Sometimes, You Just Have to be Thankful

Aren't we all especially thankful we're not turkeys

It is easy to get stuck in the routine of life. We all do it. I woke up this morning with a sick kid puking all over her bedroom carpeting. Had she taken one step forward, the mess would have landed on the hardwood floor, making it much easier to clean up. In that moment, perhaps I should be thankful all she has is a touch of the flu. 

As I drove to work a little late, a Prius darted ahead in the right-hand turn lane and cut me off without so much as a turn signal. I was enraged. I assumed Prius owners where supposed to care. In that moment, maybe I should be happy I can afford a car or that greater damage befell neither of us.

As we all grind toward the holiday season, it is important we reflect on our successes, rather than focus on the failures – to be thankful for what we have. In the words of writer Melody Bettie:

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”


It is easy to complain about life until you have someone else’s to compare it to. Ernest Braunstein has lived a long life. In a Los Angeles Daily News article about this time last year, he was quoted saying, “…God gave me a long life and I can consider it also a lucky life.” It is not until you know where Braunstein came from before you understand the gravity of this statement. 

Braunstein is a well-known Holocaust survivor. At 19 years old, his nightmare began while walking home from college when Hungarian and German soldiers sympathetic to the Nazis forced him to report a labor camp. In his story, Braunstein survived hunger, disease, torture and a death march. He was hung by his wrists when he was caught, giving another prisoner water and was constantly surrounded by death and despair. Even after losing dozens of friends and family to the Nazi atrocities, Braunstein maintains a level of gratitude.


In the space between Halloween and Thanksgiving, prior to the chaos of the holidays, there are many reasons I am thankful. I am thankful for my health and the health of my family. I am thankful for friends and family to fill my life with companionship. I am thankful for my kids who always try to please me, but sometimes have a lapse of judgement. I am then thankful I can teach them and mold their young minds so they don’t have the same lapse of judgement. I am thankful I am not a turkey. I am thankful I live in Colorado where people travel from all over the world to visit, unemployment is low and the economy is booming. I am thankful to interact with clients and help them achieve financial dreams. Most of all, I thankful for every day I am alive.


Being grateful can be challenging – it shouldn’t be, but it can be. Being grateful is good for your health and provides stability. Simply being grateful makes me a better parent, entrepreneur, leader, spouse and provides a better quality of life.  Henry David Thoreau said, “I am grateful for what I am and have.  My Thanksgiving is perpetual.”

A perpetual Thanksgiving, what a great idea!

Categories: Business Insights, Human Resources