When you think of Thanksgiving, what do you picture? Do you picture scenes of turkey and football and the Macy's parade? Or do you think of the many, many things you have to be grateful for? After all, that is what Thanksgiving is all about, isn't it? I believe that the holiday of Thanksgiving is so special, and should be celebrated for what it is: a day of thanks, a day to recognize your many blessings. Here's a list of ten things that you may take for granted, but should ultimately be thankful for:

1. Family

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Families come in all shapes and sizes. Whether or not you always get along with yours is beside the point. Having a group of people that love you and care for you, a support system that you share a bloodline with is irreplaceable. Treat yours as such.

2. Friends

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If there's one thing I have learned in my 21 years of life, it is that friends can be found in the least likely of places. Those people that love you and care for you but aren't obligated to; those are your friends. Friendship is one of the greatest gifts in life; celebrate and appreciate your friends.

3. Health

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Health is really the kind of thing that you don't value until it's gone. You are breathing, your heart is beating, you exist. Take advantage of being able-bodied and moving. God knows there are thousands of people who would love to be in your shoes. Life is a gift, that's why they call it the present.

4. Time

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They say time flies, and we all know it's true. That being said, seize the day, and seize your future. We as humans spend too much time dwelling in the past. The happiest people are those who forgive and forget, those who focus their energy on the future, not the past.

5. Pets

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Those little furry friends that you can't picture your life without. Give your animal an extra squeeze today. Spend a little extra time with them today. Remember, they may just be a single part of your world, but to them, you are their entire world. (I love you, Stormy!)

6. Home

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Whether you have one place you call home, or if you're like me and have multiple places you know as home, be grateful you have one. It may be cliche, but there truly is no place like home. There is no place like the one where you feel safe, loved, and comfortable.

7. Education

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I know the stress of school can be overbearing sometimes, but all in all, we are extremely lucky to be receiving an education. Knowledge is power, and we can use that power to build the life we want to live. Appreciate your education and give it your all now; your future self will thank you for it.

8. Holidays

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Holidays are so much more than a day off of school/work. Holidays are a day to come together with your loved ones, eat good food, and simply relax. Those days are so, so important. Cherish them. Celebrate them, and don't be afraid of over-celebrating. Merry everything and a happy always.

9. Nature

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When I spend time in nature, even if it's just spending a little more time gazing out the moving car window, I am reminded of the beautiful world God created for us. We have the privilege of living in God's art gallery, so see and enjoy as much of it as you can. (That being said, we must take care of it - it's the only planet we have!!)

10. Yourself

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Ever heard the saying, "You are the one who's going to give yourself everything"? It's completely and utterly correct. That being said, love yourself. I don't care what anyone else says; it's so important to put yourself first sometimes. After all, how can you care for another if you cannot care for yourself? How can you love another if you do not love yourself?

Too often we get caught up in the hectic, beautiful mess that is life, and we forget to stop and take time to look around. Enjoy your heaps of turkey, but don't forget what Thanksgiving is really all about: being grateful and thankful for the life you live.