|Our past Thanksgiving|
- My family. I have a small family. Even though we all don't live in the same state they are always on my mind and in my heart. I always think about them. I am grateful I have them in my life. I couldn't imagine my life without the three of them. On Thanksgiving I get to see all of them and that makes me so happy that we are all under one roof.
- Yanni. Yanni is my best friend and soul mate. We have been together for over 13 years and no one knows me better than he does. He is understanding, patient, loving, and caring. He is extremely easy going and kind hearted. Everyone who meets him, immediately adores him. Me included. As soon as I saw him I felt an immediate connection. I wish I could take a little of that magic he spreads and radiates. I think people can just sense his good nature and are comfortable being around him. He always seeks and finds the good in everyone. He is just naturally a good person. He is wise beyond his years. I am so lucky to have him in my life as a partner, a guide, and a friend. I treasure my life with him and I am grateful we found each other.
- Taekwondo and my TaeKwonDo family. I started TaeKwonDo 2 years go in November. I have always wants to do Martial Arts. When I first started I had doubts. Was I too old? Was I going to remember what I was taught? Could I learn Taekwondo? Taekwondo has filled my life with so much. It's not just learning about kicking, punching, breaking boards, and self defense. It embodies compassion, self-respect, discipline, and integrity. I have been so inspired and encouraged by my Master and classmates. We have a classmate over 74 years old and he is a true inspiration. He has a big heart and amazing spirit. They have been so wonderful to work with. I can't imagine my life without Taekwondo or them.
- Teaching. Yanni and I help our Master teach children Taekwondo. Working with these children has opened my heart and mind. I never thought I could be good with children. But working with them, watching them grow, develop, learn, and try makes me so happy. It and they give me so much energy. It's made me a better person.
- Education. My mom has always instilled in me and my siblings the importance of education. I will admit I wasn't the best student as a child. I was okay with a B or C. I went to College, and something clicked. I wanted more for myself, so I pushed myself. I would hand write all my notes in class, then I would go back into my dorm room and type all the notes. I created relationships with my Professors. I was an A student throughout college. I graduated with a Criminal Justice degree, and even though I did not pursue a profession in Criminal Justice, and I currently work in E-Learning, I wouldn't change my degree or experience for the world. I learned so much about the Criminal Justice system, law, policies, and the over all system and it's something I am still interested in today. Going to college helped me grow into the adult I am today. I had roommates for the first time, I was exposed to different situations. It was a challenge and each challenge presented to me helped me become who I was going to be and ultimately who I am today. In High School we are limited to those who live in the same town or city, and there aren't many differences. In College I was exposed to different cultures, people, beliefs, and so much more. After college, I began pursuing my Masters and I am finishing that within the year.
- My health. A few years ago when I put on weight I didn't feel like I was healthy at all and my doctor agreed. She asked me to watch my cholesterol as it was bordering unhealthy levels. She asked me to make a few changes in my eating. I was in my twenties and I asked myself what was I doing to myself. At that time I didn't even want to get off the couch. Yanni would ask me to go for a walk and I didn't want to do that either. I changed my life around that year. I went back to the doctor and she said "What did you do?" She was shocked with the changes I made and I haven't looked back. Since then I have been eating healthier, exercising, and training in TaeKwonDo I feel great. I am grateful that I am healthy and I never take my health or my ability to be able to do things for granted.
- My country. I am so grateful and happy to be in the U.S. I know what we watch on the news can seem like a lot of negative things happen in our world. And unfortunately, bad things do happen, but I know a lot of good things that happen too. And I know there are good people out there doing positive things. I value our freedom and I am proud to be here.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope your day is filled of friends, family, and love. Most importantly, I hope you can set a little time aside for yourself to reflect on the year and all that you are grateful for.