Every November, it’s my first instinct to write about why I’m thankful. Seems to be a pretty solid theme since Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it’s nice to take a moment and reflect on what makes me feel grateful for this life I lead.

Some years are harder to do this than others. I feel more inclined to be sad this holiday season given this will be the first time we are facing all these family get togethers without my mother present. I can’t even imagine these holidays without her here and yet, I also know that she would not want me squandering time at family parties, occasions she cherished above all else, by being only sad. I know she’d much rather see all of us celebrating everything she did to make our holidays special in the first place. The beautiful tables she set; the incredible dishes she made; the bawdy jokes she told. The secret look she’d give when a relative’s pot luck contribution wasn’t quite up to snuff; the slightly passive aggressive tips she’d offer in the midst of me carving the bird; the crispiest bits of skin or moistest pieces of meat she’d sneak away to the boys, wondering aloud to no one in particular after she already helped herself to a bite: ‘have you ever had anything more delicious in your whole life?’


I may always be sad that she’s no longer with us at Thanksgiving, but I am grateful for the memories she left behind. In my heart, I know she’s somewhere happy and proud that the traditions she held so dear will continue even though she’s gone. For that, her enduring love and legacy, I am grateful.

Another reason I give thanks this year is it’ll be the first Thanksgiving for my new baby nephew. Barely five months old, he won’t taste anything, understand anything or remember anything but just knowing that he’s there with his family, from his three cousins who adore him to his 98 year old great grandmother who always gets the first kiss, is reason enough to rejoice.

ben-lee-properties-a-season-of-thanksgiving-2I’m thankful for my work. It was a good year to be a residential realtor. There were some tough transactions, without a doubt. To put it into perspective, there were some times I wondered if going back to the relentless hours of being a lawyer might be a calmer and mellower existence. But, at the end of the day, I feel very fortunate to do what I do. I am happy when I get the highest sales for my sellers and the best bargains for my buyers. I like having my finger on the pulse of our neighborhood, knowing what’s going on, what’s coming up and how it relates to the global economy at large. You can learn a lot about what is happening in the country based on a neighborhood’s current economical growth and I find that aspect of the business quite fascinating.

Finally, I’m extremely grateful for my family. My wife and three sons are everything to me. They are the motivating factor for setting that alarm clock way too early, for taking those after-business-hours urgent phone calls, for answering all the emergency texts that come in. When life feels toughest, I look to them to remember why I work so hard and feel thankful that what I do helps provide us with the lucky life that we lead. We aren’t hungry, we aren’t homeless, we are generally pretty happy, we are loved. When it’s all said and done, what more could any of us want?

So, at the brink of a holiday that asks us to reflect and acknowledge reasons to be thankful, even in a year that could easily be dismissed as one that (for my family) was very sad, I look to my loved ones and know that I’m blessed. Each day that I can wake up with a roof over my head and two healthy feet on the ground, is a day I am grateful for. From my family to yours, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!