10/12/2013 07:55 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Everything I'm Thankful For This Year

Fall has always been my favourite time of the year and I have often thought how ironic that is because it is a time when Mother Nature is preparing her world for a long winter sleep. However, before she does that she blesses us with some of the most breathtaking colours one can imagine. I gather she figured that if you are going to go out, you should do so in a blaze of glory.

Along with fall, comes Thanksgiving and since I live in Canada we will be celebrating ours on Monday but dinner will be on Sunday. My thoughts naturally turn to family, friends and food as the day draws nearer and today my husband is picking up 'Fred' the turkey (there's a long story about the name). I need to get the frozen bird thawed out in time to go on the barbecue because I will never cook a turkey in an oven again (there's another long story about that one. Needless to say, do not try to self-clean an oven the day of Thanksgiving). He is also picking up the four pounds of frozen sausage meat so I can make the traditional and required stuffing that my daughter loves so much, which he lovingly refers to as meatloaf but in the same breath refuses to eat it. His loss!

Our parents are no longer with us so we will not have them at the table this year and my sister lives too far away to come for Sunday dinner. However, we will have her son and one of our three daughters with us along with good friends to help us break bread and share the feast.

As I plan the menu for Sunday's meal and gaze out the window at the leaves turning their brilliant red, orange and yellow colours I cannot help but think how lucky I am for the life I live and it turned my thoughts to what I am thankful for.

• I am thankful for each day that I wake up to live another one

• I am thankful for the chance to love another amazing man after losing my first one way too early

• I am thankful for the wonderful daughter I had with my first husband and for the two new ones I gained when I married my second

• I am thankful for our beautiful four-year-old granddaughter

• I am thankful for the wonderful parents who raised me to believe that whatever I wanted to accomplish and whoever I wanted to be, I could

• I am thankful for my sister and the journey we have been on together

• I am thankful for my amazing friends

• I am thankful for the beautiful home my husband and I have built together

• I am thankful for the wonderful labradoodle who came into our lives just over two years ago and the additional joy he brought into this house

In addition, I am thankful for the freedom I enjoy because of the men and women who serve in our military and keep us safe from harm.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I encourage you to take a moment from menus and shopping to think about the things that you are thankful for. Remember to tell the ones you love and your friends how important they are to you while you can. A simple touch like this will remain long after the turkey is gone and the last bite of pumpkin pie has been eaten.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Jane Blaufus is the author of the book WITH THE [STROKE] OF A PEN®, Claim your life, which has gained acclaim and recognition as a much-needed personal and financial planning resource for families and individuals to empower them to take charge of their lives. Please follow Jane on Twitter and Facebook.

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