Give thanks to feel joy 

Sonja Karp, NLJ Sports Editor

‘Tis the season to give thanks. 

It has been proven that if you give thanks for the blessings in your life consecutively over the course of 21 days, your brain functioning will actually change.

I’ve kept a gratitude journal in the past, and I can’t say for sure if being thankful for three things in my life on the daily actually changed the way my brain worked, but I do know that it made me feel better overall.

This year has had its ups and downs for sure, but there is so much to be thankful for every single day.

I have so much to be grateful for when it comes to my family. My children both seemed to find their calling this year and began careers they are each finding fulfilling, which fills my mama heart with joy. 

My extended family has had the joy of welcoming beautiful, healthy babies into the world. Just seeing those faces, and snuggling those babies brings me overwhelming joy.

In addition, the continued health and happiness that abounds within my family and the close-knit ties we have established and maintained will forever be a reason for gratitude in a world where not all families share the love that ours does. 

I have a strong and amazing group of friends with whom I get the opportunity to spend time each week. I recognize that having a group of girlfriends you spend time with and rely on is a rare gift that not many people get to enjoy, so I know that I am blessed beyond belief to have them in my life.

Though I lost a much-loved fur-child this summer, for whom I still grieve, I still have my grand kitty who is one of the goofiest cats I’ve ever met and makes me laugh every day. He is the fluffiest and cutest cat ever, but not the most snuggly. However, in the last week, he has chosen to climb into my lap and curl up to sleep on more than one occasion, for which I am grateful. I missed how loving my other cat was, and that kind of filled that void for me.

I am grateful for the slight rebound the weather has taken this week after the bitter cold we experienced last week. However, while the temps were dipping into the negatives, I was very grateful for a warm and cozy home, a car with heated seats, and a winter coat that kept me warm on those cold morning walks into the school.

Also as far as weather is concerned, I am very grateful to my neighbor, Bob Hockett, for clearing my walk of snow for me on days I didn’t get up in time to do it before heading to work. 

I am grateful that the election of 2022 is over and that we won’t have to be inundated with political propaganda for at least a little while again. I grow so weary of the name calling and derision from the different ends of the political spectrum. In fact, I was in kind of a bad mood up until the election was over because of it.

I am grateful that the limitations that Covid introduced when it came to high school sports have been lifted, and that the 2022-2023 seasons can carry on like they did before the pandemic. Covid isn’t gone, but we’ve learned to live with it, which is all we can ask for, really.

And I am thankful that my favorite sports season gets under way this week. I love me some basketball, and am so excited for what this season may bring. 

In this time of Thanksgiving, I realize all that I have to be grateful for, and as I write some of it down and reflect on all the things I didn’t write, my heart feels lighter and there is a smile on my face. I challenge everyone to make their own list. I guarantee that it will make you feel better about life.


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