Giving thanks for the great things in life

Marc Lalonde
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Thanksgiving more than just a chance to gorge on turkey and stuffing – but that's also fun

parenting

There are times when my children think I'm downright awful. Enforcing bedtimes, limiting television and supervising homework are just some of the ways my kids can think less of me. Other times, they can say or do things that downright make me angry. There's too much to do and not enough hours in the day. And yet, life is better than ever.

That's why it's so important to celebrate and count your blessings – for at least a few moments. A presentation by best-selling author and TV personality David Chilton at the Holiday Inn Pointe Claire got me to thinking the other day. He said 'life is better now than it has ever been. Life is better for the average person now than it was for kings and queens in the 1940s. Life expectancy has risen from 45 to 77 in the last century. Forget remembering the good old days," Chilton said, "because these are the good old days."

He's right, you know. For instance, did you know that it wasn't that long ago that many people still owned a black-and-white TV that – gasp! – and not everybody had cable TV? Now, you can watch TV on a telephone that fits in your pocket – and still, people find something to complain about. For instance, if the Montreal Alouettes are playing while your mother-in-law is serving Thanksgiving dinner, you can always PVR it and watch the game later as if you hadn't missed a thing. What a world! In fact, my mother-in-law's turkey and stuffing combination is yet another thing I'm extremely thankful for – even if moving around afterward is usually a challenge.

Forget the technological advances for a minute, setting aside that we're healthier than ever before – even though as a society, we can't seem to find enough deep-fried treats to shove down our collective maw – and the fact that death by violence worldwide is at a lower level than ever before. Forget how we can go to a grocery store and get just about whatever brand of whatever food or drink we want almost anytime. Forget those great advances.

Actually, forget that lest sentence – the forgetting part, anyway. Remember those things. Remember that we are less likely to have war come to our doorsteps than we have ever been in the history of humanity. I am personally thankful for my family's good health, personally thankful that I am able to call the West Island home and personally thankful that my children appear to be relatively happy most of the time. I'm also extremely thankful for the three-day weekend Thanksgiving engendered.

It’s a stressful time, sure. But the stress is mitigated by the fact that my family is happy and together, we enjoy each other's company and no one is gravely ill, although this nagging head cold going around is enough to at least mildly annoy me – but I'm thankful that it's not anything more serious.

Organizations: Holiday Inn Pointe Claire, Montreal Alouettes

Geographic location: West Island

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