gathered for my son's birthday this week. So we also celebrated Thanksgiving while he was still in town. Family dinners together are a rare luxury for us now that my son lives in LA. So you learn to make every day count. Even if it's not the right week for Thanksgiving, I'm still so thankful for being together -regardless! You probably know that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love everything about it, and we haven't even covered favorite sides. That's because, for me, the focus is hardly the food -although sweet potatoes with cinnamon crust are my favorite! But seriously, I have enjoyed this whole week immensely. I love it when it's the four of us again! I'm so grateful for our two boys, who they're becoming, and their strong work ethic. So thankful for how we get to share our lives every chance we spent time together. My husband is always so supportive of the individual projects we each pursue. So thankful for being able to call these guys, my tribe! Never short of flattered by their hugs -what a gift! Fall was quite busy for me this year. I love to learn, so I took both an online course at the University of Richmond, plus attended my Counseling Course as well. I got to teach eight weeks of Peer to Peer Recovery classes and had the honor of leading a Small Group at Church. I volunteered for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) by telling my recovery story at the local hospitals in town on most Mondays and Tuesdays this year. It felt pretty busy, but I'm so grateful for all I could learn and accomplish. I am especially thankful for the people I was able to meet through these activities. What an honor to meet them! As I look back on this year, it has been a blessed one for me so far. It felt like one of those summer days when you wake up, and it's sunny, then in the middle of the day, it pours, but you still manage to see a gorgeous sunset -all packaged within twelve hours! Some years feel like that. They start out, and everything is going perfectly. Then, we go through a challenge -or a loss, like my sister's, and then there's some kind of silver lining -like my new book and the courses I could learn.
I am mindful of being thankful for all of it, though. I've seen how, in the good times, we enjoy ourselves. Still, I've also found that hard times bring to light what we're made of inside. What a polished version of ourselves, these produce! I'm always so thankful for my family in Argentina. How I miss them! I hope to visit them soon! My siblings are older than me, so they have already established the third generation! I have three newer toddlers to come see, and a recent new baby-girl addition, to test drive! -Can't wait! Last but hardly least, I'm so thankful for our new puppy Wilson! He got so big so fast, he's barely a puppy anymore, but we like to think he still is! He's such a good boy! At a time when I can't go out too much now, I'm so thankful for his company! I probably had it backward. He might have actually chosen us! What does your list of blessings have on it for this year? Have you at least thought of it yet? It's probably longer than you might expect. I think we all have so much to be SO THANKFUL for that we cannot afford not to.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Maria A. Mansfield, PRS
Author: Life is Worth Getting Better & Honoring Your Recovery