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What Do You Think of When I Say “Thanksgiving”?

Did you say turkey? I bet a turkey or pumpkin pie or cooking was the first thought that popped into your head. Those pilgrims had no idea the fuss they were starting way back when they planned that first shindig! The advertising folks at Butterball and Sarah Lee have fully ingrained in us the need to cook that big meal and gather some people around our table. But beyond the hours of cooking and the big meal and the pies for dessert, have you given thanks for your financial blessings lately?

The idea for the post came up several weeks ago, long before I turned my calendar to November. I was lamenting to myself that my husband and I have seemed, for a lot of our relationship, to be in different financial cycles with our careers or companies – I had a job and he moved to Atlanta when we got married so he was job hunting. I left corporate America to be a stay-at-home mom while he made good on the corporate front. He left corporate to start a business, and I went back to work. “Why can’t we both be on the upswing at the same time?!

And that comment hit me like a bolt – “thank heavens that we haven’t both been on the downswing at the same time!” What an incredible blessing it was right there in front of me, and I didn’t even recognize it for what it was. A blessing that when he has been down, I have had opportunity, and when I have been down, he has risen up. And what if everything was a blessing? Every time that we had a bit extra saved up, what if it was in preparation for the dead battery, broken washing machine or root canal that we needed? What if my needs were actually being taken care of before I had the need or knew that I had the need?

All of life is in how we interpret the situation in front of us. We can lament incomes moving up and down or give thanks that we have counter-balanced one another. We can lament having to use our extra this month to fix that washing machine or we can give thanks that we had some extra to cover it and that we even own a washing machine! We can worry over rising costs or we can give thanks that we are participating in this great economic wheel that we call the American dream. Many people the world over would give everything they have just to come here and have a chance to own a washing machine.

What financial “laments” do you have that could be turned around and viewed as blessings or wake-up calls or opportunities? What financial blessings do you have that you take for granted as we all do? I’m pretty thankful for that washing machine! With 4 kids, I spend a lot of time with that little miracle and don’t ever pause to give her a little pat on the side and appreciate that I could be out in a stream beating my clothes on a rock if not for her magic! Speaking of, I do need to change the load now so I will leave you to give thanks for the wonders of everyday magical machines, financial blessings, and that big, delicious turkey and pumpkin pie that will be sitting on your table come Thursday.

To help you get in the Thanksgiving spirit, here is a Gratitude Assessment created by Darren Hardy (Success Magazine).

To your financial thankfulness as well as success.

Happy THANKSgiving!