Charlie had a banner Thanksgiving this year. On Wednesday, I took him hiking with a friend and her four dogs. He was so ecstatic to have a play date with four legged friends, he ran and played until his tongue hung on the ground. Exhausted from the days excitement, he slept soundly the rest of the afternoon and evening while I finished baking for the next day.
On Thursday, our oldest son, Alex, and his sweetheart came for Thanksgiving Dinner. In Charlie’s mind, Alex is his hero, savior, and favorite person in the whole wide world. When Alex walked into the house, Charlie about came out of his skin with joy. “OMG! OMG! OMG! ITS ALEX!!!” He stayed by Alex’s side during the whole visit then forlornly watched as Alex said goodbye for the night. He stayed by the door until Alex drove away then sat by me with his head in my lap.
While Alex will always be an important individual in Charlie’s life, his absence does not prevent Charlie from enjoying daily life. Despite disappointments or missing a favorite person, Charlie is a pro at keeping his heart and mind open to all the good this life has to offer. Like turkey drippings mixed in his kibble!! OMG, eye rolling good!
Like most people, there have been occasions in my life that nearly cracked my foundation and the ugliness of the moment felt all consuming. Yet, with time and encouragement of loved ones, I once again was able to experience small amounts of beauty and gratefulness until life appeared brighter. Like Charlie, gratitude has helped me to keep my heart and mind open to beauty, happiness, and opportunity.
One of my favorite quotes has come from a Yogi Tea bag, “An attitude of gratitude brings opportunities”. So true. It seems the more gratitude I feel and express, the more the doors open to unending possibilities. David Steindl-Rast is a Benedictine Monk who has an interesting and profound message about gratitude and happiness. He suggests a simple process, Stop-Look-Go, that could be easily embraced with a little practice and increased awareness. I included the link to his beautiful and thoughtful message so you can reflect on his teachings for yourself.
I would like to end this post by sharing a brief list of what I value most and embrace with deep gratitude.
- My husband and children and everything I have learned from them
- My parents, sisters, and brothers
- Reconnecting with family
- My amazing friends
- My fabulous co-workers and incredible supervisor
- Doing the work that I love to do
- All of the animals that have been a part of my life
- The warmth and safety of my home
- The Cabin and all of the memories it symbolizes
- The good and the difficult life experiences (even the ones I felt could crash my world – after all, not only did I survive, but I thrived)
- Figuring out how to have adventure in my life on a limited budget
- The Outlander Novels
- Music, music, and more music (this world not be the same without music)
- The sun, moon, stars, and everything in between
- The earth and all of the beauty it offers us on a daily basis
And finally, my gratitude to all of you wonderful readers. Thank you for your support as I follow my heart into this exciting adventure! I hope your Thanksgiving Holiday was as marvelous as Charlie’s.
Kelly & Charlie