As part of CityView's commitment to filling gaps by providing reporting and information for the Fort Liberty community, our HomeFront initiative has added two columnists who will write regularly about issues military families face. In this installment, Jaylin Kremer, who lives at Fort Liberty with her active-duty spouse, talks about giving thanks. If there's a topic you'd like for our columnists to address, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the holiday season we buy gifts, thinking that giving is the best way to show our love and appreciation for others.
But we tend to forget showing how thankful we are in other ways.
We often become overwhelmed with our daily responsibilities and end up taking the most important things for granted without even realizing it. Every year as Thanksgiving approaches, I like to reflect on what means the most to me and the ways I show those around me gratitude. While it’s nice to give, remember to give thanks for everyone and everything you have as nothing in this life is guaranteed.
There is a difference between what we think we need and what we really need. A fine line separates the two, and perspective changes everything. In reality, we don’t need much. I’ve found that my greatest blessings cannot be wrapped and won’t come with a bow. This year, I’m most thankful for our new way of life because it has given me an entirely different perspective and has made the fine line much bigger.
Becoming an Army wife has taught me to slow down and take the time to see what is right in front of me, and to appreciate it. I used to focus on what we didn’t have, what we wanted, and what was needed to accomplish our goals. Thinking this way left me blinded to all that we do have, the beauty of each moment, and the simplicity of happiness. I no longer look at happiness as a destination and have learned that being grateful makes happiness more attainable.
Health is better than wealth, love is food for the soul, and with a loving and healthy family I have everything I could ever need. Every day that I get to wake up and keep going is a blessing not to be wasted with wanting more. Now I live for the little things: My husband’s arms around me at night when we go to bed. My daughter’s smile after she learned to read a new story. My son’s laughter after a long day. These seemingly small details of my life were mere moments before, but now they mean everything.
The holidays are not meant to be spent worrying about buying the perfect gift for everyone or the monetary value of the gifts you receive. They are meant to remind us that the people in our lives are what make our lives worth living and telling them how much they mean to us is more valuable than any gift you can give.
This holiday season I ask that you remember to be grateful for the little things because they usually mean the most.
Jaylin Kremer and her husband are natives of Pittsburgh. She is studying psychology and plans to go to law school and works as an advocate for mental health and victims of sexual violence. Jaylin is a member of the Fort Liberty school board and first vice president of the Fort Liberty Spouses Club. She believes that small acts of kindness go a long way.