Pat Katz Pat Katz




PAUSE – 16.13 – Collective Gratitudes

Grateful-wToday’s Pause message is given over to the collective voice of Pause readers.

You may recall, back in February of 2016, I celebrated 30 years in business. As a way of marking the milestone and expressing my gratitude I invited readers to enter a draw for three give-aways. To enter the draw, Pause readers were asked to share a few lines about something they were grateful for in their own lives.

The responses were amazing and inspiring. I thought you might appreciate them, too. And, so I asked contributors for permission to share their gratitudes with the Pause community.

With thanks for the gift of permission from those who said yes, that collection appears here. I hope you find these reflections as insightful and uplifting as I did. Thanks, Pause Readers. You rock!

Pour yourself a cuppa coffee and dive into this pool of Collective Gratitudes.




GF writes: I’m grateful for connection. To those who came before me who held me in their arms. To those I walk beside, with hand folded into hand. To those I break a path for, unknown, imagined, loved.


SM writes: I am grateful for becoming more content and accepting of what I bring and contribute to the world.


JC writes: I am grateful to be alive and healthy.  I am grateful to be a mother, wife, sister and daughter, and I am grateful to have insight to recognize that I do the best I can everyday.


MS writes: I’m thankful for so many things; good health, good friends, a wonderful job and a loving family.  I am also thankful for unanswered prayers as the song goes.  Many times over the course of my life I have tried to head down a particular path because I thought I really wanted or needed to do that; but the universe had other plans for me.  Of course I was disappointed and discouraged because I felt that I had somehow missed a huge opportunity.  In hindsight the direction my life took was exactly right for me.  What I thought I wanted would not have been nearly as fulfilling as where I am now.  In spite of myself, I have ended up exactly where I need to be.


JB writes: I think the one thing I am most grateful today is for the learning and growth that I have had over the past 30 years, especially the last 10 years.  I have been surrounded by three key leaders who are amazing and do hard work with me to be vulnerable, courageous, authentic, and to stretch further by providing a culturally safe environment for me to feel I can do that work with them.


MD writes: From a snowy walk with my dogs to a glass of wine with a girlfriend, I often find myself overwhelmed with happiness. I am so grateful that I am able to really notice and appreciate all the truly amazing little things that surround me. I love all kinds of music, food, people, art, weather and am so glad that I am easily pleased.


AZ writes: More and more I think about being grateful for my upbringing and how it prepared me to navigate adulthood.  My parents separated early and I used to view it as only a sad and negative thing; but my siblings and I were supported by extended family members. I realize now that enduring the entire situation made me more self sufficient, resilient, and independent.  I have to be grateful for that.


EF writes: Why am I grateful? I wake up and say thank you for existence and the incredible adventure my life has been and the fact that I am not cold, not wet, not hungry. I am grateful that at 80 years I am physically able to go to work four days per week at one of the most interesting jobs I have ever had. I am grateful that my cognitive ability allows me to play bridge – regularly ranked above the 90th percentile for my age group. Grateful that my hearing is unimpaired and I can enjoy music ranging from classic rock to performances by our wonderful Amati String Quartet. Grateful for family and friends. Grateful for writers, artists, composers, musicians, people like you who have devoted so much energy and time to helping others. Grateful for those who serve, build, repair and ensure our comfort and safety. With a feeling of gratitude, I live in Peace, Harmony, Joy and Love.


VO writes: I am grateful for the love and friendship of my friend LeaAnn. I met my best friend in grade one.  She has remained in the small town near where we grew up; I have lived overseas and moved to the city. No matter where we live or how much our lives change, our friendship is a constant. While filling out my passport application this year I realized we have known each other 43 years! It did not seem possible! We may speak regularly or once in a blue moon, but we always pick up where we left off and are there for each other no matter what.  For that, I am truly grateful!


MP writes: Grateful for the freedom of a farm childhood that grounded me with prairie roots steeped in tradition. Grateful for the tenacity to leave sights unseen because when you know from where you came, you’re comfortable most anywhere. Grateful for parents who loved me enough to say, “If you don’t go you’ll never know.” Grateful for 4-H and the opportunity to meet confident and influential women like you. Grateful for the wisdom to trust my inner voice. Grateful.


BC writes: One thing that I have been grateful for in the last 30 years is a monthly ladies club made of close friends.  We see each other fairly often for other things, but our monthly Ladies Night Out is just for us.  We have been meeting since the spring of 1993 and have done all sorts of fun activities as well as simply visiting and catching up.  We’ve listened to each other during weddings, divorces, births, deaths and all of life’s many challenges. We don’t ever see it ending and hope that as old ladies we will still be meeting monthly on a variety of adventures!


S H-G writes: I am grateful for my health and the health of my three children.


LB writes: If I have to pick one, the single thing I am most grateful for is my desire to find the good in everything and everyone instead of focusing on the misfortune of faults.  Although this is, and will always be something that I am working on, I believe that its value goes far beyond anything else that I believe or do.

This isn’t always easy, as so many people seem to thrive on beating others and themselves down, and I certainly can get caught up in that from time to time.

However, when I practice this trait I feel better about others, the world and myself. I feel that I help others to also feel better and in turn, I believe that it makes the world a better place. I know that I will always have a lot of learning and growing to do to make this a continuous mindset, but that is my second gratitude in that I know and love that there is always something and some way to improve one’s self.


DB writes: I am most grateful for the love and lives of my children!  They are 30 & 28 years old now but I nearly lost them both in 1991.  My son, to a nearly fatal kick to the chest by a horse and my daughter to cancer.  I am forever grateful for my happy ending that they both survived and thrived!


RR writes: There are a number of things I’ve been grateful for over the past 30 years, some of which are: an extremely happy marriage with two wonderful adult sons that we are very proud of; being there and assisting both my parents and my father-in-law through their illnesses and their passing; a great career in education as a teacher and administrator; good health; the opportunity to travel; great friends and family.


DW writes: I started faithfully taking a boot camp fitness journey about 3.5 years ago. Lots of times during out work outs, it gets tiring and grueling. I question why I got out of bed at 5:15 in the morning to put myself through this.

Our boot camp leader is not only my good friend but is an amazing inspiration. She always points out the positives to be grateful for:

  • We had a bed to get up out of
  • We were able to get up and stand on two legs
  • We have the energy to exercise
  • We have our health
  • We have the fortune of friends around us to exercise with and offer support
  • We have the finances to be able to drive to our exercise class and pay for it too

You get the picture.  When she says to us, “One more lap or set of stairs”, it is usually followed up with the words because we can.  Those three words put a lot of stuff in perspective.


CM writes: I am most grateful for my good health and my wonderful family.  Without either of those two things life would not be as enjoyable.


AH writes: I’m grateful my husband survived his heart attack double bypass 20 years ago. He now has chronic liver disease and he’s managing to hang in there.


SH writes: I am thankful for my three sisters. We are a close foursome.


TS writes: I am grateful for hardships that have taught me to appreciate life, my family and living in the moment. I am grateful for my health, for what yoga has given me on and off the mat. I am grateful that as I enter midlife I am in a position to spend time on things that truly matter like nurturing relationships and life experiences.


SH writes: I am so grateful for good health, for having a job when so many people don’t, a great marriage (40 years last May), and for having two beautiful healthy grown up children.  Also grateful for living on Vancouver Island, the most beautiful place in the world some say.


LE writes: I am so grateful for the love and support of my family. I decided to go back to school while raising three children and working full time. Without their help I would not have been able to get through it all.


LH writes: I am so grateful for my mother who passed away year ago. She allowed me to grow in ways I could never imagine. She allowed me just enough independence as a child and, as an adult, allowed me to make my own decisions throughout my life and never once said, “I told you so.”  She never made me feel guilty for not visiting as often as I wished I had. She fostered my lifelong love of reading, sports and games of all kinds. Most of all, she gave me unconditional love.


SC writes: I am grateful for my nearly 37 years on this planet. I am grateful that throughout those years life has not always been easy, but there has been so much good. The past couple of years have been difficult as well, but I am grateful that I have been able to attend events that have allowed me to cross paths with inspirational people such as yourself. I look forward to your emails and the little tidbits of enlightenment that they usually bring. Those difficult times make us stronger people. I am also grateful that throughout the journey of life I have been blessed with a sense of optimism, being able to see the rainbow through the clouds is a wonderful thing.


DS writes: This June PSW Architecture & Interior Design Ltd. will be celebrating it’s 20th year in business! I am the S in the PSW and managing partner for the firm.

It has been wonderful to be captain of our own ship – to create an office environment that is conducive to creativity and hospitality. We have a wonderful office cat Cleo, exotic Beta fish and relaxing Koi fish. Our clients love to meet at our office because the atmosphere is welcoming and stressless!

I am grateful that the chance we took in starting our own architectural firm has been successful and has provided us the opportunity to work on some wonderful projects in the province. We would encourage others to take the leap of faith.


SR writes: I am most grateful for the people in my life, family, friends and acquaintances. When I had cancer more than 10 years ago I learned to rely on others and found so much love in my life I could not believe it had been there all along waiting for me to accept. I learned to graciously accept peoples’ offers of help. Having cancer changed my life – in a positive way. I never think of it as a negative event.


JW writes: I am grateful for my love of nature. If it wasn’t for my parents’ evening walks in the park and weekend camping trips, I don’t think I would appreciate the great outdoors as much as I do. With my father now gone and my mother having limited mobility, I am even more thankful for those times at the park and the beach – the quiet moments of watching the sunsets or the crazy times watching the dogs and the nephews and nieces race through the tall prairie grass.


PD writes: I’m taking a leap. I’m retiring in the midst of economic and political change.  And you know something? I’m not even worried about what happens next. This is the right thing to do at this time – for my mental and physical health. I’m grateful that I have the courage and the support to do this.


TB writes: I am grateful for: the love of my husband and children; having a fulfilling job that gives me so much joy; living in a wonderful vibrant city that is close to our cottage; my health and my body; walking my dog every morning with my best friend; having a fabulous hair stylist who has given me a great haircut; Tim’s down the street that I can run to during the day; and the yoga studio that I go to. I am truly blessed with a wonderful life.


PO writes: Although over the course of the last 30 years, life has had many ups and downs, I can truly say I have been blessed. I am grateful for having the opportunity to grow up in rural Saskatchewan and to be able to continue to live in the countryside with its clean, fresh air and closeness to nature.

I am grateful for my family – my parents for encouraging me towards education as a way to a better life, and to my husband for being a great partner in life in general but particularly when we farmed. It was a lot of hard work but held many rewards. I am grateful for my 2 grown children for all the years of fun and fulfilling activities in the hockey rinks and volleyball courts. It was a great way to see this country. They continue to amaze me with their abilities, their resourcefulness and their “go get ‘em” attitudes.

I am also grateful to friends who have picked me up when life was difficult and when I had difficult decisions to make. Lastly I am grateful for my curious nature. Curiosity has led me in many different directions resulting in a very rewarding life.


DM writes: I have so much to be thankful for – our children, family, friends, a job, family, a home, a great country, our church. The list is endless when I really look at my life.

But this was a huge blessing. In 2009 one of our daughters was in a terrible car accident. They called our family in because she was not going to make it. There was nothing they could do for her. She was in a coma for 8 days. Every day the same – just keeping her comfortable till the end – 11 tubes hooked up to her swollen and bruised body. We prayed and my husband said the miracle will not be that she survives but how quickly she will recover.

She woke on the 8th day (which happened to be the day our oldest daughter died from cancer at the age of six many years before).  She progressed so fast the doctor wouldn’t even come to take the last tube out because he didn’t believe she could be where the nurses said she was.

This is a five year journey but the short of it is, she has a severe brain injury but is high functioning. She gave birth to our first grandchild Oct 1, 2015.  Although she gets very tired, she is a great Mom and is managing with his daddy’s help.  We are so very thankful for her, her man, and our grandson.  All our children are a huge blessing.


JC writes: In the past thirty years I have been very grateful for the shared wisdom and understanding of the many people who have supported me. This includes your e-newsletter. I¹m grateful for the love and caring that has strengthened me to live and love as best as I could each day. I am grateful for my resilience.  I recognize that I would never have survived or become resilient without all the people who have touched my life, most of whom may never know their impact on my well-being.  1986 was the year I lost my father to a workplace accident and gave birth to my second child, a son with a congenital heart defect, so I am marking my own 30 year anniversary.  I am grateful every day.


CG writes: I am a health care professional going through a divorce after 31 years of marriage. I did not think I was ever going to enjoy life again. Looking back I am grateful that a higher power put opportunities in my new path that have led me to rediscover myself. I am trying new things, speaking my mind, nurturing old relationships and forging new ones.


PG writes: Twenty years ago my husband, myself and our three children moved from Alberta (a province that was in a boom at the time) to Nova Scotia. Neither of us had jobs. We really took a leap of faith. About three weeks after we arrived I had a meltdown and felt certain that I had made a huge and irreversible mistake.

I decided about a year later to return to school, I took out a student loan, attended Dalhousie University and got a degree in Recreation Management. My husband went through a series of jobs and eventually obtained secure, long-term employment. I was able to find work in my field as well.

We are more prosperous than we’ve ever been. We are able to support charities and be generous with our families. I am very grateful for my husband’s tenacity and our life together here. Our three children have also obtained employment in their respective fields. We have a lot to be thankful for.


BM writes: Something I am grateful for in my life over the last 30 years is my faith that has been passed down to me from my grandparents, parents and one aunt (now 94 years young). My faith has brought me through many, many life situations and losses. With that faith came the gratitude to know and appreciate all of my blessings.


AC writes: I am grateful for my health which enabled me to work as school/financial school secretary for 30 years, and to take care of my family. All three children are teachers married to teachers; and they have given me four beautiful, smart and healthy grandchildren. For this most of all I thank God, each and every day. My faith is what carries me through life.


BC writes: Simply said, I am grateful for “being” and believing in possibilities. This life has given me many curves and opportunities. My resiliency is in being myself, practicing self-care, and my family/friends.


DD writes: I am grateful to keep “keeping on”. Some days, are great. Some are hard. Over the past 30 years I have learned that wherever I am, I’ve learned something that I can apply to my future especially in bad times. We need to go down to the valleys with those horrible experiences to really see ahead. When you climb out, you can use what you learned on top of the mountains. So really, good and bad times are important in life.


DM writes: I am grateful for support and encouragement from my peers and colleagues at work, my friends and my best friend, my husband.


TG writes: I must have a million things I am grateful for over the past 30 years, but the biggest highlights include:

  • Some really great teachers who helped form the person I am today.
  • Having lost my brother shortly after the birth of his daughter.  While the loss is something I will never truly get over, his beautiful daughter lives on and I’ve acquired 2 more nieces, a nephew and a brother in law from her mom’s new marriage.  Love was multiplied.
  • Working for several years in a locked Alzheimer’s ward. The privilege of seeing a glimmer of who some of those people were was such a reward.
  • Buying my first home, on my own, at the age of 24.
  • Meeting my husband online, playing cribbage in a Yahoo chat room.
  • Living in California for six years and coming home to AB/SK.
  • Finding my passion in Member Service, banking and most recently

The most joy and the 3 things I am most grateful for are my beautiful daughters – Julia, Liliana and Benni.  Life changers!


VS writes: I am grateful for good health and my dear family who I love and who love me.
I am grateful I have had both health and time to offer as a volunteer (35 yrs as a 4-H leader).


AM writes: I am grateful for the journey that I shared with my mother through her mental illness. My mother died 5 years ago. She was diagnosed as bipolar when I was five. She was in some sort of care all of my life and did not raise me and my siblings. As you can imagine, there was a lot of baggage in our relationship.

I am just glad that I had the time as an adult to work through the baggage and establish a good relationship with my mom. When I detached her from the title of mom, and just saw her as Mary, the person she was, it enriched both our lives. It gave me acceptance and helped to remove some of the bitterness. She was a hoot and one of the most child-like people (and I mean that in the best sense of the word) I have ever known.


LC writes:

What am I grateful for?

  • Faith in God whose loving care is never in doubt.
  • My wife and best friend.  She’s beautiful inside and out and
  • the kindest and brightest person I know.
  • Children and grandchildren
  • Memories of special people, especially Grandpa who is still the best example I know of a true gentleman.
  • Brain injury from a 1992 car crash.  Recovery was hard and some effects are still there, but I have learned so much from the opportunity to slow down and reflect on life, family, friends.
  • Sharing with other survivors continues to be a source of inspiration and strength.
  • A long career (37+ years) in government in the field of disabilities.

And, of course, PAUSE!  It still amazes me how often the messages have struck a chord in my heart.


JJ writes: This Feb 25 I will be sober 20 years! Gratitude!


MC writes: I’m grateful for my teachers, guides, mentors and co-learners. To offer your time and spirit to someone while they struggle and grow is a wonderful thing. I feel so loved.


TT writes: I am grateful for more time with my 95 year old Mom. I am grateful for my healthy husband, children, grandchildren & great granddaughter.
KC writes: I am so grateful for the last 30 years that my husband and I have been married. We celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary this June. It just keeps getting better! I am grateful that I understand the role that appreciation makes in your life and I never miss an opportunity to be thankful.


SF writes: I’m grateful for my Mom. She has become a very good friend of mine over the last 10 years since I moved back to Saskatoon. In this decade we have been through so many life transitions: births, deaths, marriages, health scares. My Mom always chooses to be positive. I see how she has to work on it, and I admire it.


SK writes: As I pass a significant birthday, the half-century mark, I could express appreciation for that milestone, or my marriage to my loving wife of almost 20 years, or my once-thriving professional career of more than 27 years. But, there is something more fundamental for which I am grateful.

Since birth, a gene in my make-up meant I was predisposed to develop ‘primary lymphedema’, a debilitating, painful, and psychologically impairing disease that is marked by extreme swelling (edema) of various body parts. This disease, for which there is no cure, gets progressively worse, once it takes hold of one’s body. For me, that downturn accelerated, rapidly, beginning in 2001.

Cue the gratitude. With the loving support of my wife, my own perseverance and determination, I located, researched and secured proper care, overseas. As a result, I am the beneficiary of life-saving and/or dramatically life-improving surgical interventions. Quality of life will be restored, eventually, prospects of longevity should be improved, and the joy of a full life should return.


JM writes: I am grateful for being able to steer my career in a direction that I felt very connected to (and still do). Rather than feeling that I needed to climb the corporate ladder, I knew in my soul that my reason for being was to help continue to nurture the development of others – skills, mindsets, behaviours and that this was what I wanted to focus on completely. This allowed me to take the leap away and start my own business 15 years ago. Feeling blessed and fortunate to have clients who continue to be curious about their growth.

This has also allowed me to be very involved in the lives of our 2 teenage sons. I have flexibility to make choices about my day and believe that I bring a consistency factor to their day – even when they come home for lunch with multiple friends! I would not trade it for the world!


DH writes: I am grateful that 30 years ago we moved to Saskatoon from Calgary. We were so pleasantly surprised when we moved here. First of all at that time, we were living in a province with under a million people and we had a lower cost of living and had access to better services than we did in Alberta.  We couldn’t figure that out. The biggest thing we noticed were the values of the people. In Saskatoon people care for one another, they work together, they form partnerships to build a better place for their families to live and grow. And they are such enthusiastic volunteers.  The past 30 years have provided me with many opportunities to be part of this wonderful community and I am forever grateful.


BK writes: I am grateful to yoga. I have been practicing for 30 years and I am still learning! There is a path for EVERYONE!


JP writes: I am grateful for the many students and their families whom I have met over the years, with many of whom I remain connected. More recently I have become a great-aunt to two wonderful little ones. I remain grateful for my mobility and health.


CS writes: So grateful for good health, family and being able to live in a place that feeds my soul.


DH writes: To list all of my blessings in the last 30 years would take pages. I am listing my top four:

1) A caring husband

2) Two children and two grandchildren

3) I am a cancer survivor

4) I am part of a community that fulfills my social, spiritual, physical and emotional needs.


EB writes: I am so grateful for my health, my wonderful family and friends.  They have been there for me through good times and bad.  Life would not be the same without one of them in my life.  I thank God every day.


PS writes: I am grateful for following:

  • Health (my older sister was diagnosed with cancer last year)
  • Family (my husband and I have been together since 1978 and we have two wonderful children in their 20’s)
  • Extended family (both sets of parents are alive ages ranging from 73-91; all of our siblings and their children are alive; numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins are alive)
  • Faith (someone is looking after us)
  • Friends (to share life’s ups and downs, laughter and good times together)
  • Career (work hard)
  • Retirement (play harder)
  • A chance to see the world!

For these, and many more things, I AM GRATEFUL.


KL writes: It’s difficult to pick only one thing I’m grateful for, but in the past 30 years watching my four daughters grow up and become friends as well wonderful young women has definitely been one of my blessings for which I am truly grateful.


SM writes: What am I grateful for? I love thinking about this question as it puts me in a fantastic frame of mind. There are so many things to be thankful for, so many people in my life that I truly treasure, so many opportunities for rewarding work, fun times, helping others, celebrating birthdays, new babies, new homes, new jobs, and the list goes on.  So, today I’m going to say that I’m most grateful for having so many things in my life to be thankful for. They far outweigh the ‘down’ times.


KW writes: I’m grateful that I had 20 years of wonderful bosses/mentors at the same company. Now that the company has been sold and they are gone, I no longer have that.  I’ll keep using all those lessons learned and move forward.


RW writes: I am writing from New Zealand and will start the Milford Track (five day hike out of Queenstown) tomorrow. One more check off the Bucket List!

I have been a Registered Nurse for 25 years and was a nursing assistant for 5 years prior to that, so spent 30 years in health care. I am taking a year off work and have titled it My Year of Living Fabulously. This was inspired unfortunately by the sudden deaths of several friends only in their late 40’s, as well as the recent cancer diagnosis of a very close friend who had just turned 50. I am grateful for my health, my career and my family. I am grateful for every friendship, every sunrise, every cup of coffee. Every thump of a stamp in my passport that makes my heart sing.

So far in my fabulous year I have lovingly renovated a home in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and visited Qatar, Cambodia, Malaysia and New Zealand. Australia is next for 6 weeks. I wish every woman could feel confident enough to reach her dreams.

My advice would be to remove any barriers and overcome the opposition. Yes, you can rent your house out, yes you can remortgage your house or withdraw from your RRSP. Yes you can take a leave of absence from work or at least negotiate a month off without pay. Yes you can tell your kids or neighbors that you know what you are doing and are going to do it. Open up the possibilities and say YES!


LS writes: I am so grateful for all the trials and tribulations of the last thirty years.  They’ve shaped how I prioritize the yes’es and the no’s in my world, although I’m still learning to say no and feel comfortable with that answer.  The ups and downs of life show we are living and not just existing.


JF writes: I am grateful for many things but today the first thing that comes to mind is evolving. I am so glad I am evolving from that unhappy person of my youth. It takes time but I am grateful for all my life lessons that continue to help me evolve into the person I am striving to be. And it’s just plain great to be happy, really happy most days!


DS writes: I’m grateful for having had a pretty great life for the past 30 years. I raised my daughter on my own, enjoyed several awesome job opportunities with two employers. I fulfilled two long-standing dreams – one mental (college took 7 years to get a 2-year Associate degree) and one physical (swam across a lake which took less than 3 hours).  It has not been all sunshine and roses. There has been downs; but overall the successes of the last 30 years have given me inspiration for embarking on the next 30.


RP writes: I am grateful for many things in my life: family, friends, and an acquaintance and a coworker who sent me your newsletter. I have enjoyed your stories, insights and art.


CR writes: I am most grateful for my family and for the work that has allowed me to feed, clothe and love them well. I lost my husband to cancer 19 years ago and was able to obtain a full time position with the U of S the following year. I am still there and my four children are now grown and pursuing their own lives. They still have time for their mom though and are now bringing me grandchildren! Such a blessing.


SB writes: From values exercises in home economics classes – to the challenges of doing the right thing for my students when I was in the classroom – to teaching my child right from wrong – to leading volunteer members and leaders in Toastmasters, I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned in the constant struggle to be true to my own values.  I have made mistakes but I have learned to own them, apologize, learn and move forward.


KP writes: Over the past 30 years I have been grateful for the love and support of a fantastic husband, the opportunity to do meaningful work, and a hobby that allows me to travel and compete.


KL writes: Something I’m most grateful for is time spent with family. I was fortunate enough to have a lot of quality time with my mom growing up (half hour drive to school and back each day as she taught and I attended school in a neighbouring town). That commute was sometimes a burden as it would have been so nice to be home sooner at the end of the day, but the time gave us the opportunity to share, to connect and to make a lot of great memories!


BB writes: I’m grateful for the ability to read. This might not be something that most people think about being grateful for, but without this ability I wouldn’t be typing this email to you! Reading has given me the freedom to pursue my work, fuel my knowledge, expand my horizons, escape to various locations and adventures, and answer some questions.


EO writes: I am grateful for many things in my life. Every day I am grateful for the blessings of never having had to experience war or a devastating weather event such as flood or tornado. For my family, especially my husband and three amazing children, the business that makes us (and three other families) a living, the wild birds that turn my whole yard into a soup kitchen. But most of all, very recently, becoming part of a group of passionate and compassionate local people who together have sponsored a family of Syrian refugees to come to our city and resettle.


MR writes: I am grateful for my health, for living in this beautiful country and for my sister Leslie.


MK writes: I’m thankful for life everyday! There is so much awesome in this world! I’m thankful for having the means to take a trip to the beautiful Hawaii, and a good job and home to return to. I’m thankful for my kids, who are growing up fast!


HS writes: I am grateful for so much that has happened to me over the past 30 years. In fact I am very grateful just for the journey itself. But if I have to pick one thing it is for the privilege to be a parent to my five kids. The oldest is 28 so I have been on the parent journey for almost 30 years and now my oldest has blessed me with a grandchild. And so another journey begins!

All I ever wanted to be, growing up, was a mother and it hasn’t disappointed. I am very proud of how my kids have turned out, even though they are really only just beginning their own journeys. The youngest are 16 year old twin boys with so much adventure ahead of them, they can’t even imagine. I look forward to being a part of all five of their journeys.


KL writes: There are so many things I am grateful for, but one of the most recent came about in a very sad way.
Before 2014, I had never been on a winter vacation. A friend and her husband – who was also a friend – used to go to Los Angeles quite a lot and both loved it. Sadly, he died quite young, and his widow wanted to continue visiting, and shopping in LA, but she didn’t want to go alone. She called me and asked if I’d be interested in travelling with her. Of course, I said yes. We’ve been every year since, and this past week, we got back from our third trip. I am grateful for the break from cold (even though this winter has been mostly mild), and to be able to have taken in beautiful scenery, the ocean, sight seeing, and some truly great shopping and to have been able to spend time with a good friend.


JA writes: I am grateful that this year will be my 30th wedding anniversary on July 19th.  What a ride it has been…much like the stock market ups and downs. I wouldn’t change a thing, and I feel truly blessed to still have the love of my life be the love of my life.


JM writes: Over the last 30 years, I am so grateful for the education I was able to receive, and the work opportunities I’ve been granted. I’ve met wonderful people who have inspired me along the way. I’ve had a supportive family and fun people to work with, so it’s been a great ride!!  Looking forward to retirement too, in the next four to six years.


CF writes: Something I am grateful for in my life over the past 30 years is the burning desire to grow my faith in Jesus Christ.


ED writes: I have much to be thankful for over the past 30 years, my parents, my workplace, my friends….but perhaps the one constant over the 30 years has been my husband.  We met the first day of high school back in September 1985 and we’ve been together through thick and thin ever since.

Adam was there for me particularly when I had a spinal cord tumor removed in 2008 and faced paralysis and worse. He was there for me in 2013 when both my parents and five other family members passed away unexpectedly.  He is there for me every day, no matter what it brings.

He isn’t always the most demonstrative person, but he reminds me of my strength, resiliency and compassion every day. And he has always been supportive when I felt the need to set boundaries, step back and assess things and even bow out of stuff that isn’t really me. How grateful I am for his presence in my life.


JL writes: I am very grateful for my family. I have a wonderful husband and three sons as well as a fantastic extended family. I am grateful for my job as I work with a terrific company and co-workers. I am grateful for all of the fur babies (our dog Kayso, kitten Nessie and our grand puppies and cats). They give so much joy in our life.


JF writes: I am grateful to have God walk with me through the last 30 years. This has allowed me to grow to be the person I am today and to have an incredible number of adventures alone and with others. Growing to speak confidently in front of groups, hiking with my dog, meeting my husband and developing our relationship, cycle touring with my husband and dog, working through the loss of both my parents and several friends, changing jobs and teaching people to live life to the fullest wherever they find themselves.


DG writes: I am about to retire after 35 years of employment with a Saskatchewan based company.  I am grateful that I am able to retire, and that I have had the opportunity to work for a company that has allowed me to grow and stretch myself in ways that I may not have, had I worked elsewhere.


CM writes: I am grateful for how far I have come in my life and the success that I have achieved. I came from a single parent family, and I ended up being a single parent family myself for a long time with three kids. Life was hard but I never gave up. I kept pushing onward through all the difficulties and struggles I faced in my uphill battle climbs. I went back to college and earned a certificate which I used to find a better job to help take care of my family. I ended up staying with the company and I kept pursuing excellence and am now almost complete in my Canadian Payroll Association course to become a Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP). I keep the onward and upward strong in my life as I want to not only do better for myself but to also show my kids that with a little hard work (sometimes more!) you can succeed in life, and that you do not need to stay where you are. You can take life by the horns and make the most of it!


MA writes: The last 30 years have given me much for which to be grateful, including:

  • A job that aligns with values and interests.  It is not without its stresses, but I realize that I am incredibly fortunate to be in the position to get paid to do things that I would otherwise be doing on a voluntary basis. I am also grateful for my colleagues. I have the pleasure to work with a team of young, smart and principled people who keep me on my toes and keep me young.
  • A husband who supports my interests and passions, even if he might secretly think they are bit crazy.
  • My three sons who have strong personalities and have each found their special niche in life.
  • My dog who makes me laugh every day.


AC writes: It may sound weird, but I am grateful for the car accident I was in almost three years ago. I was rear-ended on my way home from work and the next two and a half years were filled with challenges. I didn’t realize that soft tissue injuries would take so long to heal, nor the impact that they would have on my life. All I wanted was to get back to normal. I needed help with simple things like opening a jar of spaghetti sauce and carrying laundry up the stairs. My back, neck and shoulders hurt all the time. I had endless appointments with my doctor, kinesiologist and chiropractor for acupuncture, physiotherapy, massage, counseling. As the weeks turned into months, I became frustrated and discouraged that the healing wasn’t happening as fast as I wanted. I had to take medication for depression and ended up attending a pain clinic where I met other people suffering from chronic pain.

Here are some of the things I learned:

  • Be patient with myself and others
  • Be kind to myself
  • Do something nice for someone else who is in need
  • Ask for help
  • Delegate
  • I’m not alone
  • Advocate for myself
  • Appreciate the little things
  • Lower my expectations (80% is okay!)
  • Take one day at a time
  • Acceptance
  • Focus on the positive (avoid Stinking Thinking)
  • Go outside everyday
  • Make time to exercise
  • Focus on the moment
  • Breathe

I already knew a lot of the things on my list, but it was the actual practice of these things that made the difference.


CB writes: I’m thankful for great parents, in-laws and three wonderful children, but most importantly, I’m thankful for my husband of almost 17 years, Kevin. We truly were high school sweethearts, and he’s been supportive of me through years of schooling (college, university, 2 professional designations and a CPA specialty course), moves, parenting a special needs child, and numerous other challenges. He’s supportive of my work, and my hobbies. He even watched the kids while I pursued a life-long dream to attend the Calgary Stampede, dragging my horse across three provinces to participate in the parade seen by over a million people. He truly makes it possible to do what I do, and I’m very thankful for him.


CM writes: I am grateful for all the support I have received from my family following the catastrophic health issues with my husband. They have helped me see that all is not lost and that life truly does go on just in a different direction than what you had planned.


CN writes: I am grateful for the simple pleasures in life as I age that I did not pay attention to when younger – like a trek in a forest, a walk on a sandy beach, awakening to a sunrise or just a sunny day.  I am thankful for family and friends – long timers or newly developed.


BK writes: I’m grateful for my Health and to Canada. I came to Canada almost 32 years ago from Hungary as a young girl without speaking a world of English. I have met some great people in these years. I learned a lot and I realized how good can people be. I also learned a lot about me – who strong a person can become or be when they are facing a lot of challenges alone. Life without my family being here has been a rollercoaster with a lot of loneliness and lots of tears. But I’m blessed to have people in my life who actually truly do care about me and my wellbeing. Thank you to all who know me and love me!


KG writes: I am grateful for my parents who were patient with me and my friends and family who help keep me balanced.


KL writes: I’m grateful for many things in my life but the one that stands out the most at the moment is this past December, I had the opportunity to go to Australia to visit my daughter.  We saw many wonderful places and had many incredible experiences, but most of all I cherish the time she and I were able to spend together!


CB writes: I’m exceedingly thankful that:

  • Something lying within prompted this shy, uncertain and risk adverse individual to do something different, take a leap.
  • My parents fully supported my move which triggered their empty nest with a significant distance between us.
  • I successfully rode the waves of change in a series of difficult organizational re-structurings and geographic moves, building resiliency and professional competency along the way.
  • I built a network of great colleagues and friends across the province.  I was fortunate to have exceptional managers for most of my career who empowered me, supported my professional development, and valued my contribution to the organization.
  • When my employer encouraged our staff to partner with other like-organizations, I took it to heart.  After giving up on the notion of marriage and a family in my mid-30s, I met my husband at a Community Economic Development workshop for our respective departments – provincial and federal governments. Five years later we welcomed a son into our world, the greatest gift I ever received.
  • I’m in the twilight years of my career and fortunate that although I have some trepidation I can look forward to turning a page in the book of my life’s journey. A new world of leisure, volunteer and/or paid job opportunities lies before me.


PM writes:  I am so very grateful for having had the opportunity over my professional career to take some sessions with you. I learned so much. I still apply it now that I am in semi retirement. And thank you too for all of your help with my team. They all loved you and we all talked about the many things we did with you. And now I am so very grateful for your friendship, mentorship and support!!! It means a great deal to me.


Y writes: I am very grateful for the fabulous circle of friends that I have made over the years. One of them introduced me to your newsletter many years ago. Your quotes ended up on my workplace bulletin board many times and other colleagues were grateful for me sharing them.


MJ writes: I am so grateful for people like you who took a leap and connect to the rest of us. Thank you for the inspiration!


Thanks, again, to all Pause Readers who gave permission to have their inspiring comments posted here.


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Appreciation, Pause E-zines

4 Responses to “PAUSE – 16.13 – Collective Gratitudes”

  1. Rose Brewster

    Today, I came to work tired and cranky and just feeling like I’m slogging through a swamp with no compass and no glimmer of light through the forest.
    THANK YOU to those who agreed to share their amazing insights and THANK YOU Pat for helping me to put one foot in front of the other today -“because I can.”

  2. Pat Katz

    You are most welcome, Rose. It is quite a positive collection. I, too, am thankful that so many contributors agreed to share their experiences with others in this way. Keep smiling…because we can…Pat

  3. Pat Meloche

    Thanks so much Pat for making all these comments available and to those individuals who contributed them…I have read and appreciate each one.

  4. Pat Katz

    Pat, you are most welcome. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed them, too. Pat

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