In early recovery, I learned that one tool to always keep in my toolbox is an attitude of gratitude. Being grateful is a simple attitude with a profound effect. It reminds me of the good in my life when days are full of chaos and tantrums. Being grateful begins with me, ends with me, and allows others to get the best version of me — the thankful one.
This year, I am thankful for many things. In no particular order, my gratitude list looks like this:
My husband, my daughters, my dog, my cat, and beyond. We are far from perfect, but we are perfect together. I am thankful for the arguments, for the discussions, for the love, and for the support. I am even thankful for my 3-year-old’s tantrums, because they remind me that she is strong-willed, determined, and passionate.
They live upstairs from us, and they are essential to our daily lives. Nana and Pepere play a huge role in my daughters’ lives, and for that, I feel so much gratitude. The bond I see between my girls and my parents is amazing: 18-year-old me could have never imagined wanting to live with my parents as an adult; 38-year-old me can’t imagine living any other way.
I often describe it as a 6-year-old’s dream come true, and that is completely accurate. While I may not enjoy every day, every class, or every student, I truly enjoy going to work and the career I am blessed with. I can’t imagine doing anything different with my life, and I’m so happy that my first grade teacher (and so many others) inspired me to follow in her footsteps.
Yes, I know this one sounds weird, but my type 1 diabetes has made me the woman I am today. I wouldn’t be so determined or resilient without having lived with diabetes for the past 27 years. It has taught me to get up and move when I have to, and to slow down and take care of myself when I need to. Diabetes has been with me for so long that I am not sure I would know how to live life without it (but I’ll definitely be willing to try as soon as they come up with a cure!).
They are as near as another town and as far as Montreal and Los Angeles, and without them, my life would be incomplete. My friends help me stay grounded. They allow me to vent and to brag. They trust me to listen and advise. My friends are my family, and I am so very lucky to have them to accompany me on the journey of life.
It’s easy to have an attitude of gratitude during the month of November.
It’s when many begin to reflect on the past year and prepare for Thanksgiving. But feeling gratitude doesn’t have to begin and end in November — it can last throughout the year. You can keep a personal gratitude list, or you can start a group email with people you love and trust and commit to sending an email, either daily, weekly, or monthly — whatever works for you and your family or friends.
What are you grateful for today?