So I have gone back into the archives and dug up thoughts from Thanksgivings Past:
2007 - "I love a day that honors all that we have to be grateful for. I love that I can shift my focus and find appreciation in even the smallest things. Even things that have gone awry have a silver lining - all you have to do is look for it."
2008 - "I once heard a statement that was along the lines of: 'If you say no other prayer but thank you ... it is enough'. As I woke up this Thanksgiving Day morning, I found myself grateful for the most basic elements of life and living. When I look at the world around me and the smaller world of my home and family I realize how rich I am. And I am grateful."
2009 - "It's hard to be grateful for life's adversities when you are in the thick of them. You have to believe that if you work through those times and strive to build a life where you won't repeat the mistakes of your past ... you will one day look back at these dark days and say "Thank you". You will be grateful. One day."
2010 - "Today is Thanksgiving. This post should be entitled 'On Being Thankful' ... Truly, in my mind that is what being happy (for me) boils down to. Counting blessings, focusing on what I have, appreciating my family, friends and relationships and living a life with many options."
2011 - "It's been slow in coming ... but my 'happy' has returned. It ebbs and flows a little bit. It isn't a given. I have to work a little harder for it. But I feel it under my skin once again. The ability to find happiness in every day, ordinary little things.We appreciate things more, when we have to work for it. I promise to savor, be grateful and nurture the joy that is returning to my life. It is our Thanksgiving long weekend. A most perfect time to find that which I am grateful for and celebrate."
2012 - "Today is Thanksgiving for our southern neighbors so it was not surprising to find my daily inspirational message was one of a thankful sort. It was different than most because it dwelled on the fact that every day should be one of thanks. Not just once a year. Perhaps (they suggested) we should have an unthankful day if we are just going to devote one day out of every 365 to focus on it. And be grateful for the 364 remaining days. Good point."
2013 - "I am grateful for the dirt that has accumulated under this roof that shelters us. This Thanksgiving weekend was spent cleaning some of the nooks and crannies within our home. I didn't break the sound barrier with my speed. I puttered. As I puttered, thoughts, memories, voices of those who have touched my life reached out and touched me. I am so very grateful for a life that is full of such wonderful people, memories and thoughts to reflect on. I will never be lonely ... as long as I have my 'dirt'. Manual labor is (part of) the key to happiness. At least in my books."
Looking back through the years and reflecting on that-which-I-have-written, I feel a common theme that encapsulates my life. I have not lived a life of regret. I may have strayed off the path and struggled from time to time but there has yet to be a time that I have not found my silver lining.
My heaven on earth is living a silver-lined life. I'm very grateful that I've had to work for this little life of mine. If it had all been dropped on my lap I would have no idea how much I have.
And for that ... I am thankful.