Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I wanted to wish everyone Merry Christmas today, and for those of you who don't celebrate the holiday, Season's Greetings!

I was in Cancun, Mexico December 16-23 with my family soaking up the sun before returning to snowy Colorado for the Christmas and New Year's celebrations. We had a great time there, but there's nothing like being home for Christmas with those you love around you.

Yesterday, I opened a lovely Christmas card and letter from my friend Julie who is disabled with lupus. Even though her health took a downturn this year, her letter is full of gratitude and praise for her daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren with whom she lives, and for the friends in her life. I feel really blessed to have Julie in my life, because her deep faith and attitude of thankfulness have been eye-opening to me. I have so much more than her to be thankful for in my life, particularly my health. Julie's optimism is a shining example for me of what I should strive for in cultivating a feeling of gratitude and banishing thoughts of what I should have or should have been or should have done.

I recently read an article in Reader's Digest how research has shown that grateful people are both happier and healthier than ungrateful people. They are also more generous and willing to help others. So, I encourage all of you to thank God, or whoever you pray to, for the blessings you have in your life. No matter what your troubles are, there's always someone in the world who is worse off than you are. When I'm feeling down, I think of Julie, confined to her bed and in constant pain but who can still feel such tremendous gratitude for her life, and say to myself, "What do you have to complain about?"

Julie, I hope you're surrounded in that bed by grandchildren, cats, and loving arms offering you lots of hugs. Here's one from me.

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