Time to Give Thanks

November 24, 2011

These days, we’re all working harder than ever just to make ends meet. We also recently saw two storms that left many parts of our state without power for a week or more. Times are tough, and sometimes we’re too busy to appreciate the simple things in life. Now that the holiday of Thanksgiving has arrived, it’s a good time to step back and appreciate all we have been given. Caught up in the daily grind, we can take things for granted that make our lives better. Maybe it’s your family, your job, your friends, a pet, or something else. Whatever it is, make sure you find time to acknowledge them.

In my last column, I wrote about Veterans Day and the great citizens who protect our freedoms and defend our country. After I attended and spoke at a service that day, I had the chance to talk to these patriotic Americans and remember how lucky we are to live in the United States. No other country has the same level of freedom and opportunity available to its citizens, and for that we must be thankful.

Thanksgiving has long been a tradition to celebrate the successful end of the harvest season and a time to reflect thankfully upon the blessings we have in our lives. Its roots are found in a gathering that took place in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the year 1621, when a feast brought early European settlers and local Native Americans together to celebrate their safe arrival to the New World. It wasn’t until 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving to be an official holiday.

This year, I’m especially thankful for the opportunity to represent you in Hartford. Since my election, I’ve been working to improve our district so that Connecticut will remain a great place to live, work and raise a family. Last month, the legislature reconvened for a special session focused on creating jobs. We came together to vote on a bipartisan bill that will provide training for new employees and loans to small businesses to help them expand and increase hiring to improve our economy. Then last week, the Insurance and Real Estate Committee held a public hearing about the insurance industry’s response to Tropical Storm Irene and the October Nor’easter. The goal is to learn from these two events and ensure that all policyholders have their claims timely and fairly processed and that one’s healthcare is not interrupted because of bad weather.

Many of us will be traveling this Thanksgiving weekend to visit our family and friends. Not surprisingly, this weekend is the busiest travel period of the year, so it’s important to plan accordingly for a safe trip. While the travel can be hectic, it’s always rewarding to have the time off to reunite with our loved ones and family. It’s also important to keep in mind those less fortunate than ourselves and to share our blessings by volunteering our time, talent or treasure to help others in need. However you decide to celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish you and your family all the best this holiday season.