Thanks Giving

A house burns down. A loved one dies. A relationship falls apart. A love ends. A lifetime of work comes to a crashing halt. Mother nature chews up homes and spits out splinters. When the bedrock of one’s life is shaken, the structures above it give way.

When everything you knew is no longer valid and life as you knew it is scattered to the wind, what continues to be true? What pieces of your life do you collect up and take with you?

What is it that you hold in your two hands and say “Thank God I have this.”

Maybe that thing you hold is a loved one, a treasured snapshot, a letter, a phone with a loved one on the other end, a piece of art, or a piece of toast handed to you by a friend. Maybe it’s just ashes that’s left, and you’re thankful for the life you still have. Regardless, when all is lost, it is the simple, beautiful things that remain that you give thanks for.

Things turned upside down for me a week ago when I got honest about some difficult things going on in my life. I stood up for myself, got honest, and took a stand for what it is I want.

Then, I my placed my life into a crucible and lit a match.

My life has been re-written a million times in just one week. Up is down. Down is east. Left is right. Day is night. Right is wrong. My structured life with pretty little hospital corners and black and white decisions no longer exists. I live in a world of gray. Now, my pristine bed is unmade, and—the irony isn’t lost on me—the sheets I sleep on are torn from all my tossing and turning.

What remains? Beautiful, profound things. Friendship. Family. Sunlight. A mouthful of food when I’m hungry. Sleep. A snapshot. A journal. A blanket to keep warm. The view from atop a mountain. An air mattress to sleep on. A vegetable stand at the farmers’ market. A slice of blueberry bread. Love.

When all is lost, it becomes a lot easier to see what’s truly important. The frivolous items or ideas I collected up and held close for safekeeping have fallen away. I don’t need those things any more. I give thanks to the true things. My friends. My family. Sunlight on the ocean. Food in my belly. The feel of the sun on my face.

What remains is love.In the spirit of giving thanks, my friend Jennifer Perrillo of In Jennie’s Kitchen, and a handful of other concerned food writers, would like to encourage you to think about giving back to the people around you in need. Perhaps that person in need is a friend, a family member, or a stranger begging for help on the side of the road. What ever help you can give today, please be fearless in this regard. Because a helpful hand really can make a difference.

If you’d like to help a hungry child in America get the food they need, please stop by Share Our Strength to make a donation.

Here are some other food bloggers who are spreading the word of thanks:

Backseat Gourmet

Bowl Licker

Chef Druck Musings

Dirt & Noise

Dish Towel Diaries

Food Mayhem

Gluten-Free Girl

Healthy Green Kitchen

La Fuji Mama

My Kitchen Addiction

Motherhood & Me

Mrs. Wheelbarrow

Savory Sweet Life


The Merry Gourmet

The Adventures of a NYCity Mama


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Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.


  1. November 25

    Thank you for sharing what you’re feeling. I applaud your courage. May your new normal, in time, both surprise and delight you.

    • Food Woolf
      November 25

      “new normal” may be my favorite pair of words of the day. Thank you for them. And your support. It is deeply appreciated.

  2. November 25

    I’m thankful to be following your blog so that I had the opportunity to read this thought-provoking and honest message. All the best to you and yours.

  3. November 25

    Brooke, how I wished we lived closer, to linger over cup after cup of coffee and chat. I knew the moment I met you that your heart is filled with love, kindness, and that you were a person I wanted to get to know better. Though thousands of miles separate us, knowing I can call you a friend is something I am very thankful for today, tomorrow and for years to come. Be well, my dear. xo

  4. Upside-down in a week – so many changes since I saw you last. I’m close by for hugs and a listening ear if you need one. xoxoxo

  5. such a heart-felt post. You made me think… for quite a while…and sit and stare…and be thankful. Everyday we rush through life, we accumulate, we do, we run… but there are times when we really need to just stop and be thankful. Whatever it is that pains you I hope it goes away and you can take a breather. Sending you good thoughts.

  6. November 30

    I absolutely love your writing and this post almost had me in tears. Thanks for sharing, and for making me pause and think about all I have. I hope things get better, sending happy thoughts your way.

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