Attitude of Gratitude: Happy Thanksgiving 2012!

It's that time of year when many folks reflect on the things they are thankful for in their life. For me, I've been sharing an 'Attitude of Gratitude' every day this month on my personal Facebook Page... and thought I'd share them here as well. There's quite a few things I'm thankful for, especially this year, as you'll read below. What are you thankful for?

Attitude of Gratitude Day 1 - I'm thankful for my little miracle baby, Joel. He's shown me what it means and how it feels to be truly in love. Unconditional and genuine love.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 2 - I'm thankful for my good health. I've overcome some obstacles over the years and some people who made a difference in my health include Shuna Ahern of Gluten Free Girl & The Chef. and also Elizabeth Poole of Copper River Salmon.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 3 - I'm thankful for The Baron... who adores Joel more than I could ever ask for, who makes me feel perfect in every way despite my flaws, who motivates me to be a better person, who constantly keeps me smiling, laughing and happier than I've ever been, and who gave me a reason to open up my heart... (I know I'm leaving out a whole lot more...)

Attitude of Gratitude Day 4: I'm thankful for the relationships I have with my family and friends. They have shown me that our friendships aren't about being there for each other when it's convenient, but rather, being there for each other when it's not. It's in those moments of hardship that I've learned how lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 5: I'm thankful for being employed and putting to use my professional skillset and experience. I'm even more thankful to be working with some pretty fantastic people that make coming into work something I look forward to every workday.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 6: I'm thankful for the many freedoms I have - national, political, spiritual and individual freedoms. Today is a day to be especially grateful that I live in a nation that's free from foreign rule; that I have the right to be actively involved in my government; that my individual rights and liberties are guaranteed by law or constitution; and that my own personal beliefs and thoughts cannot be controlled, given, or taken away from me by anyone. I hope today {Election Day 2012}, we as a country will name a leader who will not only protect my freedoms but also influence other nations to provide the same freedoms to all.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 7: I'm thankful for change. However good or bad a situation is at any given time in my life, I know that eventually things will change - sometimes for better or worse. I'm thankful that I can embrace change and realize that change happens for a reason. I know that it isn't always going to be easy or obvious... yet in the end, it will be worth it with a lesson to be learned.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 8 {Part 1}: I'm thankful for finding something I am passionate about
. Food, whether it's cooking, baking, eating, learning, teaching, etc frees me, challenges me, and gives me a sense of meaning, purpose and joy. And through my passion, I have been able to experience life more than I could ever have hoped for with the various opportunities it has given me. Remember... there is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 8 {Part 2}: I'm thankful for a job promotion and salary increase I was offered and accepted today! I've accepted a new role at my firm {Medicare Formulary Specialist} and will be moving towards furthering my career in the pharmaceutical industry. Coupled with this is having to study for my certification in pharmacy technology and taking the exam in a couple of months!

Attitude of Gratitude Day 9: I'm thankful for weekend getaways... which are even better with a girlfriend and good food. Sometimes you just need time to have fun shopping, getting dressed up, having a few drinks, talking about boys and giggling until you fall asleep.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 10: I'm thankful for who I am. It's a waste of time comparing myself to others and wishing to be something or someone I'm not. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses including myself... and I live accepting everything I am and everything I'm not.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 11: I'm thankful for the competition I faced today. Early today I competed in a cooking contest against two people who I felt honored to be up against. They had some amazing dishes to beat and were definitely worth as finalists. There was no trash talking, no discouragement, no negativity between the finalists. Instead, we cheered each other on, wished each other luck and congratulated each other for our own personal victories of getting as far as we did. A quote that sums the day up for me is this, 'It's not about winning or losing, but love and respect.' - Max Lucado.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 12: I'm thankful for the ability to forgive. Over the years I've held grudges, only to realize it takes a stronger person to forgive. It took me some time, but I've learned that leaving enough room in my heart to forgive others releases me from another burden that holds me back. In the past I wouldn't allow myself to forgive others because I didn't think they deserved it... but then it dawned on me that I should forgive others not because they needed it, but because I needed it to move forward. Allowing myself to forgive simply means I've made peace with the hurt and pain someone caused me and I'm ready to let it go and move on with my life. I can only hope that those who have hurt or caused me pain will learn from their mistakes and make themselves a better person.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 13: I'm thankful for the things I already have. I used to think I'll be happy when I reach a certain level in life, own specific materialistic objects, have a set figure salary, experience certain things, etc. But then I realized once I get or have those things, there will be something else I will want to make me happy or happier. I decided not to spend my whole life working towards something without ever stopping to enjoy the wonderful things I already have now. Besides, if I don't appreciate what I currently have, I won't be able to value the things to come.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 14: I'm thankful for the life challenges I have had and those I will continue to face. I've had my fair share of challenges and obstacles... both within and out of my control. I used to get upset, panic, freak out or just feel discouraged when faced with issues - but doing so usually makes the situation I was dealing with worse! Someone once told me that it isn't my problems that define me, but how I react to them and recover from them. And it's true. That statement alone encouraged me to take a deep breath, have a sense of calm, and focus on what I can do, when I can do it, and acknowledge what I've done whenever I have some issue or concern to deal with. With that mindset, I'm thankful that I can handle whatever life throws at me - good and bad - and take comfort in knowing I'll come out a stronger and better person in the end.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 15: I'm thankful I know what unconditional love feels like. I know the feeling of giving love and not expecting anything in return... and when I love unconditionaly, it isn't because the people I love are perfect, it's because I fully accept them exactly for who they are, imperfections and all.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 16: I'm thankful for having little to no debt. It took me years to understand the value of money and spending wisely. I'm thankful that I'm able to live well below my means, have the discipline to only buy stuff that is truly needed, think through big purchases and investments wisely and doing my best to stick to my budget and savings plan... without ever feeling deprived of anything. 

Attitude of Gratitude Day 17: I'm thankful for spontaneous moments. I'm such a planner by nature, but I realized everything in life can't be planned. Some of the most memorable times in my life have been done on the fly, improvised, or happened when I least expect them to. It's wonderful to be flexible, spontaneous and just go with the flow without stressing whether things go as planned all of the time.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 18: I'm thankful for my faith. After visiting Israel's 'Holy Land' a few months ago, my faith was restored in such a powerful way. I was there at that very moment in my life for a greater reason and higher purpose which I am so so thankful for. And from that serendipitous trip, I realized how truly important faith is in how I live my life, how I relate to others and how I choose to see the world.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 19: I'm thankful for balance in my life. I used to let my work life consume me where I focused all my energy into work and my career. Then I found myself devoting my energy into all things food related, blogging and hosting food events. But it wasn't until Joel came into my life that I realized I need to really balance the various dimensions of my life to avoid stress and frustration. It's even more important now as a single mom to maintain a sense of balance for work, family and a social life. I'm thankful for having that balance now, without neglecting the things important to me. It's not always easy but I'm thankful to find that balance day by day.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 20: I'm thankful for my parents.
With the holidays already here, I'm missing our long time traditions  and the love we all experienced with my parents around. They're currently living half way around the world, which makes the holidays a little difficult, but at least I know they're only a phone call away. Love and appreciate your parents. Sometimes I get so caught up with life or so busy growing up, I forget they are also growing old. And appreciate the things your parents do for you... the day will come when they won't be around to continue doing what they do. 

Attitude of Gratitude Day 21: I'm thankful for being a mom. Nothing has made me realize how my actions and words impact others until I became a mom. It forced me to lead by example because Joel watches what I do more than he listens to what I say. With that in mind, I strive to inspire, challenge and encourage Joel to do his best by doing my best as a mom too.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 22: I'm thankful for YOU, the readers of my blog.
Through your comments, questions, suggestions, and continued support on various social networks, you've helped me to embrace my love of sharing my culinary journey on my blog. Thank you for coming to this site and getting a taste of my life. 

Here's wishing you and your loved ones a very
Happy {& Delicious} Thanksgiving!

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