Welcome to the first day of our 2016 Happiness Planner Giveaway! Here’s how to win:
For the week of Thanksgiving – Monday, November 23 to Friday, November 27 – we challenge you to five days of gratitude.
Each day starting today, Dawn and I will post what we are thankful for and will look for what you are thankful for in the comment section of each post. Everyone who leaves us a comment on each of the five daily posts will have their name put into a random drawing for a 2016 In the Garden of Happiness Planner!
Let’s get started! I can’t wait to read your comments and discover what everyone is grateful for this Thanksgiving!
I want to start out this week of gratitude taking a cue from my friend Darleen Alvarez and say how thankful I am for my husband Scott. This past summer I completed my masters degree, a goal I never could have accomplished without his unwavering support. He took on extra responsibilities at home, wrote me notes of encouragement, sent me flowers when I was down, and kept my eye on the prize when I was ready to throw in the towel.
I wish they could have put his name on the diploma along with mine. He truly deserves an honorary masters degree for toiling through all the ups and downs by my side. So, thank you Scott for being the thoughtful, caring, and supportive husband we all dream of. I couldn’t have done it without you!
This fall, I’ve had the opportunity to join an amazing organization called Rotary. My membership in our local club, Rome Rotary, allows me to connect with wonderful people in my community, and we’re also part of a much larger, international organization with the motto “Service Above Self.” Rotary groups around the globe are tackling important projects from working to build peace through understanding to fighting to eradicate polio worldwide. (Visit EndPolio.org if you’re interested in learning more about that!)
While I am proud to be part of Rotary and am thankful for the work my local chapter and Rotarians around the world are doing, that’s not really what I wanted to focus on today. I want to talk about something more, well… elemental.
Through Rotary’s magazine, I learned about a book by Charles Fishman called The Big Thirst. When I told people I was reading about water, a lot of people asked, “Why?”
Because everyone should read this book.
As Fishman explains, “…on this very day, more than a billion people in the world don’t have access to clean drinking water, and…before the calendar turns on another day, five thousand children will die because they lack clean water, or from an illness they got from tainted water.” Unfortunately that news really isn’t anything new. But this book gave me a greater understanding of how the lack of access to water can enslave people.
Many young girls in our world can’t go to school because they have to spend the day walking to get water.
Others, men and women alike, can’t have a job with regular hours because they have to stand in line for water.
It’s so easy to forget how lucky I am to live in an area with abundant water, to have been born in a country where when I turn on the tap, I completely expect water to come gushing out at any moment, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (and even 366 next year!). Fishman’s book has helped me to be grateful for that blessing and to ask myself how I can turn that gratitude into a way of helping others.