Everyday should be a day where we pause to say thanks, but today, Thanksgiving, is the one annually designated for us to come together with family and friends, break bread and celebrate our blessings. No matter your feelings behind the politics of the day and how it came to be (every year, with good reason, there are host of essays honoring the Native Americans for whom today’s celebration is fraught with resentment), surely we can agree that the current sentiment, for most, is in the right place.

In that spirit, I’m skipping the pop culture commentary, news updates and relationship advice to take a moment to reflect on five things I am thankful for:

1.     Family/friends
I chose to stay in New York today to celebrate with my boyfriend and friends, mostly my West Coast crew who choose to travel for Christmas when they have more vacation time.  The food won’t be like my mother’s, of course (even though we do have a mother present who sho’ nuff can throw down), but I am blessed to be a part of many families, whether we are bonded by blood or friendship.

2.     Health
Sometimes I play superwoman, against my better judgment. I don’t always get as much rest as I should, and the inability to slow down has left me super-sick several times.  Last year on Thanksgiving, I couldn’t breathe out of my nose, which meant I couldn’t taste dinner. I was miserable and slept though most of the day.  This year, I can breathe and am looking forward to whatever my best friend’s mom is preparing.

3.     Accomplishments
Like many I get so caught up on focusing on what I want to do and haven’t done yet, I forget about all the things that I have. This morning, I sat with the vision board and list of resolutions I created earlier this year and circled all the things I had actually done. Turns out, I’m farther along than I thought. You probably are too.

4.     Failures
No one lives a life where “All they do is win.” We all have ups, and yes, fortunately downs. We usually beat ourselves up over them, but there’s another way to look at it. Failure could be an opportunity to learn a lesson, build our character and try again. You’re only failing when you fall down and stay down.

5.     Self-esteem
As part of my job as a life coach, I’m a listening ear for lots of people who are trying to work through dilemmas in their personal lives. The root cause of so many of them is hurt.
People who build their confidence hurting others, and people who don’t have the confidence to walk away when they encounter the former.  I didn’t always know when to say when, set standards, or identify flags early on. Now that I can? I’m living a much better life, and very thankful for it.

What are you most thankful for?

Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk