Thanks Giving

Happy Thanksgiving! Traditionally, this is the day we Canadians are supposed to be thankful for our harvest. So I’m appreciating the abundance of fruit on the tangle of cherry tomato vine outside our patio door, as well as the handful of stunted carrots my daughter managed to raise in her little backyard patch. That’s about the extent of our personal harvest.

Today we’re also supposed to express gratitude in general. So why do we need a designated day to remind us of this? Forgive me for spouting a cliché, but it’s far too easy to take certain things for granted. Instead the disappointments, the downers, the tough stuff often loom larger in our minds than the fact that we have fantastic families, a supportive social network, enough food to eat, a roof to keep off the rain, paying jobs, relative good health. I guess sometimes we have to be reminded that we have a lot to be thankful for.

Which, in a roundabout way, brings me to my point for today: Maybe feeling thankful is not a good deed exactly, but I do think saying thank you has to be one. It demonstrates to others that they are worthy of courtesy and acknowledgement. And it makes them feel appreciated. Who doesn’t like feeling appreciated? What a gift.

My favourite thank-you story is probably the time I wrote to a former high-school creative writing teacher to let him know what a difference his enthusiasm and upbeat approach to teaching had made for me, almost two decades years before. He wrote back – he remembered me (a bonus!) – and we’ve continued to stay in touch ever since. He sent me his marvelous short stories to read, and I even interviewed him for a magazine article I worked on.

This simple act of saying thank you led to the rekindling of a friendship and enriched me personally and professionally.

Do you have a great thank-you story?

4 responses to “Thanks Giving

  1. Karen (Moore) McIntyre

    Hey Lisa, You”re right we were lucky to have such great English teachers at SC. I’m sure that is where I got my love of writing. I’m thankful you are in my life again. Love your blog! Karen (Moore) McIntyre

  2. Thank you, Karen! Reconnecting with old friends… definitely another good reason to feel gratitude.

  3. My Thank you story – is to my dad. Growing up I always felt it was impossible to please him. But if I stop to reflect he did make himself “known” in ways that were not so obvious to me. He was tough on all of us, but I felt harder on me. He insisted on always doing more than just average work and he said this required more than just average hours. Occasionally, after a battle over a major hurdle, he would write me a poem about my journey – and although he didn’t say it, I knew he was proud. I miss him dearly now, he passed away in 2007. I’m venturing into a whole new area in my life – my own business. And it is riddled with obstacles and so tempting to throw in the towel and get a “regular job” with a paycheck. But I can hear dad saying; “if it was easy, everyone would do it …. so make up your mind, is this something you want to accomplish in your life – if so – go do it. Figure it out … work hard and then a little harder.” I am thankful for his words that when spoken at the time seemed like he was saying I just wasn’t working hard enough, but now in retrospect they were saying, just how bad to you want this … you’re capable … just reach down there and give it your all. Thank you Dad.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing this, Debbie. I’m sorry for the loss of your dad but it sounds like he passed along some important values that you’re carrying with you now. Best of luck with your business!

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