Happy Thanksgiving my Canadian friends. The whirlwind of a weekend is coming to a close and as I reflect back on it, I am overwhelmed by happiness and thankfulness. On Saturday evening as I looked out of my kitchen towards my living room my eyes were greeted by a happy crowd of people I truly love and treasure. My parents, my in-laws, my grandmother, aunt, uncle, cousin, sister in-law, my nephew and family friends. (I deeply miss my sister and her family at events like these but they are always in my heart and on my mind.) The faces where joyful and the chatter was LOUD. As the evening unfolded we had many laughs, mostly as people across generations tried Miss. H's newly purchased hoverboard, we caught up on our busy lives and celebrated being together.
As our guests arrived one by one, the girls would rush to the door to greet them and asked them to express what they were thankful for. I also had the girls participate in this little activity.
As I reflect on what I am thankful for this year, the list is endless. Here are my top five:
1. My girls and husband. They are my world, the reason I strive to the best version of myself. Sure there are times I feel like I need a timeout, or I am not doing enough, but they are always there to lift me up. Just yesterday we were talking about watching the movie Bad Moms, and miss H. says, "why do you want to watch a movie like that? You aren't a bad mom." Melted my heart. And my hubby, well I am so thankful to have a person who know me so well that he can look at me when I am feeling wound up and just say, "Bo, I think you should go for a run." He always believes in me and makes me feel strong when I feel unsure. He is jam to my peanut butter. :)
2. Family. My family is always there for me; through good and bad, happy and sad, exciting and disappointing. Regardless of my decisions, they always have my back and I wouldn't have been able to accomplished the things I have without them. I am internally grateful to my parents who gave up so much when they fled our war torn country. They fought so hard to pave a path of opportunities for education, health, happiness, and success, for my sister and I.
3. Friends. Sometimes you have an opportunity to meet people and connect with them on such a deep level that they become part of our family. I have many beautiful friends but Amber and Ashley have there for me for years and years. They have become part of the community that helps me raise my family and are always in my corner. My Bosnian heritage taught me that it's important to have a community/village to help you raise your family.
4. Health. Having a body that lets me live life to the fullest and to embrace opportunities that arise. I love being active and I am grateful for a body that allows me to lead that healthy lifestyle with my family, such as getting outdoors regardless of the season or Saskatchewan weather. As I look at my two grandma's I am regularly reminded that our time on the Earth is short and that we need to seize every chance we have to be happy.
5. My home. I actually tried to find out how many people across the world own their own homes. I found various answers but north America seems to have the greatest number of home owners. I love having a big house (I think it's big and since I am the one cleaning it, that's all that matters), a backyard, and a nice community. All that being said, I always keep it all in perspective and know how lucky we actually are. Most of the people around the world share their homesteads with their parents, or in-laws, or they rent apartments. I am not the kind of person that needs all the newest and shiniest gadgets, and I want to pass that on to my children. I am constantly talking to them about how fortunate they are but also that they themselves might not be able to have a "house" and a "backyard" when they first set get started on their own. The prices of homes have drastically increased and there is a good chance that they may need to start off smaller or even raise their families in smaller dwellings. My wish for them is avoid giving into the pressure, of keeping up with the "Joneses", but instead to be thankful for the things that they do have and be grateful for that.
Other: My job. My colleagues. Education for my children. Fresh and clean water. Transportation. Free health care. Beautiful parks and nature at my fingertips. Various community events. Libraries. My puppy. The list keeps going.