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Thanksgiving is the one time of year where we concentrate on being grateful for the many blessings in our lives. Each year, we say that we’ll try to remember gratitude more often during the rest of the year, and most of us do make a point to increase our gratitude days a little more each year.

It’s easy to be grateful for the good things that we are blessed with, but what about the difficult times in our lives; those times when it’s not so easy to see the blessing, or when we learn a difficult lesson.

Feeling gratitude in the moment of a difficult lesson we are learning is one of the hardest things to do. The difficult lessons learned in life can make us cry, or shout in anger, or feel disappointed. There are some really tough lessons, sometimes, like going through a divorce or losing a job that you planned to retire from, but there can also be smaller inconveniences that seem to go on forever…

Gratitude isn’t an easy grace to find at times like these.

In the last year, I had saved enough money to finish the remodel of my bedroom, which was started more than a year ago, three different times!

The first time, I was just getting ready to call my electrician back for the finish work when my well pump bit the dust. Well, I was certainly disappointed to have to wait several more months for the remodel to be completed, but I could, and did, feel grateful that I had enough saved up to pay for the new well pump!

The second time I’d gotten the money together, my car needed both front axles replaced. OK, so it was a bit more difficult to remain grateful this time, but I did manage it.

The third time, my hot water heater chose to give up the ghost. OK! THIS IS SOO MUCH! Am I EVER going to be able to finish this project?!

Well, it took a few days for me to feel grateful at this point. Fortunately, the hot water heater was a bit less expensive than the car axles or the well pump, so I had a bit of savings left.  When I came to terms with the annoyances and found gratitude for being able to maintain my home and car, I took out the list for the electrician, crossed off some of the items, and had him come back to simply hang the new light fixture where there were wires hanging out of my wall.  NOW, I am grateful to have the new lights up. In fact, I smile whenever I see them. And, next spring I can have the rest of the items on my list done! In the big picture of life, it’s just a minor inconvenience to wait a little while longer; and when it’s finally done, I’ll be so happy, I’ll probably burst!

Thank you, life, for teaching me patience and gratitude for small pleasures. I am grateful for it all.

So, what are you grateful for this year? Is there a lesson you learned, or a particular triumph you want to share? Leave a comment on the blog or reply to this newsletter. I’d love to hear more about your year.

Meanwhile, as the holidays approach and life gets stressful – both good and bad stress, remember to take care of YOU!

Here is a short video to release the stress many of us send directly to our shoulders when we’re busy. Since it’s also cold and flu season, this one will help you keep your lungs healthy too!

Best of Health,