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NOVEMBER’S LESSONS Seek Gratitude Even in Challenging Times
M y children learned a valuable lesson when they were just little kids. Their father and I have been divorced since they were still practically babies, which meant they always had two Thanksgivings, two Christmases, and so on. In addition, because I’m a nurse and my children’s father was a police officer, we always worked strange hours. Because of this, our children learned that our holiday celebrations may not land on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day. Instead, we had to be flexible and celebrate whenever we could. Looking back, I like to think that made our holidays more special. Our children learned to be more flexible with situations beyond their control, and instead of getting together because some holiday dictated it, we found time to celebrate because we wanted to. Our holidays may not have been customary, but they were always special. November is filled with opportunities to express gratitude. Thanksgiving may serve as a reminder to actively remember what you are most thankful for, but I also think it’s important to find reasons to be grateful each day. It’s easy to slip into the victim mentality and feel sorry for yourself, but there’s always something to be grateful for. For me, it’s about finding the little things that mean the most to me. I’m not rich, but I’m thankful for what I do have. I’m lucky enough to live in California, where we are spoiled with pristine weather. I’m thankful for God and the strength He gives me every day. I thank Him all the time. And Thanksgiving isn’t the only holiday that asks us to say thanks. Veterans Day, which lands on Nov. 11 each year, is a day to honor the veterans who have fought for our freedoms and protected us. As a nurse, I love my patients who are veterans. I always take the opportunity to thank them.
life. While injured veterans are covered by insurance, it’s disheartening that our system does not provide lifelong care for veterans who may not have a physcial or mental disability, especially after they gave so much of themselves. They deserve so much more, and by thanking them, I hope they know that I also support them. They fought so I could live my life. The least I can do is honor that sacrifice. This Veterans Day, I would encourage you to do the same. However you practice gratitude this November, I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving — regardless of how you choose to celebrate — and thank you to all our veterans. “It’s easy to slip into the victim mentality and feel sorry for yourself, but there’s always something to be grateful for.”
Many veterans live with post-traumatic stress disorder, combat wounds, and financial stress upon returning to civilian
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