Wonders, Not Wondering

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I wrote most of what I am recounting here in REACHING… four years ago.  When I looked at this story again today, I found there was more reason than ever before to share it with you and the rest of my e-letter family.

Nineteen years ago tomorrow, my Thanksgiving dinner was nothing but home-baked bread—and not because I loved bread, but because I couldn’t digest anything else.

I had just lived through a horrific automobile accident involving my two little girls, a diagnosis of spreading colon cancer, two consequent abdominal surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and a near-death episode brought on by surgical complications.  I weighed 112 pounds and was disabled from walking, eating, or working my law practice.  We were bankrupt.  I wondered what I had done to deserve this incredible trauma, and what I could possibly do to turn my life around.  But I had my family, and…I was alive!  There was a great deal for me to be bitter about then, and a great deal for me to worry about, but there was still much more for me to be thankful for.

Nearly twenty years later, the wonders of my life have grown exponentially.  I am healthy, and doing work that I love.  I have lived nearly twenty more years than I thought I would.  I was able to be there to teach my daughters to ride their bicycles, and to see their softball games and school plays.  I have been able to help them through college and to watch them grow into beautiful, intelligent, caring young women.  I was there for the marriage and successful career change of my eldest daughter, and for the challenges and successes in the trying entertainment career of my youngest daughter.

I’m always wondering what I can do to grow, but I’m incredibly grateful for all the wonders already present in my life.  I’m in awe of my supportive wife, my family, my many really good friends, and of those who are—or have been—my clients.  I’m thankful for all the friends I made through First Investors, and for those I made through my personal sales training and coaching practice, such as the speakers and attendees of workshops with instructor Lew Nason and author Steve Chandler.

I’m thankful for those who read these articles.  You might be one of those who have been subscribers to my newsletter since its inception, encouraging me to keep it going and expressing your appreciation for the perspective I offer.  Or you might be one of those who has hopped on board, or occasionally checked in, throughout the years.  I’m thankful I have had the privilege of being able to help you if and when you needed a hand.

We can all find things in our lives to focus on that we wish to change, or desire to improve.  But for today, at least, when my American friends and I celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s focus on all of the wonders that are in our lives, instead of wondering why things are not better than they already are.

First and foremost, be thankful for what you have.  Then, you can always keep REACHING…

Marlene M. says:

Thank you, Sandy, for the beautiful reminder of what this holiday is all about. I hope you don’t mind, but I used your story when we went around the Thanksgiving table at my house each taking turns saying what we’re thankful for this year. Each one of us had been touched by a loss of a family member within the last 2 years, and many have suffered from life-threatening illnesses either on-going or in the past. And what it all boiled down to for each of us, including our children, is the love and care of family and good friends. Best wishes to you and your family, and thank you for your spirit and the reminder to keep reaching.