Thanksgiving is now upon us, and this Thursday will mark the start of the holiday season.
The holidays bring joy to many of us. But they can also bring stress and anxiety, causing us to forget how fortunate so many of us have been over the past year.
As we approach Thanksgiving, it is an appropriate time to take a moment and reflect upon those things in our life for which each of us should be thankful. Every year I make of list of what I am most thankful for in my life and the past year. Some are significant, some may seem silly, but all are meaningful to me.
This season, I am thankful for:
My children. Now adults, they give me hope, hold a promise for the future, seek what is good, strive to be meaningful, and make me proud. Plus, they allow me to be a part of their busy lives;
A special town on the coast of South Carolina, where my family and I have built many memories of special times, and offers a wide beach that allows dogs and people to walk together and forget about life for a while;
Friends, who we feel comfortable around, who we can talk about whatever subjects may be on our mind, who confide in us and trust us, who make us feel better when we are with them, and who we immediately miss when we part ways;
Bike paths, ski runs, open fairways, dusty softball fields, rolling waves and anything else, both natural and man-made, that takes me outdoors and keeps me active;
Those who have dedicated their lives to working for a charitable cause, not because they needed a job or wanted to make money, but because they truly believe they can and do make a difference;
A smooth Italian Barbaresco, a complex Tuscan Brunello, a big and elegant Napa Cabernet, and a nice Port, preferably all enjoyed over one long evening with good company;
Those in our armed forces who serve our country every day, making sacrifices so that all of us can enjoy the freedoms our country provides;
Truth and knowledge, and those who fervently seek both, in spite of others who attempt to manufacture both with the intent of serving their own selfish and mis-guided purposes;
Diners, drive-ins and dives, not the television show, but the real thing. Searching for and finding those unique restaurants along the way, enjoying real food cooked with love and purpose, sharing the experience with friends, and then making a point to come back again;
True professionals, the ones who work hard to be the best at their chosen craft, and who care about what they do and care about how they do it. They inspire all of us to be a little bit better and try a little bit harder;
My local haunts, where they know my name, what I like, and make me feel welcome when I walk in;
The Florida Gators, my team above all other teams, in whatever sport they play;
The rush of a river running through a valley, the sound of a drenching rain, a dogwood tree in full bloom, a landscape covered in new snow, and everything else that demonstrates the majesty and beauty of our world;
Parents, mentors and teachers, who influence and guide us because they care and want us to succeed;
Road trips, whether by plane, train or automobile, both to places I have been before and to those I am going for the first time;
All of my colleagues and co-workers, who teach me, keep me humble, challenge me to be my best, and keep integrity at the forefront of what they do. They are a daily reminder that I have the best job in the whole world;
And Jen, who in my world holds the title of wife, best friend, companion and number one support system. She tolerates me without complaint, cares for me selflessly, reminds me of what really matters, and loves me unconditionally.
I wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.