Reflecting on Being Thankful

A giant urn with pumpkins flowing out of it

Ah, Thanksgiving, the time of year when many gather with family or friends to celebrate the day, loosen those belts a notch or two, and give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. It's that one day when it's perfectly acceptable to eat too much often with turkey and pie, and not feel the least bit guilty about it. But beyond the food coma and family gatherings, Thanksgiving is a beautiful reminder to be thankful for all the gifts life has bestowed upon us. So, grab a seat at the virtual table, my friend, because I'm reflecting here on how much I have to be thankful for and hope this helps you reflect on what you have to be thankful for too. You may not have all of the elements listed here, but no matter what you have things to be grateful for and to reflect upon in gratitude.


The basics


Let's start with the basics, shall we? You woke up this morning, and you're reading this – that's already something to be grateful for. Not everyone gets that privilege every day.

You have the ability to see, to learn, and to engage with the world.

Your senses allow you to savor the aroma of your morning coffee, feel the warmth of a hug, and appreciate the beauty of a sunrise or a starry night. These simple things we often take for granted are the building blocks of a life filled with joy and wonder.




Regardless of your faith, lack of faith, or what centers you in your life the faith in something much bigger than us, the way we approach others and the world, the sense of peace that comes accepting the things we cannot change, the courage to change things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference. As a Christian I have a faith that supports my values that we are to love God and everyone. That includes those that have different faiths, cultures, and customs. Love your neighbor and appreciate that we are all God’s children. Work to make this world a better place. Love is the answer.




Your friends, like yours truly, are here to celebrate life with you. We share in your joys and sorrows, your victories, and setbacks. We offer a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on when you need it most. Friends are like the spices of life, adding flavor to our experiences. You've got a support system that's there for you, even when life serves up a bitter dish.




Family – they're like the main course at the Thanksgiving feast. They're not always perfect, but they're a crucial part of the meal. Whether it's your parents, siblings, cousins, children, or other family, they've been with you through thick and thin. Some have witnessed your awkward teenage years, cheered for your achievements, and held your hand during your darkest moments. They are a constant reminder of where you come from and who you are, no matter how much you've grown.




Let's talk about your job or your daily pursuits. Even if it's not your dream job (and let's face it, how many of us actually have that?), it's still a source of income, a means to pursue your passions, and an opportunity to grow and learn. Your job might not always be sunshine and rainbows, but it allows you to enjoy those sunny days, and maybe even fund a trip to see a real rainbow. If you have a job be grateful for employment. 


Travel physically or virtually


Speaking of travel, isn't it incredible how we can explore the world? There are so many places to see, cultures to experience, and foods to savor. From the mountains to the beaches, from bustling cities to serene countryside, the world is a treasure trove of adventures waiting to be had. And guess what? You have the ability to pack your bags and set out on those journeys, if not in person, virtually. You have the power to dream.


A place to live


Let's not forget your home, that cozy sanctuary where you can be yourself, put your feet up, and unwind. It's where you've built countless memories, whether it's binge-watching your favorite shows, hosting game nights, or simply relishing a quiet moment with a good book or with something online. Your home is more than just bricks and mortar; it's the backdrop to the story of your life. Be grateful, not everyone has a place to live.


Experience life

Now, let's switch gears a bit and talk about personal growth. You've come a long way, my friend. You've overcome challenges, made mistakes, and learned from them. You've grown in wisdom and experience. Think about all the skills you've acquired, the knowledge you've gathered, and the insights you've gained. You are an ever-evolving masterpiece.


Your passions


Your passions and hobbies are like the sweet desserts of life. Whether it's painting, playing an instrument, writing, or gardening, these pursuits bring you joy and fulfillment. They're the outlets for your creativity and the sources of your happiness. Remember the feeling of satisfaction when you finish a great book, paint a beautiful canvas, or hit that perfect note on your guitar? That's something to be thankful for.


The little things in life


And then there are the little things – the smell of freshly baked bread, a cat's purring, the sound of rain against your window, or the feeling of a cozy sweater on a chilly day. These tiny pleasures add up to create a life rich in texture and warmth. They're the seasoning that makes life more delightful.


Your health


Your health is truly your greatest wealth. It enables you to get up each morning, chase your dreams, and enjoy the richness of life. A healthy body and mind are a gift not to be underestimated. Remember the taste of your favorite dish, the laughter shared with friends, or the joy of dancing without a care in the world? Your health allows you to relish these moments. There are varying degrees of health. Be grateful for how much health you have. 


Your ability to search online


The world is an endless well of knowledge and inspiration. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can access a universe of information and connect with people from all corners of the globe. You can learn a new language, acquire a new skill, or explore a new culture without leaving your couch. The possibilities are endless, and it's a privilege that generations before us could only dream of.


Your attitude towards life


Life is full of surprises, my friend. Every day brings new opportunities, new adventures, and new people into your life. There are paths yet to be discovered, friendships yet to be made, and experiences yet to be had. The future is an open book, and you're the author of your own story. Your attitude matters. Make the most of your positive attitude. 




We can't forget the beauty of giving thanks. Gratitude is not just a one-way street. When you express your appreciation, whether through a heartfelt thank-you or a warm smile, you have the power to brighten someone else's day. You can be the reason someone else feels thankful.


Be thankful


So, as we approach this Thanksgiving holiday, let's remember to give thanks for all the big and small things that make life a beautiful journey. Life is a grand feast with a table full of blessings. Even when times are tough and the gravy seems a bit thin, remember that you have the power to turn things around. Life is a buffet, and you get to choose what you fill your plate with. If you’re looking for some assistance related to collaboration or conflict resolution check out the links to these sources.

So, my dear friend, take a moment this Thanksgiving to reflect on all the reasons you have to be thankful. Whether it's the love of family, the support of friends, the adventures you've had, or the little joys that light up your day, there's a smorgasbord of blessings to savor. Give thanks for them all, and may your heart be as full as your plate on this special day.

Cheers to life, love, and the countless reasons we have to be thankful! Happy Thanksgiving!

Be safe.

Be well.

Have fun.

About the author

Mike Gregory is a professional speaker, an author, and a mediator. You may contact Mike directly at and at (651) 633-5311. Mike has written 12 books (and co-authored two others) including his latest book, The Collaboration Effect: Overcoming Your Conflicts, and The Servant Manager, Business Valuations and the IRS, and Peaceful Resolutions that you may find helpful. [Michael Gregory, ASA, CVA, MBA, Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court]