Wednesday, November 25, 2009

On being thankful....

There are many things in this world I am thankful for. I have a wonderful, loving husband, healthy children, terrific friends, a comfortable home, and a good job. My tastes and needs are pretty simple, though, so, on the whole, it doesn't take much to keep me satisfied. There were times I couldn't say that, but it's different now.

When asked what I want for Christmas these days, I'm hard-pressed to come up with a reply. Back when I was getting into the horse business, there was always something I wanted--a new saddle or other barn item. I would pick up a horse supply catalog and go through it, marking pages and circling items and then hand it to my DH who was very pleased to have a list to follow.

This year, I circled a few items that need replacing, but there isn't anything I'll be excited about, and most are things I could just as easily have bought for myself. That's the problem with material things; all you need is the money to pay for them, and if I have learned one thing in this life, it's that getting that saddle or diamond ring or whatever it is you think you want won't provide lasting happiness.

Perhaps it's something that comes with age, but more and more I'm beginning to realize the truth of that old saying about the best things in life being free. Material things matter less to me each year, while the intangibles have increased in value. Emails from readers cost nothing, but mean so much. Smiles from your friends can make a really rotten day seem brighter, and being with your loved ones on Thanksgiving can make all that's wrong with the world disappear for a while.

My son Mike will be home from Purdue for Thanksgiving, and he posted this on Facebook recently:

I wonder if it would be considered ironic that I am thankful for Thanksgiving itself. I am thankful for the holiday where we think about what we're thankful for.

This makes me wonder how it would be if we didn't have a holiday to make us stop and consider. Would we ever count our blessings, or would it be something that was simply overlooked from year to year? I'd like to think we would take the time, but perhaps not.

This year, in addition to those things I listed earlier, I've made many new friends through this crazy publishing game. I've been places I never would have seen, met people I never would have known, and done things I didn't think I was capable of. For all of this, I am truly thankful.

Eye candy is another one of those intangibles that bring joy to our lives. It's not something you can taste or possess, but is one of those natural wonders that cost nothing and are so good for the soul. Sort of like gazing out across the Grand Canyon.

So, go ahead. Take a good, long look.

And be thankful.


  1. I'm thankful that you like searching for eye candy. :)

    I agree with your son. I love the Thanksgiving holiday. Even though it's hectic and noisy and messy (since dinner is at my house), and I see my family all the time (we live very close and the kids are close in age), it's still nice to stop and take a breath. We play Scrabble all day while the guys watch football (though I do situate my chair so I get a good view of the tv in the other room b/c I love football) and just hang out and eat leftovers.

  2. Thanksgiving as one of those "no stress" holidays at my house. It's just me and the guys, and basically, all I have to do is fix dinner, and I do that all the time. After dinner, we always watch Scrooge as the kickoff to our Christmas season. This year is even better because, for once, I don't have to work!

  3. Today is my husband's and my 20th Wedding Anniversary so this Thanksgiving, I'm taking a day off. There will be no writing, no cooking, just spending time with my family.

    I hope you all have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving.

  4. Cheryl, fabulous post! It's so true. Each year the gift giving gets harder and sadly, it's more impluse buying than buying something you know the person would really love. I love your son's quote as well. Just perfect! I am thankful for the wonderful women I have met through your blog and the new friendships that have begun.

    And yes, I am thankful for eye candy-who knew what a photo of a hunk with fabulous abs could do for the soul.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. A great post, Cheryl! I'm in the same boat as you with Christmas gifts this year--I think this will be one of those years where being with family and friends will be more than enough. Have a happy holiday!

  6. Cheryl,

    Really, it's those things you can't buy that bring the greatest returns. The laughter of friends and family, a good meal with them, just taking the time to SEE what's around you and be happy.

    I'm the same as you. Over the years, I find *things* are not as satisfying as they were. What do I want? God, I haven't a clue the answer to give.

    I look at it this way, if a fire broke out in my home, god forbid, what would I be willing to risk my life for? I can tell you now, it isn't the *things* in the house, but the living breathing residents. Things can be replaced, but not lives.

    Enjoy your holidays with your family. :-)

    Nice eye candy, btw. ;)

  7. Too cute, Cheryl! I was really getting into the mood of "I must be more thankful for the simple things" and then the eye candy popped up on the screen. Yum!


  8. GREAT post, Cheryl!

    2 very different and beautiful pics of 'scenery.' LOL!

    I'm thinking that if you don't have a holiday specifically to give thanks, that you do it on one of the other holidays. Maybe our readers who don't celebrate can enlighten us?

    very thankful for ALL friends, online and otherwise

  9. I am very thankful we have Cheryl to keep us rolling in the eye candy!

    I am in complete agreement with you, Cheryl. It is the everyday things that I am most thankful for. I do love all my fancy gadgets and doohickeys, but they merely complement the joy found in life with my family and friends.

    Your son put it beautifully. I think I shall steal that sentiment, if he doesn't mind!

    I wish all of my Casa Sisters and our faithful visitors a happy Thanksgiving. However you celebrate, enjoy to the fullest!

  10. Happy Anniversary, Robin!
    Ah, a day off from everything. Wow....what a concept. Enjoy it!

  11. Lisa,
    You and the other ladies of the blog have been one of the joys of this past year. The friendships we've developed are unique and fun. Don't know if we'll ever get together, but if we ever do, that would REALLY be something to be thankful for.
    ...especially if Benji showed up....

  12. Thanks, Danielle!
    The gift exchange at the INRWA chapter's Christmas party is one where we each bring a white elephant from home and wrap it up and then have a Dirty Santa party. Should be fun and won't cost a thing!
    Have a great holiday!

  13. Hi Sia!
    If a fire broke out in my home, aside from my family, the only thing I would grab would be my laptop. There are things on it that simply wouldn't be replaceable...books I've photos...and, of course, quite a collection of eye candy!
    Have a safe and happy holiday!

  14. Happy Thanksgiving, Amelia!
    Eye candy is a very simple pleasure, for which I am truly thankful!

  15. Happy Thanksgiving to you, AC!
    LOL! A natural wonder is a natural wonder, whether it's a huge canyon or a gorgeous hunk, and we should take the time to be thankful for both!

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  17. You're welcome, Sharon! Glad you enjoy the eye candy and I'm sure Mikey would be honored to have you borrow his quote.
    Have a great day!

  18. Yes, let's be thankful for eye candy. :>

    And thankful for family and friends.


  19. ...all those things that make life worth living...

  20. Benji looks nice with fuzz on his face >>

    I like thanksgiving too because it makes us consider everything we should be grateful for every single day of our lives XD

  21. That says it all, Ana! Hope you have a great day...tomorrow and every day!

  22. Since we didn't celebrate Thanksgiving in England, it always feels like a bonus day when it arrives. And I'm thankful for any kind of bonus.

  23. LOL! Happy Bonus Day, Sheila! Enjoy it!