10 Things to Be Grateful For

Writer and self-described optimist William Arthur Ward once said, "Feeling gratitudeand not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." We couldn't agreemore. That's why we asked iVillagers from all over the country to tell us what they'remost grateful for. Here are 10 of our favorites:

"I am grateful for life's ups as well as its downs because they all teach you lessonsabout yourself and this world. Whether I consider my day 'good' or 'bad,' I still thankGod that I am able to be alive to make that distinction."
‑‑lady0415, NC

"I am grateful for my beautiful son andfor my mom and stepdad, who were always there for me through my pregnancy ‑-hormone changes and all. Now I have a beautiful three-week-old little boy who is my bestaccomplishment yet."
‑‑matthewsmommy2004, MA

"I'm thankful for the coincidence that led to my cancer diagnosis last January. I'm only35, and my mammogram totally missed it. I'm thankful for the advances of modern medicineand the wonderful team of doctors and surgeons who made this experience bearable for me.For my husband, who reminded me every day that I was stronger than my illness and that Icould beat it. For my children, who were a constant reminder of why I needed to. Forrewarding work and volunteer opportunities that still allowed me to give to others when Iwas so needy myself. For friends who sent cards, good cheer, articles, flowers, meals,chocolate and other special gifts. And thanks to the powers that be, who allowed me tocome out of this experience a better person and not a bitter person."
‑‑cl-bradleyteach, NY

"I am most grateful to God for watching over my son while he was in Iraq and for bringinghim home safely. I am grateful that myson felt compelled to fight for freedom and honor. I love you, Daniel."
‑‑cl-ivhreddie, TX

"I am grateful for every day that I get to experience the little things: The way the airfelt so cold and crisp this morning when I walked my son to the bus. The sun shining downon us. That both of his shoes and both of his gloves were together and we didn't have tosearch. Coffee in my favorite mug with hazelnut creamer. All of these little thingsreally add up."
‑‑mimistime "When I was trapped in a very unhappy job, a colleaguesuggested that I resign and spend time figuring out what I really wanted to do. Eventhough I had no prospects and no savings, I took the leap of faithand did it. After a few months, I finally got a call about a part-time position‑- exactly the kind of job I had prayed for. Now I work for a wonderful andsupportive boss, the very same person who gave me the great advice in the first place.She said she could always see my great qualities but that I just needed the rightopportunity to display them. And now I am."
‑‑oats99, IL

"I am so thankful for not one, but two engagements in my family this year! Both my babybrother and my older sister are getting married next year to people that I will be gladto call family."

"As a mother of a young child with a terminal illness, I am thankful for every smile hegives me and for every tear I am still able to kiss away. I'm thankful for being givenanother day to wake up and have him in our lives and for every night that I am able totuck him into his bed and tell him how much I love him."

"I come from a big Catholic family with two crazy brothers and two crazy sisters. As thebaby, I endured years of razzing and teasing, but now that I am older, I thank heavenevery day for my siblings. They've filled my life with fond memories and continue tosupport me, inspire me and make me laugh. Now that we are all grown and have families ofour own, we get together very seldom. But when we do? look out! There's laughter, livelydebate, good food and wine, hugs, kisses and misty eyes when it's time to say goodbye. Mybeautiful ‑- and growing ‑- family is one of the greatest blessings in mylife, and for that I am exceedingly grateful."
‑‑nautical2004, NY

"I am grateful for being grateful. I know it sounds odd, but I am thankful that I haverealized at a fairly young age not to take things for granted. I have a husband who I love so much I could burst, I have two healthy parents, goodfriends and a good family. I work at a job I love, own my own home and am healthy. Whilethere are a million other things I want and I hope for, I know how lucky I am, and I'mgrateful for that wisdom."

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