4 Things To Be Grateful For This Holiday Season

It's Monday again. The day we all drag our butts out of bed and head back to our same old day jobs. 

I enjoy posting motivating and inspirational things on Mondays to help us get through the day. If you start your week off with the right quote or an inspiring story of someone turning their dreams into reality, it can spark something inside of us that makes our day become a little more enjoyable. 

Seeing as Thanksgiving is only two and a half weeks away, I thought it would be mildly appropriate to share some things we should be grateful for this holiday season. (And every other season, really.)


How cliché, right? It's the most generic answer when asked what we're thankful for, but it really is one of the must important parts of our lives. 

I have a relatively large family. Unfortunately, I am only close to a handful of my relatives. While I wish this was different at times, I am beyond grateful for the family that I am close to. 

Family members are the people that you can always count on. They're there for you throughout the biggest roller coasters in life. Granted, there are particular circumstances where people don't have reliable family but we're focusing on the positive side of things and talking about those family members that are always good to us. We all have at least one person.

The word "family" doesn't have to mean a blood relative. Family is anyone close to you who you can count on. Anyone who will love you regardless of your choices and actions. 

It's easy to take family for granted. After all, they have to love us! But it's even easier to forget that they're people with feelings too. It's important to let your family know how much they mean to you and how important of a role they play in your life.


There are hundreds of thousands of people on this planet who not only don't get to have a Thanksgiving meal with their families, but they struggle to find food on a regular basis. 

It's crucial that we recognize just how fortunate we are to be able to afford food for our families. Not everyone has that luxury. Fortunately, there are things we can do to help those who aren't as fortunate.

I'm not sure about other countries, but I know there are food banks all over the United States where people can volunteer to help feed those who don't have the means to pay for their next meal. Even if you can't volunteer, there are many organizations who accept food donations that can in turn help feed starving people. 

Your job.

We all love to hate it. I'll be the first to admit that I don't like my day job. It sucks! But with that being said, I appreciate it. Without that job I wouldn't be able to afford food, gas, rent or even water. 

There are so many people out there who, like myself, could think of 20 other things they would prefer to be doing than sitting at their day job. But at the end of the day we're fortunate to have them. While unemployment rates are pretty low in the United States overall now, there are places out there who's citizens are struggling because they cannot find employment. 

So while it's easy to talk crap about our jobs, sometimes it's humbling to take a step back and remember just how lucky we are to actually be working. Even if it is doing something you don't particularly enjoy.

Your life.

Well that got deep quick. 

Towards the end of 2014 my cousin found out she had Giant Cell Glioblastoma, a very rare brain tumor. She was pregnant when they found it and she had to have an emergency C-section 4 weeks early so they could operate on the cancerous tumor in her brain. She lost all vision in her right eye, struggled severely with short term memory and had to live knowing that any moment could be her last. 

Through all of this, my cousin stayed so optimistic. She is still dealing with it to this day but constantly thanks everyone around her and talks about how she knows she will beat this.

Life can take a turn at any given moment. Things can go wrong and do go wrong. But it is essential that we remain positive and remember how grateful we are for this life. We get one life so we need to live it to the fullest.

There's always someone out there who has it "worse than you", but when that person still chooses to remain positive...take a lesson from them!

Life is good. Life is beautiful. Life is given to us for a reason.

Always Remember!

Times get hard. Life throws us curveballs. But regardless of your current situation, you've got so much to be thankful for. 

When things do take a turn, remind yourself of all the positivity in your life. Don't let yourself get too down. 

Lost Angels: A Documentary that Will Change Your Views on the Homeless

I love a good documentary when I stumble across one. I think they're a phenomenal way to learn more about a particular lifestyle or get more insight on a certain event. Fortunately, Netflix has some great documentaries available so I take full advantage of what it has to offer! 

My most recent documentary I found on Netflix is called Lost Angels. It's a heartfelt story of the homeless that reside on Skid Row in Los Angeles, CA. Having driven through the streets of L.A. and having seen these people first hand, I have always wondered about their stories. Where did they come from? How did they get here? How do they survive?

The documentary follows 8 different people and shows their lives living on Skid Row. While they all live or have lived there, their experiences are all so unique. One of the stories that really stood out to me, is that of Lee Anne. She's lived on the streets for over 20 years and carries all of her belongings (plus loads of extras) in a shopping cart that she takes everywhere. Although she is homeless and cannot fully take care of herself, she always has a bag of cat food and feeds all of the cats who also live on the streets of Los Angeles. Lee Anne spends her days doing as much as she can to keep herself afloat but is always looking out for the community that lives along side her.

Lee Anne often is seen walking around the streets with a tall gentleman named KK. Him and Lee Anne have a deep bond and really look out for each other. Although he was living in a shelter built to get the homeless people off of the streets, he spent his days walking Skid Row with his dearest Lee Ann. She thought of the streets of Los Angeles as her home and refused to go into any of the shelters offered to her. Surprisingly, a high percentage of the people living here would refuse any help from shelters. They have a strong community and that's just the way they like it.

From an outsider looking in, I was always under the impression that Skid Row was just a drug filled, violent and overall mortifying place to be. In reality, it's a family. While there is a high number of rapes, violence and drug use, a lot of the people there have built a community. They trust each other and work together to support and help one another. 

Seeing this documentary made me so grateful for what I have. It is easy to take the life we have for granted. It isn't until you get a glimpse into the life of someone less fortunate that you understand just how good a lot of us have it. 

While material things are great and it's nice to have a roof over our heads, there are some traits that these amazing people have that we sometimes lack. They aren't drug addicted, lifeless bums. They are human beings with a beautiful sense of what life is about. They make due with what they have. They're resourceful and appreciate even the smallest of things. Seeing people refuse help because they were content with the life they were living, was not only shocking but a huge eye opener.

If you haven't seen this documentary, I highly recommend it. I found Lost Angels on Netflix, but I'm sure there are other ways to see it!

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