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Being Grateful In the Holidays

by Helen Stuart 2 years ago in advice
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A Good Time to Give Thanks

The Holidays are here again, and I feel totally Scrooged over. From my West Texas apartment, there's not a snowflake in sight, it's not even sweater weather, and no present is expected to be coming in or going out of the premises. That's okay though, I've got gratitude.

I don't just feel grateful during November and December, I feel grateful for the good things in my life every day, but the holidays are a good time to say an extra thanks, and just because I can't afford presents doesn't mean I can't afford to have the holiday spirit. That's the best part. Now I will tell you some of the things I am grateful for, judge me if you will, it's all very personalized when it comes to gratitude.

I am grateful for good sleep.

You might think that's an odd thing to be grateful for, but chances are, if you've been alive for long enough, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Thomas Dekker said, "Sleep is that Golden Chain that ties health and our bodies together." If you've ever gone without sleep for long enough, through insomnia or any other reason, you can understand why sleep is so valued. It also sort of signals that all is right with your world, when you can sleep calmly and deeply. It's a great gift to be valued and thankful for. A nap can reset your day and resolve conflicts within your mind. I might appreciate sleep so much because I'm getting older, but I think a lot of people can agree with my enthusiasm.

I have a home.

The deep and restful sleep I spoke of above would be impossible to someone of my private nature if I did not have a home with a comfortable bed in it. I know this because I have been homeless before. I was not raised to be a homeless person, I don't know if anyone was, I took ballet when I was little and went to college right out of high school on a scholarship. But circumstances beyond my control saw me without a roof over my head for several months not too long ago, and now I treasure my little apartment and I'm so thankful for it. My health has also gotten worse over the few years since then and I would not be able to live homeless any more. I'm so thankful every time I turn the key in the latch and let myself in to my little home.

By Samantha Gades on Unsplash

I have a dog that loves me. And I love her back.

Her name is Sugar and she's a Chihuahua. I would love her just as much no matter what kind of dog she was, but it is nice for me that she only weighs four pounds because she is very easy to carry and hold on my lap, and yes, sleep with. Most of all, having another soul around really makes my apartment a home, and makes it extra nice to come home when I do have to go out for some reason. Sugar adds a spark and many smiles to my life. I plan on us being together for years and years to come.

Sugar

My daughter is achieving her dreams

This is a huge one to me. I love no other person on this earth as much as I love my daughter. She didn't have it easy growing up, her father died in a house fire when she was four, so it was just me raising her. I honestly think I did a good job, but my parents disagreed and they tried to take her away from me. I knew I couldn't let that happen, I have many scars from my own childhood with my parents. But they kept reporting me to Social Services from over a thousand miles away with bogus accusations until finally she was taken from me at the age of fourteen. I thought I would die from worry and from my own broken heart but instead I just kept going to court and praying and seeing her on visitation with whatever gifts I could afford to remind her that I loved her. I retained my parental rights and finally she aged out of the system. Now we text each other every day, several times. She is planning another visit after the holidays. I am so proud of her for being independant and following her dreams of working in professional wrestling, she has loved wrestling since she was a very little girl and now she is a cameraperson for MissionPro Wrestling. She did it herself by not giving up on what or who she loved, no matter what those around her tried to make her do. It's one of the best feelings in the world to see your grown child succeed and be happy. It truly is something to be thankful for.

my daughter is the one with long hair, Thunder Rosa, her boss, is kneeling in front

So those are just some of the things I am grateful for. Not just at the holidays, but all year long, after all, these things are gifts that just keep giving. I don't know what's going to happen next year, or the year after that, and frankly, it's a little daunting to try to look ahead and try to guess. The world is changing so much, so I try to live in the moment. And this moment happens to be smack dab in the middle of the holidays. So I'll get some eggnog, put on some Perry Como, and celebrate with my little chihuahua. The holiday spirit is for everyone to enjoy, and don't forget to count your many blessings.

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About the author

Helen Stuart

I live with my long haired chihuahua and I have always loved to write.

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