"Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." - Marcel Proust
Hard to believe another Thanksgiving has arrived. The holidays feel so different throughout adulthood... they carry sweet memories, surprise us with renewed meaning, and always whisper blessings if we pause to listen.
This, of course, is especially true at Thanksgiving. And the other day, while shopping at a crowded pre-holiday, customer-infused store, I was hit with a big dose of gratitude...
My day had been full and rushed, and I had to give myself the "car pep talk" to even motivate this shopping adventure. I just wanted to go home. Alas, and ho, ho, ho, the holidays are coming, and I have a list... so I pulled into the lot and hoped for the best. I don't know why November shopping crowds always surprise me, yet they do. This store was no exception. It was hot, crowded, and stuffy. I felt claustrophobic the moment the automatic doors sucked me into mayhem.
I moved up and down the aisles, aware that I didn't have a tremendous amount of time. I was also aware of all the grumpy shoppers, people complaining into cell phones, dominating clothing racks, angrily pushing hangers aside. So much aggravation in such a small space! It was brutal, and my jacket already felt hot and weighty on my shoulders. I gravitated toward a rack of pretty sweaters, contemplating the irony of obligatory shopping. That's when I saw the woman in the wheelchair.
In the midst of this dreary shopping experience, she somehow managed to gracefully maneuver her chair in and out of narrow spaces. She was young and so pretty, but I think what struck me most was her expression. Calm, beautiful, happy. As she sorted through the clothing, touching fabrics, lifting blouses for careful examination, she was having fun. Our eyes met briefly, and she broke into a huge smile. "I love this time of year!" she declared. And I had to smile back. Because suddenly, I remembered that I did too.
Gratitude. Despite challenges and roadblocks, we can always choose gratitude. And sometimes, in the middle of life's chaos and busy demands, it's easy to lose sight of all the blessings ─ the way the sun charges through our windows each morning, filling our homes with warmth and light, the food on our tables, our families, friends, ability to help others...
I am grateful for many things ─ my beautiful family, irreplaceable friendships, the top notch, talented team at ginasantangelo.com, clean eating, glorious fitness, and the gift of my life's work... work, that I love. I am honored to connect with clients, who become family, guiding them toward their best selves through movement and wholesome food choices. Life is good. No, it is great. And what a glorious time of year this is.
Wishing you the beautiful bounty of the season ─ may you receive and recognize all its gifts.