Mini work week, football, kiddies off of school, and stuffing my face without judgment- well kids, Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season and for many people like me, it is easy to get caught up in the commercial-ness of it all.   

This year for me was tough, as I am sure it has been for all of you.  We lost a dedicated CityFam member, Scott Hierstetter last month.  Many people are upset over the election with our first ever "celebrity" President, as the Obamas move out of the White House.  And when job losses, breakups, divorces, debt, cancer, death or disease creep in, the holidays tend to be a time of sorrow, guilt or depression for others.   Personally, I fall in that category.  So this season, I do find myself asking, What the F%#k am I grateful for, when I sometimes take so much for granted?

Well I can make a very long or sappy blog, but I will gear it towards why I am grateful for CityFam this year.

1) I am grateful for a network of amazing individuals who genuinely give a f&%k about me.  

This year has been sad for me as I battle depression and other personal problems that often take me out of the present moment of gratitude.  As I sank in my own grief, I had many people call, write, invite me out, plan a lovely birthday, or even deliver groceries when I was feeling blue.  This wasn't "pity" this was a real effort by people who noticed I was struggling and made sure I was okay, and I wasn't alone.

2) I am grateful for a job that I actually love.

I am grateful for my legal job as well, for it pays the bills, but my passion is helping others, making people feeling good about themselves, and well....writing.  I am so grateful to have this opportunity to do what I love and hopefully affect others in a positive way.

3) I am grateful for amazing social events...okay that sounds fake and cheesy, but listen up.

I know that sounded really nerdy, but I am grateful for the concept that CityFam provides #noregrets social events.  I am proudly new in sober recovery, and I learned that many members are too, or just simply "non-drinkers" and for newbies like myself, finding activities and individuals who are in the same boat, and dont want to just hang with AA members or sit at home, I really appreciate that there is an entire world out there that doesnt revolve around bars...and even when I am at a Renegade- there are many games to play, and people to eat and drinks ginger ales with.

4) I am grateful for non-judgmental service projects.

I admit before really getting into volunteer work, I was picky about "who I served" like I was above certain things?   It wasn't that I "thought" I was, but being choosy about the service ultimately was a bit self-righteous.  What I learned is, there is SO much need- I mean from the police officers to the people with terminal illness who cannot afford healthy food to homeless men or addicts.   I know it can be overwhelming and we can't help everyone, but I realized that just a couple hours of service can really change lives and it is actually rewarding and fun to serve with friends and even meet friends on these missions.  I also learned I really like painting!

5) Speaking of service, I am forever grateful for the mission trip to Honduras 2K15

I missed out on last year's trip, but I can attest that mission trips are supremely life changing.  I am most grateful today for clean water, indoor plumbing, public sanitation, a functioning government, food in the masses, my job, my home, my dog, my car, and my family not being far away because I live in the USA.   The joke is on us because the people in Honduras do not even know how little they have and they are SO happy and grateful!  I am spoiled compared to how these people live and yet I was blue this year?  Serving the orphans, the poor, and building homes for these amazing people truly made me grateful for that opportunity for realizing how blessed I truly am, and how you don't need much to truly be happy.  

So if you are alone, if you are with your annoying parents, or very far away from home, if you are a vegetarian or sick with the flu, my heart goes out to you and hope you know you are not alone- we are thinking about are always family to us here at CityFam and if you are reading this, someone truly loves you and cares for you.  

From our fam to yours, Happy Thanksgiving,

Love Your Marketing Director and pile of holiday goo,

Cara D.