Finding the things to be thankful for

Published 9:51 am Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I have always, always, always been an optimist. I don’t know how it happened, but I have always seemed to find the bright side of every situation.

Some would say I’m optimistic to a fault.

I choose to be naive to most negativity in the world and when I’m not able to do so, I almost instinctively reflect on the serenity prayer.

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This mindset has also left me feeling thankful for a lot over the years, so when Thanksgiving time rolls around, I oftentimes feel the need to get creative.

While being blessed with so much and in so many ways, it’s easy to overlook some of the most obvious blessings in life.

  • I’m thankful for the challenges I do have in life. Every time something doesn’t go my way, I’m left to examine what went wrong and how it can be better the next time. In turn, each of these experiences make me a better person, and that’s something worth being thankful for.


  • I’m thankful to be an American. With everything going on in the world today, it’s easy to doubt our country and the direction it’s headed in. Talking heads from both sides of the political spectrum are trying to convince us that whoever wins next year’s election will be the demise of our great nation, but if there’s anything I’ve learned in 23 years of life it’s simply that life goes on. While the United States has some quirks, I couldn’t imagine being a citizen anywhere else.


  • I’m thankful for my job. It’s the thing I love to hate. I don’t like setting an alarm, I don’t like dealing with spam mail, and I don’t like performing certain menial tasks. I do like seeing my wonderful coworkers, meeting new and exciting people, and getting a paycheck every other week. I’d say the pros outweigh the cons and I often don’t consider how lucky I am to be gainfully employed enough.


  • I’m thankful for my health. I may not always be the most fit person in the room, but I’ve never missed a meal, and that’s not something everyone can say. I’m also privy to modern medicine and have access to just about any sort of treatment I could possibly need in the event I do develop illness.


  • I’m thankful for the ability to write. So many people don’t have an outlet to express themselves or a healthy way to project emotion. For me, writing has always been something that comes natural and something I’ve often overlooked in regard to the benefits I’ve received from using this talent over the years.

If you’re like me and life seems to be a constant flow of positivity, take some times to find some of the negatives creeping into your life and reflect on how you can be thankful in way you least expected this holiday season.

Austin Vining is a reporter for The Vicksburg Post. Email comments to