As I sat down at the dinner table this Thanksgiving, I gave thanks for my many blessings.  Family, friends, laughter, and good food. It reminded me that Thanksgiving isn’t the only time to give thanks, so I’ve started a gratitude journal, taking a few minutes every day to find peace and gratitude.

Everyone, and I do mean everyone, has something to be grateful for. Whether it’s a beautiful sunny day or healthy food to eat. If we can slow down long enough to take a look around we would all be a little happier. It’s helpful to put things in perspective, don’t sweat the small stuff as the saying goes. Being forced to slow down by lupus, I’ve learned to appreciate the little things in life.

Watching a butterfly float from flower to flower.

Listening to the laughter of a child.

Holding someone’s hand or finding beauty in nature, a sunset.

I try to look for the good in things and keep it simple. Learning to live in the moment, to be present in life helps put things in perspective. It takes some practice but it’s made me a calmer happier person.
This world speeds by so fast that we forget to enjoy what we have. Holidays can be hectic and stressful.  Health and people who love you and someplace to call home are what matter, not things. Things might not be the same without loved ones lost but we can be grateful for happy memories.

A favorite quote from Shawnee Chief Tecumseh (1768-1813) comes to mind. “When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.”

Get started, pick up a little notebook or even use the notes or calendar on your phone and make a list with just one or two things like a nice pillow to sleep on or maybe a good nights sleep, it might even be a helpful coworker. Before you know it you will have too many blessings to count!

Michele Palermo

Michele is a retired registered nurse who spent 15 years in Emergency Medicine. That's where she learned there's a fragility to life. Diagnosed with lupus, after going through a divorce, taught her to be a survivor instead of a victim. With her career shortened by illness she turned to books. She fell in love with the written word as a young child. To her, words convey emotion. Her new passion is writing. As an aspiring author, she hopes to inspire others on this roller coaster called life.

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