Every year at Thanksgiving I remind myself how grateful I am to have life, health and family. As we gather around the dinner table filled with all kinds of savory goodness, the list of things to be thankful for rolls off all our tongues with butter soft ease. Laughter and word games predictably and hilariously usually follow. This year, the order of events will be no different but the items on the list will.
A challenging year, by all accounts, forces one to dig deep to find reasons to give thanks. Yet it is in that depth that the wellspring of true gratitude resides.
While reading the December issue of O Magazine I saw that Dress for Success, one of my favorite non profit organizations was mentioned as "one of the best ways to give this holiday season." Having volunteered at DFS alternately as a personal shopper and seminar presenter, I am familiar with their mission "to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools . . . "
Since I had been meaning to donate a few pieces of work-appropriate attire to my local DFS affiliate, I used the opportunity of a dreary, rainy day to follow the magazine's suggestion.
It came as no surprise that in my closet were unworn clothes with tags still attached. The big discovery was how many there were and what little use I had for them. The joy I felt folding and packaging the suits and separates for women who would appreciate them was palpable. I remembered the experience of suiting my first client and the excitement she felt when she saw herself attired for her first job interview.
This time the excitement was mine. I was instantly reminded that no matter what state you find yourself in, there is always something that you can do to uplift another. This Thanksgiving I am grateful for the opportunity to give to someone else a chance to be her best self. The receiver of the gift this year is me. For that I give thanks.
Jennifer Lavern is a keen observer of the issues that affect how women view themselves and how they interact with their world.