It's the time of year when its good to think about what you have. I've been doing that a lot lately. Perhaps now, more than ever, its important to think about what you have, what is good - instead of what you've lost, can't or don't have and what is bad.
Things are scary out there. Seems like every week, I hear from someone new who has been layed off, who's husband or wife has been layed off. Businesses are closing down. Money is tight. Honestly - Trevor and I have been very fortunate for the years we've been together - we've both had really great jobs and could pretty much do and buy whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted it. Boy have things changed. We are now a one income family and my income has gone down about 25 % this year - less business at work = less commission. We now refer to the days of the past as "when money was growing on trees". Nowadays, we actually think about how and where we spend our money. We monitor our bills and look for ways to save - we changed our garbage pick-up to every other week, we went back to a basic cable package, we set the thermostat a lot lower than we used to and put on an extra layer of clothes. I shop at the cheapest grocery store and buy only what we need. We are really at the point now where there isn't much more we could cut out. I've realized that all those things, all the stuff we bought, all the things we did were not the things that made our lives whole. I have a greater appreciation for all the things in my life that money cannot buy. I am blessed with a husband with many gifts - the greatest of which may be his sense of humor. Nothing fazes this man. He is my rock - the center of my life and even if we lost everything, I know that we'd be living on the street, laughing about something every day.
We have our wonderful, loving pets - growing from 4 to 5 now. I cannot imagine our lives without these little furry babies. Some days I cannot believe how full of love I am for them - Opal, Wookie, Gus, Daisy and Roxie. I feel like I could burst. Every day, they make me smile, laugh or tear-up -just knowing that I get to love them and that they love me right back.
I am fortunate to have a fabulous job. Seriously fabulous. My company is a great place to work - for all the complaining that goes on, I couldn't have a better job right now. Sure, its uncertain and I worry about the future of this business on which I've built a career. I don't' know what will happen, but I'm pretty sure things will be okay. I try to remember that when I get too worked up.
Then there is my family. Both my family and Trevor's family are really great people. Trevor and I are lucky. Our families are supportive, kind and giving. They love us regardless of our flaws and always want the best for us. Someone I know once said to me about family he was struggling with - "all you can do is love them." And he was right. There are challenges in every family. If you don't have a challenge in your family....you ARE the challenge in your family!
I saw this quote: "Thanksgiving is a meal that formalizes through food your connections to the people you love, even if that connection sometimes sparks like a downed wire. It's a meal for savoring life as it is, not as it might be, and finding reasons to be grateful anyway." I guess that's a lesson about life in general, not just family. Its time to look around at how things are and be grateful for them....even if they aren't what you had planned. And to know that every day provides a chance to start over - to work toward making things the way you want them to be or to work towards appreciating them for what they are.