It’s no coincidence to me that you cannot spell gratitude without (most letters of!) attitude. For many of us, thankfulness and gratefulness play such an integral role in the way we feel and the way we act.

There’s an abundance of gratitude quotes online. I think that shows we want to be grateful… to show our gratefulness. We know deep down it affects everything.

  If I’m having a tough day or getting bogged down in the stresses of everyday life, I try to step back and make a mental list of things for which I’m thankful. Make no mistake, I’m nowhere close to perfect at this. Sometimes, I’ll go days before I remember the small but mighty gratitude exercise.

  But man is it helpful. When you feel like everything is upside down, acknowledging all that is right is a great way to turn things around.

  I get super specific, too, with that mental list and in my prayers, because honestly, the little things that are the big things are what’s most important.

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”
— Cynthia Ozick

Clean water, a roof over our heads, the ability to walk and run and play, my family’s health, our freedom… just a few examples of things that are easy to take for granted.

A couple of sentiments come to mind. Do you know the idea of “What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you are grateful for today?”

As a mom, this one hits home: “Someday you’ll miss today.” I adore having a little person in my house, so I’m a little overboard in mourning how quickly Julia Reynolds is growing up and the changing of seasons –> the preschool days to big girl school. Sure, the days can be long, especially when they’re toddlers, but I know how much I’ll miss this time of life and that’s why I try to savor it all. It’s also why on those hard days I’ve tried to remind myself how fleeting childhood is.

We have to appreciate the good times during this season of Thanksgiving and remember it throughout the year.

We were so fortunate last Thanksgiving to go on a family trip to New York City. It’s an electric time in the city. Seeing the larger than life Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade I’d grown up watching on TV through the eyes of our then 4-year-old was nothing short of magical. Julia Reynolds is ruined for life… the annual parade broadcast will always be second rate for her!

I’m so thankful for the special memories we made on that trip. We took her to the Statue of Liberty after she’d learned about Lady Liberty at school. The incomparable FAO Schwarz had just reopened, and it was so fun to return as an adult with a very excited little girl! We got caught in a sudden snow shower leaving the parade staging ground where all the big balloons were being inflated. As a lover of musical theatre, it was a thrill to see her watch Elsa and Anna come to life on stage in “Frozen.”

  This Thanksgiving may be a little quieter, but I’m no less thankful. I’ll be counting my blessings for the people and love around me and striving for a spirit of joy through a heart of gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

After twelve years in local news, most recently as evening anchor of NBC 26, Paige Tucker is now a work-at-home mom and freelance journalist. She produces two series for NBC 26 TV, First Responders and 26 Women Today, and you can see those stories on Tuesday nights. Paige and her husband have one daughter, Julia Reynolds, who is five years old.

This article appears in the November 2019 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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