What’s there to be thankful for anyway?

Some days I struggle with that sign. The one that hangs on the wall just inside our front door.

“In Everything Give Thanks,” it reads, painted on a simple wood plank.

My friend, Dana, gave me that sign about six years ago, a reminder of a time when things weren’t feeling so thank-y around here.

A reminder of a time when something that seemed bad at first, turned out to be rather awesome, something indeed to be thankful for.

I don’t know about you, Dear Reader. Maybe you came out of the womb wise and grateful, but I’ve had to do a lot of learning on my end.

There was that time in my 20s when a long-term boyfriend dumped me for another girl. My friend’s mom, Lee, piped in with “Won’t it be interesting to see how this all turns out?”

Interesting? How dare she minimize my pain? How dare she root for any outcome besides the one I decided was best?

Alas, the end of that relationship gave me the courage and energy to propel my career forward, which is what took me to CNN and anchoring their news.

And if you really want to fast-forward, to my husband and kids.

Score one for now 83-year-old, Lee. Turns out the way that chapter worked out was indeed interesting, to say the least. Something to be thankful for.

And score one for the sign: “In Everything Give Thanks.” Not that it’s not taking a lifetime of lessons for a simple truth to sink in.

I walked in the house the other day and looked up at the sign. Less you think I’m a complete, zen being, I will tell you this: I cursed that sign.

My challenge this Thanksgiving season is not to be thankful for the easy stuff — husband, kids, home, pets, good health.

I got that one down.

It’s the hard stuff.

Thank you for the book agent who told me last week he hated my first novel so much that he didn’t even offer up any suggestions or revisions?

I’m working on that “thank you” note.

Even bigger — thank you for the test results that seem to show my mom will be facing some big health challenges?

Honestly, the gratitude for that news is stuck in my throat.

I can tell you this — I’m thankful for you, Dear Reader. You, who will give thanks for your easy blessings this week. You, who is also trying to make sense of news and outcomes you would’ve never picked.

You who in your own way is trying to grow into the sign, “In Everything Give Thanks.”

I know because of the email you send to me each week sharing your own challenges and triumphs. The way you let me share my life on this page each week.

For each and every one of you, I do indeed give thanks.