Every thirty days, I visit my chiropractor for my “10,000-mile tune-up,” whether I think I need it or not. I have scoliosis, so over time, my pesky vertebrae slip out of alignment. And that spells trouble for my whole system. Sometimes, I don’t even notice it for a while. An ache here, a twinge there, a bit more sinus congestion and frequent headaches that interrupt my sleep. Gradually, I realize I’m just not feeling right. At other times though, there’s an ominous crack followed by sharp pain, which makes me yelp and immediately schedule an appointment.

 I’ve realized other areas of my life are very similar. Unless there’s a loud crash, I often don’t realize when important things and relationships slip out of alignment. So this Thanksgiving season, I’m going to check my alignment. Care to join me?

 1) Vertical alignment – There is an old hymn that says to “Count your blessings, name them one by one.” I’m making a list and checking it twice, just like Santa. Putting things in black and white makes us more aware of them. I’m not denying that sometimes life is just plain hard, but if I make a list, I realize the blessings God has given me far outweigh the challenges in my life. I’m going to give thanks regardless of my circumstances and focus on cultivating an “attitude of gratitude.”

 2)  Internal alignment – This one can be tough. I saw a blanket once that read, “God give me the grace to endure my blessings.” Haven’t we all thought that at one time or another? There are people we love and care about—but don’t relish spending any actual time with. Just admitting that makes me want to squirm, but there it is. I want to keep short accounts, so this Thanksgiving Eve, I’m going to have a chat with God about how I can better understand and love some of my “blessings.”

3) Horizontal alignment – Take a look around. Who’s going to be at your family’s Thanksgiving table? Who isn’t? Have you thought about crazy aunt Jane who lives alone (see #2 above), or the elderly neighbor down the street? How about the single mother from the PTA or your church? Most of us have more than enough food on our Thanksgiving table. Why not set an extra plate or two this year?

 I’m off to make a few phone calls. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! May your day be filled with love, laughter and wonderful memories.

 Blessings, Connie Mann