In the spirit of Thanksgiving ...

My fellow reporters and I went around earlier this week asking people what they were thankful for this holiday season. I enjoyed hearing the responses I received to the question, and it got me thinking. As a rule, we talk more about what we are unhappy about in our lives, rather than being grateful for that which we do have.

Iíve had a rather bad couple of weeks. It would be very easy for me to fall into that familiar rut of negativity. So in the spirit of the holiday, Iím not allowing myself to wallow in that self pity. Iím going to focus on the positive and think about all of the things in my life for which I am truly thankful.

First and foremost, I am thankful to be spending this holiday season with my family. Last year at this time I was a couple of thousand miles away and thoroughly miserable. This year, Iíll be cooking beside my mother and chasing little ones around the house I grew up in. I canít wait.

I am so thankful for my parents. I have truly been blessed with the best mother and father in the world. Itís not just the fact they have always been there for me when I needed them, supporting me even when they donít agree with my decisions. But they are also two of my best friends. Whether it is trudging through the woods with my Dad or taking a Latin dance class with my Mom, I love spending time with them. They are the reason I am back here.

I am thankful that I grew up here, in beautiful Upstate New York. With its fields, forests and streams, our 153 acres was paradise to me as a child and still is today. I am grateful for all of the opportunities to travel and explore the world, but Iím just as grateful to have this home to come back to.

I am thankful every day for the love of my family and friends. Returning to the area has given me the opportunity to reconnect with so many old friends and acquaintances. They are part of the connection I feel to this place, and have played such a huge part in welcoming me home.

I am grateful for the chance to get reacquainted with one old friend in particular. Regardless of what the future holds, I am thankful that he came back into my life when he did. I donít know how I would have gotten through the last half a year without him.

Sometimes it takes unexpected changes in your life to discover what is really important. Since moving back here, I have felt that my life has started clicking into place. After years of working in the business world, I am so thankful to have found something I truly love to do.

My job has opened my eyes to many things going on in our area, and I am thankful for that as well.

In preparing for our upcoming Delivering Christmas series, I have been in contact with so many local organizations dedicated to helping those in need. This year has been particularly difficult financially for many families in our area. I am thankful that there are so many in our communities that give freely of their time, money and effort to help those less fortunate during this holiday season.

May the holidays find you happy, safe, healthy and surrounded by those you love.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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