grateful heart thankful ornament appreciation

Pausing to Give Thanks

Thanksgiving in my family is a big, boisterous, event, filled with reunions, wisecracks and food. So. Much. Food. It’s a time when I can feel how loved I am and, more so now than ever, how lucky I am. As I grow older, or, as I’d like to think, more mature, I am increasingly more cognizant of the need to reflect on what I am truly thankful for. We’ve never been the type of family that goes around the table saying what we’re thankful for, but I feel the pull of announcing it. A verbal, or in this case, written declaration of the appreciation for what we have and who we love it a very reassuring practice. And so, it is in that spirit I offer my thanks now.

Here at the Jackpot, we’ve struggled for so many years. This blog was started in a time of deep desperation, though still not as low as we could have been. Two weeks ago, I finally paid off a credit card I’ve been digging out of almost since the day I signed up for it. I am so thankful for the job I have that pays me well enough to do that. I’m also grateful to the universe for providing me the maturity and discipline to not only create a payment and savings plan, but helping me stick to it. As a former shopaholic, I assure you, that’s no small feat.

To that end, I am elated that we were able to take Miss O to Disney World this past August. It wasn’t our first big trip as a family. We’d been to a dear friend’s wedding outside London a few years ago, but Disney is next level for a first-grader and we totally made that happen. The memories we created on that trip have already sustained me through more than one family spat. Achieving such an iconic American tradition was a huge accomplishment for me and I know if I can do that, I can do just about anything.

I am amazed I was able to physically and emotionally last through that Disney trip. My health is stable and I was able to walk all day through each park for the entire week. While I am truly thankful to Advil for their part in making that happen, I am so fortunate to have a team of doctors who are helping me manage my pain and keep my body in a state of normal that works for me. Gone are the evenings I’d come home and need to lie down and miss dinner and story time. Miss O doesn’t even remember those days.

I am thankful for my family. We’ve built our little kingdom into something to be proud of. We’ve been lucky with this house, even with all the surprise DIY challenges left from the previous owners. It’s still smaller than we’d like and the flow is a little odd, but it’s ours, (well, mostly) and we never forget how fortunate we are to have a roof over our heads and warm beds to sleep in. While that seems trite to most, those of us who have been on the verge of not being able to pay rent will tell you it’s real.

My work family is pretty amazing, too. I wonder sometimes if I’d like my job as much if they weren’t there. I do like what I do, but I look forward to seeing everyone each day, celebrating our many successes and grumbling about our failures, of which there are surprisingly few. These people are a part of me and have helped me professionally and personally. I owe them immensely for the free therapy and healing laughter.

There are so many things for which I am grateful and I frequently have that list on repeat in my head. It bolsters me when I’m feeling beaten down and reassures me when I feel like we’re not moving forward like we should. The whole concept of what we’re moving toward shifts each year, though to what, I’m not sure anymore. We’ve still won our Suburban Jackpot. That I do know.

And so, I declare how thankful I am. For my life, for those who share it with me and for all I have in it. I’ve worked hard, stumbled on some luck and been gifted with amazing opportunities. As we head in to the winter holidays, I’m kept warm by the love and light around me. I hope you are, too.

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