Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving just passed as of this posting and I have to admit it is probably my favorite holiday. Not just because it consists of my favorite foods- hello, turkey and cranberry sauce! (And don’t get me started on the leftover sandwiches…heaven!)

Food comas aside, it’s my favorite holiday because it’s all about gratitude and the people you love. Gratitude is something I’ve tried to build my life on and while it’s easy to be sidetracked by stress and longing for more/different in life, there truly is so much to be grateful for. It can make you dizzy just counting them all up! Funny thing about that counting, or listing, or just thinking about things you are grateful for-it creates a cascade effect and suddenly you can’t STOP thinking of all the things there are to be grateful for. We forget how lucky we are to have family-yes, that same family that can drive you crazy- because so many people are truly alone. Friends we can count on-if you need more than the fingers on one hand you are WAY ahead of the game. We take our health for granted, our spouses, our time on this planet. We treat it as if it’s guaranteed, as if we will always be healthy and our spouses will always be with us.

The truth is it is all finite, and life turns on a dime. We never know if this time that we see the people we love may be the last time, or if tomorrow we won’t have our health anymore. Living in the moment is all we have, and it takes a level of awareness some of us find hard to achieve. Most of us are so busy worried about tomorrow or remembering yesterday we take the moment for granted- and we miss it. We miss the moment, which really is all we truly have. (Raising my hand among the guilty as I type this…..)

This year my family and I got to spend our Thanksgiving moments among far away family and friends, which I hadn’t done in a decade or more. And every moment really was something I appreciated in a whole new way-so much had happened since we’d all last been together and I found myself randomly just reaching out and touching people on the arm, or hand when I was near them. Just because I was so happy to be near them, and I actually could reach out and they actually were there. . Of course, I did explain the continual touching as to not be the weird touchy cousin in the house- though honestly I probably still was! 😉 We spent days with my best friend and her family and honestly, there isn’t anything as fun as just being in the same room with some people. Conversations not on a phone, but in person. Hugs that aren’t electronic and smiles that aren’t emojis. Actual togetherness moments. There’s nothing like them. It’s making my heart warm just thinking about it all again.

For me, this year’s holiday was the embodiment of the Cheryl Project in action- telling people how happy you are to spend time with them, and truly enjoying the actual moments you were in and getting to spend with people you love and miss all the rest of the year. Simply being in the same room was a pretty great thing, instead of being thousands of miles apart. Watching my kids play with their cousins, and my cousins with their own families. It was bittersweet knowing it had been so long coming and would probably not happen again for a while, and maybe that made the actual moments so much sharper in focus. Seeing both the older and younger generations getting older tugs at your heartstrings, and seeing it all in the same room- maybe it was because I hadn’t been there in so long but at times I literally just stopped to breathe it all in. The moments. I find it hard to explain, but you know what I mean.

I hope it was the same for all of you, and you got to have a Cheryl Project moment-or many moments- of your own this Thanksgiving. We are grateful to have you here.

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