Let’s Talk Turkey – Cultivating gratitude the other 364 days a year

Peg Breen: November 13, 201242 Comments

A week ago last Friday, my father was diagnosed with diffuse large cell B lymphoma. When I called him I tried to hide that I was nervous and emotional.  I didn’t know how he was taking the news and I wanted to be strong for him.  I was surprised when right out of the gate he said, “If they can take care of this I’ll be fine. And if they can’t, I’ll be fine. I’ve had a great life.” And that was that.  He then asked, “Are you coming in for Thanksgiving? They put on a great buffet here.”

Dad has mastered “the art of gratitude.”  He prays daily, and keeps telling me that the “little flower,” St. Teresa is watching over him.  He appreciates life’s little bonuses, like the Nebraska Cornhuskers winning a game, or a great steak dinner, or his grandkids coming over to play scrabble, or how well his new shoes fit, and how hard his favorite show “Raymond” makes him laugh.  He is lovable and is greatly loved.  He appreciates every minute of every day.

The research shows that people who have made a practice of being thankful and feeling gratitude, even during difficult times end up scoring big on the happiness meter. University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons says that feeling gratitude helps us cope with stress boosts our immune system and might even extend our lives.

While it’s good to know that optimism can help us, the question I immediately had is, are we hard wired for the ability to see the sunny side of life or can we develop it.  And I found, that indeed, we can learn how to create our own personal set of rose-colored glasses.  Here are a few suggestions below from Web MD:

  • Maintain a gratitude journal. Robert Emmons says that people who keep gratitude journals feel better about their lives as a whole, and maintain a positive outlook even when life throws them a curve.
  • Create a list of the things you take for granted.  For me, this list sometimes includes my health, my close friends and my beautiful surroundings.  Hurricane Sandy reminded me of how lucky I am to be living here vs. New Jersey.  Even without a hurricane, Fresno wins over Jersey any day.
  • Talk to yourself in the mirror.  While normally this kind of behavior would cause your significant other to send you to a therapist, tell him or her it’s part of your optimism plan.  Reflect on what great things the day brought you, and if you faced a challenge, congratulate yourself for getting through it.
  • Think Different. This is a slogan from the old Apple Computer commercials, but it also applies here.  If we reframe a situation by looking at it with a more positive attitude, it gives us the breathing room to get to tomorrow. 

Write back and tell us what you are thankful for.  Just doing this will lower your blood pressure by 10 points – I promise. Anyone who comments and lists their name will be entered into a drawing on November 19 to win one of 5 turkeys (frozen not live, and no, your boss is not the prize).  Just kidding ;-) !  We will be giving away five- $50 gift certificates to Save Mart.  Enjoy the holiday with your family!

42 responses to Let’s Talk Turkey – Cultivating gratitude the other 364 days a year

a day without a father

i wanna share my experience i went through when my father died. i was alone. i screamed for help. nobody answered. i felt like dying myself. i did not know what to do. i am a NURSE and in that moment i was somebody else. up until now i am searching for life's reasons and why it had to happen. i love my dad and my memories of him would last forever.

Thank You

I am thankful for my job because I have learned so many new things and it has brought me closer to achieving my goals. I am thankful for my husband for teaching me to be strong and to be positive even when I want to give up. I am thankful for a second chance. And, I am thankful to have family and friends in my life supporting me in all arenas of my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thankful for Life...

I am foremost Thankful for such an amazing life that God has granted me and has chosen for me the best wonderful parents anyone can ask for. I have learned to always be thankful for everything whether small or big and appreciate who is in your life because there are no guarantee's you will see them tomorrow. Last but certainley not least: My husband and 3 son's and my two daugther- in-laws and my 2 bundles of Joy Grandson's Azlan and Maddox... Family, Friends...You are all an amazing gift from God and so very proud of you and all your accomplishments. Thank you for letting me be part of all your lives... God Bless

Thank you all so much for sharing

Thank you all so much for your wonderful blog responses describing the things and people you are grateful for.  The following employees have each won a $50 gift certificate to Save Mart – just in time for Thanksgiving!

Kathleen V Magnano            Alberta Sanchez          Sheryl Dewitt
                      Anna Kurtly                             Althea Clark

Even though the drawing is over, I'd still love to hear from more of you about the things that stop and make you say "Thanks!" Reading these has been so inspiring.

Enjoy the holidays!



I am thankful that I have a family to come home, and work to come in to, and friends that bless me each day! Margie Hill


I'm grateful every day for having been lucky enough to be born into a smart, funny, loving family that gave me awesome roots to grow from. I'm grateful for having recognized my passions and talents early in life and for having encouragement and wonderful mentors along the way to help me pursue and develop those. I'm so, so lucky and thankful to have met my best friend and life partner early and to have convinced him 25 years ago to ask me to marry him. He's pushed me to take risks and normally wouldn't have and he's taken me on some amazing adventures. And I wake early every day and tiptoe across the hall to marvel at my two beautiful, funny, wise, wonderful red-headed children, who help me stretch to be a better, more patient person. I'm grateful to wake most days with a body that works and is pain free. And I'm grateful for a yoga practice and teachers who help me find strength and flexibility and balance and peace within my body and my mind when I remember to look for joy and live each moment in the moment. And last but not least, I am working diligently to be grateful for the challenges that life presents that ultimately will help me continue to grow.  ERIN K.


I am most thankful for my wonderful friends and coworkers for all their prayers and kind thoughts during a most difficult time for my family and me - the passing of my grandmother one week ago. I am also thankful that I got to talk to my grandmother two days before she passed.

Thankful For...

I am thankful for having an amazing family that has supported me throughout my endeavours, great friends, having a job that is very rewarding, and life's experiences-good and bad.

Bountiful life

I am really thankful for all the bountiful blessings each day that I am able to work with good health,&loving family. Grateful enough to be part of CMC family who gave us a lot this year.Most of all for having 4 healthy children that made my world....kathleen v. magnanao - 4cpcu

I am thankful to be employed,

I am thankful to be employed, and as an added bonues ~ I love the nurses I work for, and I love caring for people!

Thankful for .....

I am thankful for all the blessings that I recieved, good health, loving family,healthy children,supportive parents and in laws, friends, good paying job in CRMC, and peace on earth as a whole...Kathleen V. Magnanao,RN -4 CPCU


I am thankful for all my mom taught me: To work hard, Praise God in everything (good or bad) and how to be a good mom. I'm thankful for my husband who treats me like a queen and who was sent to me straight from God. =) I'm thanful for my two little boys that keep me smiling. I'm thanful for my family, friends and a good church!


I am so blessed to have so many things in my life good health, love, peace, joy, and a great family, great friends, and so much more.


I am very thankful for everything that God has given me! My family and this great new job!


I am eternally grateful for the gift of life. My children, extended family and friends deepen my gratitude with every moment we share. I am especially grateful for the mentors in my life who have taken the time to share their wisdom and life’s lessons. Reading this blog and everyone’s post has added meaning to my day. Thank you!

Social Connections

I am thankful for facebook & other social media that connects people. It keeps me connected to my families & friends no matter what the distance is. Living in a place where there's no family is hard. To see them as often as I want will cost me a fortune. But with facebook & other social media, it feels like, they are just nearby. When we moved to Fresno, we don't know anyone in the area. I didn't even know there's a place called "Fresno" until I got a job offer. Luckily, I found friends who became my family. For them, I am grateful. They fill the emptiness of my heart. Donnah Opelac 9-West CRMC


I am thankful for my husband and my wonderful family and friends. C.Hruska-King

A good reminder

Peg, This is a great reminder of how lucky we are. As an American that has traveled through Asia and other countries I have always come home grateful for the simple things in life. Family, friends, a safe place to live, healthcare and opportunities even in difficult economies. I have found across the globe we all want the same things - a safe , peaceful and better life for our families. We are the luckiest people on earth and can become so captured in the "getting" we sometimes forget the giving which brings the ultimate in happiness. It is truly a time to remember those we love and appreciate all we have.

Thankful for

I am thankful for my husband of 40 years, my children and grandchildren. I am also thankful for everything God blesses us with. Althea Clark


I'm thankful for my health and my family's health, my job, my husband's job, and my son's job. Sheryl DeWitt

Thankful for

Thank you for sharing your blog. It made my day! I am thankful for my job,health,family and friends. Nancy Her


Im Thankful to work for my Family's benefits and to be able to get my benefits being Part-Time. Im also Thankful fo my loving husband and three adorable Children =) Also for the great friendships I have made with my Co-workers =) Anna Kurtley, Oakhurst ICC       =)=)=)

Thankful for

I am thankful that I have a job I love and that I get to work with a great team of coworkers everyday. I'm also thankful for my friends and family and am looking forward to this holiday season.

Thankful for

I am thankful that I have a job I love and that I get to work with a great team of coworkers everyday. I'm also thankful for my friends and family and am looking forward to this holiday season.

I am grateful...

...for every morning that I get to wake up next to my husband. I am grateful for all the little things I never think about, like my health, having a reliable car, getting to eat whenever I get hungry, and knowing I'll have a warm, safe place to go home to at the end of the day. Lori Enrico.

I am thankful for:

I am thankful for a safe warm place to sleep.Health to be able to get out of bed in the morning and go to a great job in a good car to get me there. And, a God, family and friends who love me at the end of the day no matter what! Sharon Wimberley


Many things but most of all, Love.

Thankful for...

I am thankful Clovis Community Medical Center's expansion construction crews have worked over 1 million man hours without any lost time to an injury. This not only benefits the workers and their families, but saves Community Medical Centers millions of dollars...money that can be reinvested into purchasing much needed equipment to further the hospital's mission. Peggy McGinnis

Wow- me too

Peggy - so glad you mentioned this! Quite an accomplishment. We all are thankful for their great work!! - Peg

Thanks For

I am extremely thankful for a wonderful job (my second home), my health, my family and friends.


I am beyond grateful to be so well-employed, in a position that uses my brain and my heart equally. I don't have a lot of family, but they are happy and healthy. My brother's 2 little boys are polite and considerate little humans. I know I take good health for granted, but this is something I'm starting to think about almost every day. I thank my body for not failing me! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! --Kathy Hamada

Brain and Heart

Kathy - really loved your post. Jobs that tap our brains and our hearts are exactly what we're aiming for - for everyone! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! - Peg


Im thankful for my fiance, my health, my family, and all my furry little friends at home.


I'm thankful for a marriage that is just as happy at 21 years as at the start, and the wonderful son that completes our family. ~ Donna Boone


I am thankful first to my God for the abundant life he has given me. I am thankful for my awesome husband, three sons, two daughter in laws and soon to be 5 amazing grandchildren. I am thankful for my job,especially in an economy where many people don't have jobs. I am thankful for the opportunity to continue my education, stay in my home and participate in my local church.


I'm thankful I have a wonderful job to go to everyday and a healthy, loving and happy family to go home to every night.


I'm thankful for my three beautiful girls. They are my angels on earth that keep me full of life. Nothing beats being a mother. Angelica Arenas




I am thankful to go home to by beautiful son everyday. No matter how stressful my day has been at work, going home to his beautiful smile puts everything into perspective and I am thankful for everyday I get with him. -Christina Castillo


I'm thankful for my job, my family and their good health. Nothing beats that. Mary Lisa Russell

Thankful for

I'm thankful that I have a home to return to after putting in a full day's work at a job I love. I'm thankful for my health and the wonderful care I received at CRMC this summer after having a brain tumor removed. I'm thankful for the love and support from my family. Bonnie Harkins


I'm thankful for having a job, wonderful friends.I'm especially thankful for having both my parents in my life and siblings who love me unconditionally.Last but definatley not least my two children who have stole my heart forever. I'm blessed!

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.