The Thanksgiving List


Nov 24, 2011 by

The Thanksgiving List

…and don’t forget the real whipping cream for the pie…;)

Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday, and not only because of the turkey and cranberry sandwiches at midnight.  Properly observed, the holiday is all about friends, family and being grateful for all you’ve had and have.

Every year I sit down and make a list. Some years it’s longer than others, but it could still go on for pages. It’s amazing how much I have, even when the bank account could be larger and my hips smaller. (Hmmm…maybe I should cut back on that whipping cream…) Here are the top three from my grateful list this year:

I’m grateful for the perspective of age. My heart’s been broken more than once. Loved ones die.  And, I don’t believe you ever “get over” the sadness; you carry little bits of it throughout your life.  However, you do move on and, as Dr. Seuss said, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

I’m grateful that I’ve never outgrown my awe of nature.  In fact, it increases every year.  I don’t need a designer bag or a new car; I’ve got New Mexico sunsets, hummingbirds and the changing seasons.

 I’m grateful I’ve learned to (usually) see the positive in a negative situation.  Not to go all Oprah on you (Some things really do truly suck and you’ve just got to put your head down, grit your teeth and slog through ‘em), but there is almost always something good in the bad.

For example, I had to move my mother from rural Oklahoma to Albuquerque this year. Lots of drama, trauma and expense.  I’m learning parenting skills at the ripe old age of 53…and mom…well, she ain’t the easiest person in the world.  She can find the negative in just about anything. (One caregiver at her first assisted living home here called her “toxic.” Ouch.)

All that said, there’s far more positive than negative in the whole situation.  Regardless of her personality, she’s the only mother I’ll ever have and I’m getting to spend time with her. I’m exercising more, since I walk to and from her place most days (with gorgeous views of sky and mountains along the way.)  I’m paying far more attention to my health, physical, mental AND spiritual (I never, ever want to be called “toxic.”)  I’m learning to not obsess about things I can’t change and to appreciate the moments when she and I connect with a joke or a memory.

There’s lots more on the list, but then we’d be here for days…and you’ve probably got a feast to prepare.

(P.S. It’s perfectly okay to call the caterer. Really. I’ve done it more than once and everyone was just as happy.)

About the Author

Mary Schmidt Has Written 26 Articles For Us!

Mary is a proud Corporate America refugee, having long ago decided that quality of life is far more important than quantity of stuff. However, that said, she thinks money is a very good thing - when used as a tool, not a success measurement. In addition to writing for us, she blogs about business development and marketing at and about marketing to and by women at In her consulting business, her clients have ranged from mega-corps such as Hewlett-Packard to local Mom & Pops.
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  1. This post conveys gratitude from such a personal perspective-I loved the way you captured your love and respect for the non-material things Mary.

  2. Mary, this was heartwarming. Thank you for your unique perspective on life and love and all things “girl”… you make me happy to be me.

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