In the season of giving thanks, there’s a lot for which to be thankful. So, if the headlines of the day are getting you down, here’s the cure: with paper and pencil in hand find a quiet place for 15 minutes and list things for which you’re thankful. If you’re like me, there’s a lot, big stuff and small.

Some of the things on my list this year:

  • The biggies: health and family. Hugely blessed with both.
  • Our nation. America is a wonder; the greatest nation in the history of the world. Compassionate, industrious, innovative, generous. Though being tested of late, America is still the land of personal liberties and opportunity.
  • The debate about the size and role of government. The clash of visions between individual liberty and responsibility vs. large government is stressful and messy but extremely important. Be thankful we can have these kinds of open conflicts.
  • Warm flannel shirts
  • Hiking boots
  • The men and women in the armed forces. Without them history shows that the international bullies would not hesitate to take our freedom and our possessions.
  • A safe and prosperous community. Fort Collins and Northern Colorado are great places to live.
  • Pets, with their non-judgmental, unqualified affection
  • Seasons. They’re beautiful and the occassional bad weather makes us appreciate the great weather even more. And, seasons are a gentle reminder of how life works – we are given only so many springs and summers to take advantage of.
  • SmartWool socks
  • Layers
  • Books, books, books
  • Mountains. Inspiring, challenging, beautiful.
  • Pie. And whipped cream.
  • Gainful employment at something interesting, rewarding and challenging.
  • Chambers of commerce. They make a difference for their communities and their members. They speak up for business and free enterprise when others won’t, can’t or don’t understand.
  • Friends. People who know you well and still like you anyway.
  • Free enterprise. It’s magic. It channels the selfishness in all of us into a mutually beneficial form of self-interest that is served by meeting the needs of others. It propels innovation by providing the incentive for risk. It honors individuals by allowing them the freedom to make choices they deem to be in their own interests and reap the rewards or suffer the consequences.
  • Free enterprise 2. In a remarkably short period of history, free enterprise has lifted more people out of poverty than any economic system ever devised.
  • Space heaters. They make the winters more welcome.
  • Travel. We have a beautiful country.
  • Businesspeople. They dream the dreams the rest of us don’t have or don’t have the courage to act upon.
  • Journals. The place to capture great ideas and good intentions. They plug the holes of a leaky memory and aid the over-crowded mind..
  • Coffee!
  • Education and professional development. In our country, we can go far. We’re only limited by our lack of imagination and ambition.
  • Barbeque!
  • A good night’s sleep when I can get one.
  • Thanksgiving leftovers. For that matter, I’m also thankful for Thanksgiving “first overs.”
  • French toast. And pancakes.
  • Pens that grip the page and go where they are directed
  • Rocky Mountain National Park at our doorstep
  • Snowshoes
  • Poudre Canyon. Beautiful
  • Colorado sunshine
  • Microwaves. Even I can “cook.”
  • Volunteers. Priceless.
  • “Clean” local government. Having seen the other kind, I’m very thankful for our corruption-free city government.
  • Etc, etc, etc.

Eclectic, I know, but your list would be equally so! It’s just invigorating to step back and reflect on everything that’s right in your world.

And I’m thankful for you. I appreciate your support, friendship and participation in the Chamber and the community. Have a great Thanksgiving!