A Thankful Heart

It’s interesting how your perspective changes as you get older. When you’re little, Thanksgiving is an uneventful holiday. If there were no gifts it wasn’t really a holiday, right? It’s the segue into the Christmas season, when you feverishly write and re-write your list for Santa, decorating a tree whose meaning you were never quite sure of, and staying up all night with excitement fluttering in your heart, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the man with the white beard and his reindeer.

But, Thanksgiving’s true meaning is underappreciated; more than a food and football marathon (I like marathons but not the football type) and discount shopping spree, it’s the one day out of 365 to live in the moment with family and friends. I’ve taken the time to reflect on the things I am truly thankful for, things that have no monetary value but are so priceless that they make my heart abound with fullness and gratitude.

1. My town. It’s a tiny corner of New York, in an imperfect house in a sleepy and perfectly picturesque village – my home, the place I worked so hard to call my own.

3. My family. While small and far away, our strength and closeness transcends size and distance.

4. My four-legged family. My heart is so big for animals. As I watch the years quickly tick on by for my older furry companion I am so grateful to have him in my life while a piece of me cracks when I imagine the inevitable.

5. My health. I take this for granted as an avid runner and cyclist. Not everyone is lucky enough to have the strength to start or to continue.

6. My career. In a time where many people are dissatisfied with their jobs or who may be out of work, I have the ability to surround myself with brilliant minds, working together to improve maternal health outcomes across the country.

7. My education. I am lucky for parents that put me through college and thankful to have been able to put myself through graduate school to feed my natural curiosity and love of history, literature, and writing. While my formal education is complete, my love for learning continues to grow stronger.

Thanksgiving shouldn’t be just one day a year. I’m making a concerted effort to give back in different ways throughout the holiday season so stay tuned for some “attitude of gratitude posts.” In addition, I cannot wait to share some book reviews and even an author Q&A early next week. Be sure to stop in for my chat with Allison Pataki, author of “The Traitor’s Wife”!

How do you choose to give back? What are you grateful for?

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