There are three periods of time every year that give me pause.  One is a semi- religious/spiritual period (and I will address that when the time comes).

The second is the period from the birth day of my two sons (when my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer) to the anniversary of her death.  It’s a short six weeks and I often use that time to find quiet ways to connect with the people I love and think of her.

The third is this period, from Thanksgiving to New Years — the “holiday period.”  I used to hate (I hate that word “hate”) this period.  Now I call it my “Gratitude Time.”  It’s my quiet tradition.  One I’ve not really shared with anyone thus far.

When I separated from the kids’ dad I found that I had to share the children with him.  I also found myself alone on the holidays when everyone was with someone else or traveling.  I was devastated and began to dislike (better word!) the holiday period.  Then, I recall one day realizing that I was the only person who could solve this problem.  And, the only way to do it was to take the focus off me … to find gratitude, not sadness.

I started to remind myself that despite life’s challenges, hardships or loneliness, there is always so much for which to be grateful.   Once I did this, I not only began to feel grateful, but I began to meet people, strangers, who confirmed this idea!

What I try to do (and it’s not perfect) is to make a specific intention to thank those people in my life who have sent love my way.  Sometimes I do it silently.  Sometimes I do it in person.   I can’t tell you how good it feels and how it takes the focus off of me during this period and on to the truly important things in my life.

So, let me say thank you to those I may not see in the next month or so.  Those of you who read my blog.  I’ve had 2,000+ hits in the last sporadically-written 45 days.  You inspire and push me to find a better place for my thoughts and actions.  Thank you for taking me into your homes, sending my posts to your family and friends to read and for your loving comments about my million++ flaws.  There really is much to be thankful for (including my crazy “meeting” story for tomorrow!).

And with that, I’ll leave you with this quote, which I’m sure you’ve heard … but I need the reminder:

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was thank you…that would suffice.  Meister Eckhart

Thank you!  Have a wonderful day.