Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and this year in particular I hope we can all take some time during the long holiday weekend to reflect on what we do have in our lives, and express gratitude to all those that matter to us.

I realize that many are still stinging from the election results that came as a shock to those of us in the East and West coast bubbles. Many not just here, but around the world, are nervous about what lies ahead for 2017. But, for just a moment, if you can suspend those feelings of disappointment, anxiety or regret, try to focus on something good, and give credit where credit is due. Here are some good options:

1. Health– Too often we take our good health for granted. This year in particular this point has come across loud and clear after attending several funerals, including one this weekend for friend that was only age 53. Take good care of your mental and physical wellbeing, and acknowledge those that help keep you in tip-top shape.

2. Family & Friends– I am lumping these together because I do believe friends are the family you choose. Our loved ones are there for us during the best of times, and the worst. They listen, console, love, help, and support us as best they can. Let them know how much you appreciate this, and do your best to reciprocate their efforts.

3. Safety– If you live in nice home (with a fridge full of food) in a safe area, where your kids can go to a good school and make friends with other children that decent and kind, then you are well ahead of many in this world that do not have those basic needs met.

4. Work– Whether you enjoy your job or not, if it at least allows you to comfortably support yourself and your family, then this in itself should be acknowledged as something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.  Those of us that are fortunate enough to have careers that interest us and give us a sense of purpose need to be extra grateful for this privilege that is not shared by many.

5. Spirituality–  When we experience trying times, those of us that believe in a higher power, or a hidden source of energy that will ultimately balance things out, right the wrongs, and help restore our faith in justice and mankind, will have a much easier time finding inner peace and overcoming setbacks.  Faith does help heal deep wounds, and allows us to move forward with hope.

These are the things that I am most grateful for, and I hope that during this difficult time of transition for our nation you will all try to enjoy some peace and quality time with loved ones this holiday season.

By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.