Every year at Thanksgiving (for those who celebrate), we are reminded to be thankful for what we have, but I try to make the effort to think about it more often than that.  My sister-in-law also helps with reminding me through her Thankful Thursday posts on Facebook asking everyone to answer with what they are thankful for each week.  It’s easy to forget how good we’ve got it.  We all get so caught up in our daily lives, the stress, the pressures, the rushing here, the rushing there, so on and so forth.  It can get crazy.

There are those times though when I am reminded of when I didn’t have it so good like when I find a penny on the street.  My family was homeless for awhile.  We lived in our car and whenever we would get out and walk anywhere, I would keep my eyes trained on the ground searching for coins of any sort.  It was a seriously lucky day when I would find a dollar bill just lying there.  I would wonder how it was that whoever dropped it hadn’t noticed it missing, but wouldn’t dwell on it because it meant that we could get an extra snack at 7-eleven that day.  I don’t remember a lot about the whole time we were homeless, but from what I do remember, dinner was often found in the snack section of 7-eleven.  Now it’s a luxury when I can go in there and not have to count my coins to see what I can afford to buy.

I still find myself searching for coins on the street to this day.  I never pass up a chance to pick up a penny, a dime, a quarter or even the nice pretty gold Sacagawea dollar (I have only found one of those).  I don’t care if it’s face up or face down, luck or unlucky, I pick it up and  put them in my big Pepsi bottle coin bank where they stay until needed.  Over the years, the coins in that bottle have gone towards gas, groceries, bills, small car repairs, buying a new dress for a wedding, or a little extra spending money  on a trip and I am thankful for it every time.  My bottle used to get full a lot faster back in the day when cash was king as I would also add the coins I got in change throughout the day.   Like most people, I rarely have cash on me these days though I am thinking about going back to doing so again as the whole identity theft thing scares me, but that’s a whole other blog post.

Having a job, a bank account, a roof over my head, food in my cupboards, a car to get me places, health insurance and a bed to sleep on are luxuries I hope I never have to live without again.   Pay it forward when you can and never forget there is always someone out there who doesn’t have everything you have no matter how little it may be.  There are many things you can do like volunteer your time, donate to worthy charities/causes, commit random acts of kindness, or come up with your own idea to make a difference in someone’s life.  The other day I saw a post somewhere about this group who sew colorful hospital gowns for kids who spend all or the majority of their time in and out of hospitals.  The gowns offered them a sense of self as they could pick the colors and designs they liked best.  Something so simple yet so meaningful.  Figure out what you can do and as Nike would say “Just Do It!”