It’s November 1st, and that means that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It’s a time each year when I think about all of the things I am grateful for, and thankful that I can share my blessings with others.
I often think about what the difference is between grateful and thankful. We use them interchangeably all the time. But what is the difference? The only way I can think to describe it is by what it means to me…
I am grateful for the blessings I have been given. I have a wonderful son, daughter-in-law and grandson; a beautiful home; three crazy rescued dogs; great friends from all over the country in places I have lived and worked; a wonderful Oncologist, Surgeon, Neurologist, Rheumatologist, and Family Physician who all work together to make sure that I keep waking up each morning; great neighbors; amazing places to visit and enjoy the beauty of this world around me; more than I need–and the ability to share that “more” with others.
I am thankful for the feeling in my heart that all of these blessings have been given to me. And I think that may be the difference. Gratefulness is tangible. Thankfulness isn’t. We are grateful for our blessings, but we are thankful in our heart–we appreciate intimately those blessings, and we are led by that appreciation to share our blessings with others. I don’t know if that really makes sense? It’s a difficult difference to describe.
Not that I haven’t worked hard all of my life… I was a single mom from the time my son was 2-years-old. I don’t have a degree (well, I have an associates degree). But, I have had so many angels who helped me over the years. Bosses saw my potential and gave me opportunities to grow. Over the years I worked hard and eventually became a department head and managed a team of professionals (nurses and doctors) when implementing and updating electronic health records. Stressful, and most likely contributing to my health problems now. But, I would not change anything. I believe I made a positive impact, and I have great relationships with many of the physicians and nurses (as well as other hospital employees) even now when I’m retired. Hard work and wonderful bosses mixed together to get me where I am today, and I am grateful for their trust in me and thankful that I was able to manage difficult projects efficiently and successfully.
So, that’s my thankful for the day. I miss working in hospitals and helping professionals tackle something they did not want to do–turning around their reluctance and helping them see the benefits if they would just open their minds and share their frustrations with me. We worked together to make things better. And even though health issues forced me to retire earlier this year, I am thankful that those relationships I built continue to be daily blessings.