Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Funny how eight years ago can feel like yesterday. My son died the day before Thanksgiving so many years ago, and while much has happened and changed in my life in the intervening time, there's a slice of me that was sort of put on hold, almost like one dimension of time has just stood still while another kept on moving along. I miss Brian, but I am thankful for the time we had together.

So, Thanksgiving is always a bit of a tough time for me. Each year, however, I try my best to remember what the day is all about and to reflect on the things in life for which I am truly grateful, and there are many. Last year I said many of the same things I'll say here, but that's what it's all about really - reflecting, changing and growing.

Not too terribly long ago some friends of mine impressed upon me the importance of taking on an "attitude of gratitude" in life. What they meant - at least in part - was that the place where you focus your mind is pretty much where you'll end up and that being grateful for what you have - rather than obsessed with what you don't have - is a positive thing to do. For the most part I think they're right. This time of year I tend to think about a lot of things, some difficult and some pleasant. But every year I try to take some Thanksgiving time to remember that even though life is crazy and time is often too short, there are so many thing in life for which I am grateful and give thanks.

Life's not perfect, and from the depths of the situations and experiences that substantially change us - often things that we would never wish to have happen again - we are destined to learn and grow, and hopefully to become better people in the end. I know I have experienced that over the years, and my life is quite different as a result.

Sometimes we learn and grow quickly, other times a little too slowly. I still make mistakes. Fear is a great motivator, one that can be leveraged for good or bad. Best to try for good.

But this is supposed to be about what I am thankful for. About gratitude.

I am thankful for my friends, my family, my good career, my home, my dog. I am grateful for talented surgeons and for the people in my life who have cared enough to stop their lives and take care of me when I was truly in need. I sometimes wish I was better to those who have been so good to me. I truly appreciate them, and am thankful they are a part of my life.

There are many people in this world better than me, and a few of those good people I have the privilege to know personally. I am thankful for them, even if I don't or can't always show it when it counts. I only hope in the future I can be more much more worthy of their qualities.

Finally, I am grateful for my life, the people in it, the goods and the bads, and for the possibilities of the future, whatever they may be. I've been very fortunate in many, many ways, and am truly thankful for that. As they say, "with all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world."

Yes, it is.

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Wednesday, 21 November 2007 22:25:44 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Wednesday, 21 November 2007 22:38:13 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Very touching, I just stumbled upon your blog today and added it to my "Windows Live Alerts" because of your geniune material. I wasn't expecting this, but I'm grateful I read your story... you have given me alot consider tomorrow when I'm feasting with family.

I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving and thanks for the opportunity to read.
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 22:44:08 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hi Phillip - Thanks for taking the time to leave the note, thanks for reading, and Happy Thanksgiving!

- greg
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 23:04:17 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Happy Thanksgiving Greg, I'm always a IM or an email away. We gotta do something here in a few weeks. Ill get back to ya on that.
Dave Mc
Thursday, 22 November 2007 11:51:39 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Well Greg, your ears had to have been burning yesterday as you were on my mind all day long. I stopped by and visited on the way home from work too. Have a great Thanksgiving and remember, you did indeed have a great time with your son although short in time.
Your friend always, Chris
Friday, 23 November 2007 00:18:31 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hi Greg, have been reading your blog for a while and listening to your podcast also. I trust you had a great thanksgiving, thanks for reminding us of what we should focus on in our lives its too easy to look on the negative side. Regards George
Friday, 23 November 2007 06:57:16 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hey Now Greg,
Powerful post today. I really like the phrase you wrote 'Attitude of Gratitude', we have so much to be thankful for.
RunAs Fan,
Friday, 23 November 2007 16:34:25 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
All -- Thanks for the kind comments and I am always glad when my writing self therapy can somehow beenfit others, heheheh.

Chris - I think I will be down that way sometime in the next couple/few months for a few days. I will call or email ya when I know my plans. :)

Monday, 26 November 2007 09:48:22 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
That was a very touching post. Being I have a tendency to sit back and think about everything I want, I paused for a few moments and looked around me after reading this post. It dawns on me that I have so much love and joy in my life to be thankful for.

I have a healthy wife and son, and my family is healthy, too. I have a house to come home to every day with a family to greet me, food to fill my belly, and a clean bed to sleep in at night. You really hit home with this post, Greg. I just wanted to let you know that you opened up my eyes and made me realize that I should be thankful for everything I have in my life.

Here's to you. *raises his glass*

Best --
Monday, 26 November 2007 14:12:27 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Greg, this was such a moving blog post. Kudos for having the courage to write it and share a slice of your life with the rest of us.
Friday, 30 November 2007 03:06:42 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
"Attitude of gratitude" is a great reminder for those of us stuck in the "chase the carrot" mindset. I've generally been a pretty positive person throughout my life, but I haven't endured any real tragedies, either. I try to count my blessings and be thankful for the good things -- and if you can preach the gospel of a positive mental attitude in spite of what you've gone through, then you're an inspiration to us all, Greg. Thank you. Thank you.
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