• Krista Schaber-Chan

What Are You Thankful For?

Updated: Oct 16, 2019

It seems that in today’s day and age, there are so many problems, so many things that can cause people to be distracted, in a rut, and even depressed. Our lives, while a lot easier in many respects than maybe 100 or even 1000 years ago, are not carefree. Easy is relative. Sure, we don’t have to worry about wild animals attacking and eating us while we sleep and most of us have clean water to drink, modern comforts that we take for granted such as electricity and heat or air-conditioning, rapid modes of transportation and mini-computers that we carry around in our pockets, yet somehow our lives are complicated and stressful.

A person can really work themselves into a state of anxiety and depression if not careful. I believe everything we do should be done with intention this includes reminding ourselves about what is good or great in our lives – what makes our lives safe, secure, special or even easier – essentially, what are we thankful for. As I was thinking about all the things I give thanks for, I also asked my friends and colleagues to share what they are thankful for. Below are some of those conversations.

One person, while I know she is thankful for many things, said she is thankful for friends and workmates wrapped up into one simple package. This is definitely something to be thankful for. We all spend a lot of time at work. For many of us it’s between 32 hours per week on the low-end and can be 70+ hours on the higher end depending on what we do, so being able to have good friendly relationships with the people whom you spend such a significant amount of time with is a blessing. As another person stated, he is grateful for the diverse and wonderful people that make up his extended and chosen family. That is a very interesting way to phrase it – extended and chosen family – perhaps part of what we are thankful for is being able to choose where we work and what we do, because so many do not have that luxury.

Another person said she is thankful for so many things, that she is generally a thankful person, but specifically she is thankful for strong professional relationships with clients who ask great questions and truly want recommendations, and then trust the answer or advice. Amen to that. It is a great source of gratitude when our clients let us help them through their journeys and embrace where and when we can help. She also echoed the statements around friends and workmates but took it further by saying she is thankful for having a team of colleagues that she can trust implicitly and laugh with incessantly while all driving toward common goals for success.

We have a few newer members of our Harbinger family who also added their thoughts on what they are thankful for. One person told me she too is thankful for a lot of things but shared these gems:

  1. A life of travel, accomplishments, and lessons learned.

Many of us have lamented about how fortunate we are to be able to travel for work. It is not always glamorous (see our past blog about scary things for some good travel stories), but for those with an appetite for adventure and constant change it can be very rewarding.

  1. Arriving home after work travel, unlocking the door, and being greeted by her handsome and lovable cat, Tango.

Work travel can be great but getting back home to the things that make it “home” including our families and pets are lovely. Some other things she mentioned include a comfortable bed and pillows and good gluten free bread products that taste like the real thing. I can’t comment personally on gluten free baked goods, but I can say I am thankful for good wine (it’s gluten free, right?).

Another new Harbinger commented that she is thankful for the strong network of people that surround her – that she does not know how she would balance work and family without help, support, and encouragement. As the saying goes, it really does take a village… She is also thankful for her career and career opportunities to work in Communications. She is the first in her family to graduate from university in Canada and to be able to experience the opportunities that come with that is something she is very thankful for.

I am thankful to have been born in this amazing country – a country not without its flaws but somewhere people are free to speak their minds, practice their chosen religions or no religion at all, diversity in seasons and climate as well as its people. I am thankful for having strong relationships with our American neighbours – sometimes we disagree, but that’s what families do. I am thankful for great business partners and amazing clients. I am thankful for Diet Dr. Pepper, yep, truly I am. I am thankful for wildlife and nature but mostly birds and their crazy antics. I am thankful for access to good food, whether I make it myself, am invited to eat with friends or colleagues, or out at a restaurant, having so much choice is a gift. I am thankful for clean drinking water (there are many people even in Canada who do not have this often-overlooked luxury). I am thankful for our free(ish) healthcare. I too am thankful for the many amazing people I have met and worked with over the years whom I have learned from and am fortunate enough to call friends. I am most thankful for insulin, my two cats and my husband (the order of those last three things vary day-to-day). Honestly, I could go on and on, but I won’t, you get the picture.

Hopefully as our friends, families, clients and colleagues to the south are embracing what they are thankful for this American Thanksgiving, we can all take a look at what we give thanks for in our own lives. We all get busy and stressed and sometimes forget to acknowledge the small or big things we have, to be thankful for. As I collected thoughts from friends and colleagues and reflected on my own list, it seemed any stress I was carrying lifted and I was left with a source of quiet calm and inner peace. How easy that was to tap into. I am thankful that tomorrow is a new day that I have not yet met, because while today is great, tomorrow has the possibility to be amazing.

The author would like to express her gratitude to Kerry Graham, Mala Gupta, Monem Ansari, Karri Paice and Siri Maldonado in writing this article.