Claire Martin

Thanksgiving Thanks

Ok, I’ll start.

Its Thanksgiving.. and as per tradition.. it’s time to list all that I am grateful for.

This year, however, I find myself in a strange position.

2016 has not been a good year. In fact it’s been the shits.

For the first time in forever, I’m struggling to find anything positive to reflect on..





John Mann, Gord Downie

Nice, France

Syria (again and again)

I could go on to list so many more atrocities — sad passings or diagnosis’ — it has me shaking my head. And this year isn’t even over yet.

Is it because we’re so connected that awful world events feel so personal? Or are we truly living in a terrible time?

Does every generation look back at one point, and say “man, that was the worst”?

This sense of despondency however, goes against my nature – I’m not usually one to find the bleakness more memorable than all else.

So here goes.. here’s me turning this around.. here’s my 2016 thankful list.claires-crutches-copy

  1. I got cancer. Yep – know this: I’m grateful. I discovered a community of wonderful people lined up to help me. Friends and family from all corners of the world inundated me with messages of absolute and unconditional love.. I felt supported, cared for and STRONG. I look at the future now with a sense of resolution, power and purpose that I realize, now, had waned in my 40’s. Thank you cancer – you tried to kick me down and, instead, you’ve made me invincible.50-is-beautiful-copy
  1. I was unemployed. Oh yes – I am grateful for the experience of being unemployedfor almost 4 months at the beginning of the year. Prior to 2016 I had made my career my everything. I had put my job at the top of my priority list, above and to the detriment of all else, and had doggedly climbed that career ladder. Unemployment, initially made me feel useless. Then I took a deep breath, started volunteering, took some cooking lessons, and chilled-the-f*ck-out. And the best part of being unemployed? You do what you want to do – and you refocus on what matters. If I had not been unemployed I would not have the perspective that I have today.claire-is-50-copy
  1. Hitting 50! I am officially half a century old. It’s astounding! My body – especially now – is a bit beaten up. I haven’t been able to run, to work out in about 5 months and my muscle tone has all gone. (I’m slightly flabby!) And, you know what? I’m ok with it. I have discovered that with age, your body simply doesn’t look like it used to. I have to be honest; I’m kinda revelling in the softness of it all! I honestly feel fabulous at 50!

So that’s my thankful list.. it’s not your usual, I know.. but then neither am I!

Join in the conversation.. tell me, what are you grateful for?

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  • Reply Jody Vance October 8, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    I’m thankful for people who love me through my tough times. I’m thankful for a happy and healthy child. I’m thankful for a warm home, delicious food shared with friends. I’m thankful for my favourite pillow. I could go on.

  • Reply Jan October 8, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    On this Thanksgiving 2016, I am thankful that my health continues to be stable and that I will successfully celebrate my 10 year anniversary from emergency brain surgery in a few months. I am thankful that I have food in my belly, a roof over my head, clothes to wear, and that I have wonderful husband and extended family. I have a job that makes going to work seem less like a “job” and more like a joy. I am truly blessed.

    • Reply Claire Martin October 9, 2016 at 9:05 am

      Love your list, Jan.. thank you!

  • Reply Cecilia October 10, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Happy Thanksgiving! 2013 was my year for cancer – sure puts life and what’s important into perspective quickly. I may be 57 but I had babies in my 40s so really have no choice but to take on whatever life throws at me and just keep moving – not always easy, as you know! Hope you are enjoying the sunshine today in our beautiful Vancouver. Here’s to Health, Happiness and Gratitude!

    • Reply Claire Martin October 10, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      Best. Reply. Ever! Thanks Cecilia.. and congratulations to you too.. I agree, the “just keep moving” sentiment is simple and the best. Here’s to health, happiness and gratitude.

  • Reply Florence Spencer October 11, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Claire–I am thankful that I had a chance to get to know you via chatting this way and in this time of your experience of life. I used to watch you on TV. You were so poised and dignified and i thought you were perfect-but you know what I like the Claire Martin I am reading about now. Your honesty and a colourful word here and there really does make you more “perfect” if you know what I mean.
    Like your sharing a lot. Hang in there “girl” and keep sharing! You are helping us more than you know. I hope this makes sense.
    Florence Spencer

  • Reply Claire Martin October 11, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Florence.. it soo makes sense. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the stories.. that’s exactly what we hope to do here.. share stories that connect us.. so thank you too! Here’s to “hanging in” together!!

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