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Hi everyone- Vijay asked if I wanted to write this week’s Friday Food for Thought and I am honored to do so. ☺️ A quick reintroduction: my name is Lauren and I have been working for J2 since February.  As I grow more comfortable in my role, I hope you get to know me a little bit better, too. ☺️

This year, I am more thankful and grateful than I have ever been in my life. As you may recall from a previous FFfT I wrote, this past July I married my (now) husband, Shawn.  Although I’d like to think I am someone who counts their blessings, I’ve come to realize what matters is not only about the number of blessings, but what they are.  I am thankful and grateful to have found my person, and his son, too.  He’s ten going on twenty, and such a great kid.  A few weeks ago, we welcomed home a new addition to our family when we adopted our new pup, Lena.  She is such a good dog, and we couldn’t be happier.

You know the saying, we always have something to be grateful for.  I believe this is true, whether you are going through a tough time or the best time of your life, there is always something to be grateful for. Tough times don’t last, and life can’t always be great, either; it’s all about perspective.  I’ve learned over the years how you look at life often correlates with your happiness.  Covid reminds me often how blessed we are to be able to spend holidays with one another.  Something so simple, that most of us had probably taken for granted “pre-covid”.  Like many of you out there, covid isolated us and to me, holidays were difficult.  I will never spend another holiday complaining or feeling like it’s too busy or too much.  This Thanksgiving, my challenge for you is to reflect on your blessings and be thankful for who we choose to be surrounded by, while we can.

“It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” – David Steindl-Rast

I hope you have a wonderful holiday, filled with lots of love, laughter and gratitude!