A Pause for Gratitude

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I grew up in Massachusetts. Waking up to a fresh blanket of snow was not unusual on Thanksgiving. I remember the windows on our small, ranch home were often frosty with condensation in the morning.  Mom would take a hand towel to wipe them down.

The house was heated with a wood burning stove in the basement that kept the floors nice and toasty. Walking around in a t-shirt instead of a sweater was not uncommon. To me, there is no other heat like it. My three sisters and I still enjoy teasing Dad about the labor involved with helping him split, stack, and haul the wood from the backyard to the basement week after week. It brings a smile today, as the memories are priceless.

Thanksgiving coffee with Dad and good conversation was always followed by the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the television. Soon the kitchen came alive with my mom, sisters, and I prepping for the big meal. Fast forward to the addition of my two daughters, nieces and many nephews playing and the early afternoon friendly game of touch football (okay maybe more like the scene from Wedding Crashers), the day is full of laughs, great food and stories ending in the inevitable tryptophan coma.

Thanksgiving always brings me a smile. A holiday filled with special moments and a sweet reminder to take a pause, be mindful, and reflect on all in which I'm grateful.

Yet as warm and inviting as the holiday can be, an underlying layer of stress can develop within the planning, coordinating, and potential traveling. Perhaps this year, if you find yourself being pulled in that direction, try setting an intention.

Introduce yourself to the vibrant colors of the season. Take a pause to feel the crisp air on your skin and the earth beneath your feet. Simply discover all the little things around you that bring a sense of peace and joy. From family and friends, to your home, health and career, close your eyes, take a deep breath and move forward from a place of gratitude.

Cheers to traditions, laughter that fills a room, memory making, gratitude manifesting and to a great Bloody Mary.From my family to yours, wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving! What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

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About Author

Cheryl Wheelock

Recreation and Fitness Program Coordinator

Cheryl has worked in health and fitness for 20 years. In addition to teaching group exercise, she is a certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is a Registered Yoga Teacher. When she's not at SAS, she is a mom to two daughters and a black lab and enjoys logging many miles on her bike.

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