Memo From Michael: So Much to Be Thankful For

I begin the 801st week of these commentaries with a profound sense of gratitude – the perfect attitude for the days leading up to Thanksgiving. High on my list is the privilege of communicating my thoughts to so many people. I am particularly grateful that I have been able to touch some lives in a meaningful way.

I am grateful that I’ve finally learned that feeling and expressing gratitude is actually a great gift itself. My disposition toward the day, toward my work and toward my life improves dramatically when I look at things through the lens of gratitude.

This has been one of the most difficult years of my life. Several of my daughters have needed medical attention and my marriage of 20 years has dissolved. My health is basically good but the deterioration of my mind and body has clearly begun. I have more aches and pains, less energy and I am more forgetful. I am approaching 70 realizing that many assumptions I made about how my life would be will not become reality. There are lots of things I can complain about.

And yet the simplest reminder of all the things that have and are still going so well allows me to realize that ingratitude is not only wrong, it’s stupid.

As I was writing this, just now, I got a text message from my 17-year-old daughter that she just finished her audition for NYU’s program in musical theater. She said she thought she did alright and that she loves and misses me. How can life get better than that?

Make this Thanksgiving real. Spend real time counting and appreciating your blessings. You deserve it.

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