Being Grateful

As I sit here this morning, with my turkey cooking in the oven, and the warm smells wafting through the house, I have to  take a moment and recognize how different things are for me now, than they were in my childhood on holidays.  And I have to recognize how truly grateful I am for it.  Today, I am dedicating my post to a couple friends of mine, both of whom are having similar difficulties to those I have had in my past.

When I was a very small child, holidays held magic for me.  I got to see family I rarely saw, my cousins were there, lots of food and excitement.  As I got older though, as with many of us that was no longer the case.  Holidays became stressful, there were family expectations and demands.  Plus, it’s always hard to enjoy any occasion when even one other person spends most of their time complaining while going through the preparations.  Holidays in my family’s house had lost their magic.

I have not seen my family in ten years, and it’s been nearly that long since I have spoken with them.  Since then, I have been able to learn what I was never taught as a child.  Gratitude.  I have learned to be grateful for the lessons that my family taught me, both the positive and the negative.  I have also learned that I do  not need to live up to other people’s expectations, I only need to live up to mine.  I am grateful for my family that is here (my husband and children), and the things I can do for them.  I’m grateful that I have learned that I don’t have to participate in a holiday unless I choose to.  And I’m grateful that I can cook a special dinner for my family to show them that I am grateful for them too.

Today, after many years, I have found that magic again.  But I had to give up everything I knew, including my family, to do it.  And after many years, the first thing I am grateful for, is that I did.

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