Thank You, Readers

By Annie Lane

November 28, 2019 4 min read

Dear Readers: In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to thank all of you — my readers. I particularly want to single out those of you who have reached out by offering your questions and opinions. Without you, the column would not be possible. To celebrate this special day, I'd like to share one of my favorite poems, because it helps remind us that noticing the simple pleasures of life brings us the most joy.

"We Thank Thee," by Ralph Waldo Emerson

For flowers that bloom about our feet,

Father, we thank Thee.

For tender grass so fresh, so sweet,

Father, we thank Thee.

For the song of bird and hum of bee,

For all things fair we hear or see,

Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For blue of stream and blue of sky,

Father, we thank Thee.

For pleasant shade of branches high,

Father, we thank Thee.

For fragrant air and cooling breeze,

For beauty of the blooming trees,

Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For this new morning with its light,

Father, we thank Thee.

For rest and shelter of the night,

Father, we thank Thee.

For health and food, for love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends,

Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

Dear Readers: Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday because it helps us focus on all the many blessings we have in our lives. There is a book on this topic that I highly recommend: "The Simple Act of Gratitude," by John Kralik.

Kralik tells us how he turned his life around completely by disciplining himself to send one thank-you note each day for an entire year. Rather than obsessing about the things that upset him, he forced himself to find things for which he was grateful.

From that same place of gratitude, a number of readers wrote in to share about being grateful for each day.

Dear Annie: This is in response to "Fearing the Future As An Old Man." You are starting from a good place: Gratitude is the key component of a successful old age. So why are you sabotaging yourself? You have no idea of what the coming years will be like, any more than you did as a teen. There is so much to look forward to and yet you are projecting a negative existence that will more than likely never happen. Your body will change, so exercise and eat well and you may end up like my 90-year-old female friend who is in a long-distance bicycle group or my 73-year-old brother-in-law who just finished a full triathlon.

You sound as if you have gifts and talents, so look for those who need what you have, and forget about the judgments of youngsters. Those in assisted living may have mental or physical needs that require caretakers, and they, too, may be very grateful for their existence. Add a dose of acceptance to your gratitude, and you're good to go.

I am 84 and just got back from the gym. — The Best Time of Life

Dear The Best Time of Life: Thank you for sharing your optimism and gratitude.

"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]

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