Winter portrait of young beautiful brunette woman wearing knitted snood covered in snow. Snowing winter beauty fashion concept.
Image: NinaMalyna/Shutterstock

Happy Monday fellow sleepyheads.

While, yes, it is Monday morning and we are all pretty exhausted and so ready for this holiday week to begin already, I would like us to refocus our attention for a moment to the meaning of this week in particular: Thanksgiving.

No, I’m not just talking about the holiday in itself, but the sentiment behind Thanksgiving. As our lives get more and more hectic each day, and as the holiday season joyfully clutters our minds with shopping lists and travel plans, it’s easy for us to wind ourselves into a ball of plans and stress. Before we know it, Thanksgiving is over and we have yet to sit down and really think to ourselves “what am I thankful for this year?”

So let’s take a deep breath, slow down for a sec, and consider these things to be thankful for this year, in spite of all the chaos 2016 has shown us.

For our friends

As I write this and sip on my coffee downtown, I’m enjoying listening to the table of women next to me laughing over a round of mimosas and Belgian waffles. They’re moving in between topics left and right, talking about their work lives, the hot guy at the bar last night, and what they feel they’ve learned this year.

Despite the recent breakup, the less than stellar grade in chem class, or the parking ticket they’re all chatting about, it’s easy to see that they’re all still very happy. It makes me miss my long-distance friends (having just moved to a new city makes one kind of friendless at first), and makes me appreciate them even more.

So whether you’re like the women next to me, able to chitchat over champagne and orange juice on a regular basis, or you’re like me and you make special trips back home to reconnect over draft beer and French fries, I think we can all agree that we are so thankful for those true-blue friends in our lives.

For our health

I woke up this morning, slipped on my running shoes, and decided to watch an episode of Gilmore Girls instead of face the cold on this November morning. While I definitely don’t stick to my workouts as much as I should, I am thankful that I have the ability to.

The ability to be active and healthy is something that many of us take for granted, until it is taken from us suddenly. Whether we get plagued with the flu, end up in the hospital, or just can’t breathe out of our noses at night and therefore can’t sleep a wink, we seem to only understand the importance of good health when it’s less than spectacular.

Even so, I am currently healthy and happy, and very grateful for my ability to get out of bed every morning and take on the day.

For our jobs

Being thankful for your job doesn’t mean you have to have landed your dream job already—but it is simply important to be thankful for a source of income and the ability to grow in your work ethic. It’s also important to realize how far we as women have come in conquering the work force, while still remembering how much work that’s yet to be done and is in our hands to change.

While working in retail a few months back, I grew to love and appreciate every member of the team I worked with. We all had our quirks, but we all fit together so well. I wouldn’t trade those days of working in a busy retail environment with great people for anything in world. Now, at a new job, I am thankful for my growing career and the opportunities I’ve been granted. No matter where I’ve been in my life, I’ve always been blessed with a job to keep myself in check, and that’s something that isn’t available to women all around the world.

For our families

Even though my sisters have the tendency to adopt pieces of my wardrobe without consent, I wouldn’t trade their place in my life for anything. I was blessed with two best friends who have to love me, whether or not they like me all the time. What more can you really ask for?

I used to think I could do everything on my own, without the support of my family lifting me up. But in recent months I have come to learn that while I may lose everything, my family will always be there to have my back. As chaotic and on different wavelengths as we tend to be at times, at the end of they day we know we have each other’s backs.

For the magic of the holiday season

I don’t know about you, but there is something very magical about the holiday season and how it concludes the year with lights and holly. I never want to rush away the holiday season, but sometimes I can’t wait for the new year to finally be here.

Even though I am so excited for all the surprises 2017 will throw my way, I am determined to take in every bit of this holiday season with appreciation and joy. I don’t want to wish away any more days of this year no matter how interesting 2016 has been.

So, ladies, let’s start this week off on the right foot. Enjoy the week, remember your blessings, and perhaps come up with a list of the things you’re particularly thankful for.