A new perspective on Thanksgiving

Nathan with EmersonWith the turn of the calendar page to the month of November, my thoughts inevitably go straight to the next big holiday coming up, Thanksgiving.  The arrival of a baby has brought a whole new spin to our Thanksgiving season. While my wife was pregnant this summer, I can’t tell you how many times I heard the advice to “enjoy your children while you can because before you know it they will be out of the house”. I would smile and nod with the appearance of agreement, but had no idea that in a few short months I would start to catch on to what they meant. 

Our baby has only grown enough to outgrow newborn clothes, but even these small changes now have conjured up a very weighty realization; I will never get to spend time with my daughter at that age again. I don’t mean that in a Debbie Downer way – I can’t wait to see my baby grow up. It is, however, sobering knowing moments are passing by that I will never get back.

This Thanksgiving season I am reminded that sometimes the hardest thing to be thankful for is the present moment. It’s easy to be thankful for awesome things in the past – like the arrival of a baby – or for bright futures; but the present moment is hard to be thankful for, or to even acknowledge. I think the saying “you never know what you got ‘till it’s gone” may apply here. Many blessings in life are overshadowed by the stress and worry of everyday life. Years later, after the dust settles and a new chapter of life begins, those blessings suddenly become very clear and attractive. We realize we didn’t know how lucky we were.  While it may be too late to treasure your past blessings, you can enjoy the ones you have right now no matter how trivial those blessings may seem in the moment. So before you grab that drumstick and eat your way into a turkey coma this Thanksgiving, take time to rise above the craziness and enjoy your blessings – life is too short not to.  Maybe a better saying to adopt is “I know what I have and I am thankful.”

Dr. Nathan Swan
Physical Therapist
MotionWorks Physical Therapy