What are YOU Grateful for?

By Peggie Arvidson

What are YOU Grateful for?

I have to admit it’s much easier to be grateful in November living in Tucson. The weather is pretty much perfect every day. It’s why the intrepid stay through the dusty, dry and yes, brutal summer heat – to really bask in the glory that is Autumn in the desert.

If you think there are no seasons in the desert Southwest, you are mistaken. Our air turns crisp just like it does in the Mid-Atlantic, but we stop short of excessive gray skies that seem to roll in to the DelMarVa area as you change the clocks and it doesn’t think about budging until Daylight Savings Time begins again in the Spring.

Maybe our weather is so perfect because we DON’T change our clocks? It’s fun to confuse friends and family around the country with that little bit of trivia – from Spring to Fall we are three hours behind the fine folks on the East Coast and from Fall through Spring we’re only two hours. Living here I’ve learned that the center of the Earth is actually on East Coast time. Even shows that originate in Hollywood are aired to make it to prime time in New York City. Don’t kid yourself Hollywood, we know where the decision makers live and it’s alongside Madison Avenue.

None the less, as a proud desert dweller I have the opportunity to review my blessings and say thank you all year through, and yet, it seems important to compile the list right now, for Thanksgiving.

  1. 1. Family. As you know my family has expanded exponentially in the past year and I’m eternally grateful for the love and understanding that I get to share with each member of the crew. I’ve done a great deal of soul-searching and studying to try to figure out if it’s nature or nurture that makes us accepting and loving and I have to say that I am so appreciative that I was raised by a loving family and those traits are apparent in each of my biological family members as well. My greatest joys come from connection and having family is at the core of it.
  2. 2. Friends. My friends are brilliant. They are courageous. They are funny and they are very wise. I’ve been blessed with girl friends from a young age. That’s taught me resilience, the art of “pecking order” and the keys to dealing with disagreements. My advice? Surround yourself with strong and brilliant women and you will go far in life.
  3. 3. Nature. I moved to Tucson because of the mountains. It may sound weird to some of you, but I believe that Nature has a voice that won’t be ignored. From the subtle whistle on the breeze in the Carolinas to the shouting and roaring of Hurricanes, Nature is the key to our life here on Planet Earth. Listening to the message being sent will bring your greater peace than any other thing you can do for yourself. In order to hear, you need to turn off the other noise though…are you willing to try?
  4. 4. My legs and feet. I am ever grateful of the power of my feet and legs. The ability to get up and move no matter what is a powerful motivator for me. IF the car breaks down I can still get where I need to go. Admittedly, in the desert I prefer to use Lyft, but the knowledge that I’m always capable is powerful. Never take your body for granted.
  5. 5. Sunscreen. Growing up in the 70s all I wanted was to be outside, free from greasy goop on my skin. I longed for a glowing “Mediterranean” tan and would sit outside slathered in baby oil to achieve my goals. In college we’d sit in the courtyard, towels spread and baby oil shining. While I’m blessed with a naturally Mediterranean complexion, I’ve learned the value of sunscreen for saving lives. I don’t leave home without it.
  6. 6. Water. Can you believe that there are people around the world who do not have clean drinking water? Water is the key to keeping yourself healthy and nourished. If you suffer from any sort of illness I’m sure you’re encourage to drink more of the wet stuff. How grateful I am that there is water available at every sink and every store I pass. If you’re into planning goals for the new year, why not set a goal to drink 80 oz or more a day next year?

My list is undoubtedly different from your list. In fact, my list today is different from list last week and the week before. The point being, focusing on gratitude really does buoy your life. I was feeling a little ‘meh’ before writing this, but just 20 minutes focused on what’s good in my life has given me a new perspective and I’m excited about the rest of my day.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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