What It Means to Be Grateful

Every year at Thanksgiving my family goes around the table, and we share what we’re thankful for. Now it sounds cheesy, but it’s honestly one of my most favorite times because it reminds me to be grateful for what I have. Sometimes it can be hard to be grateful, especially if you feel that you’re at a time in your life where things aren’t going as you planned and all you can think about are the not so good things happening. That can make it hard to remember to be grateful for what you do have and not lament over what you don’t have.

When you’re going through a divorce, we know it can be difficult, especially when the holidays are upon us. This may be your first holiday without your spouse and may be the first time that you’re not spending a certain holiday with your kids. That may put you into a funk that makes it difficult to enjoy the holidays and all that you do have to be thankful for. But going through a divorce and sharing the time you have with your kids with your ex-spouse does not have to ruin the holidays.

For example, if you don’t get to have your kids on Thanksgiving, maybe think about starting a new tradition of celebrating on another day. Thanksgiving Day is an arbitrary day, and you can still enjoy a wonderful meal with your family on another day. Really who wouldn’t love getting to have more than one Thanksgiving meal! It’s important to start new traditions with your kids so that they know that no matter what their family looks like they will still always have an enjoyable holiday.

Now I know that remembering what your grateful for can be easier said than done but I want to challenge you to take time over this Thanksgiving holiday to put aside the things that you’re not happy about and take the time to be grateful for what you do have. I wouldn’t challenge you without also doing so myself, so I’ll go first. I’m grateful that I live in California and especially San Diego where I get to see the ocean every day and pretty much every day is nice enough to run, bike and hike outside. I’m also grateful for my health, and although there have been some health challenges this year, I am still healthy and strong enough to be running my eight half marathon in December and my sixth marathon next summer. I’m also thankful that my parents are healthy and a short drive away in AZ and my brother is in the same state as me. I’m also grateful for wonderful friends (especially those that are basically family) and a great business partner. Once I get going it’s easy to go on and on because even when things are challenging me I know, I have a lot to be grateful for.

by: Amanda Singer

Amanda Singer with west coast family mediation center

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