Give thanks in good times and bad

Jenna DanningerThroughout the course of four centuries, the meaning and value of Thanksgiving has evolved in households across the country since it was first recognized in 1621 when the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast giving thanks for a successful bounty of crops.

For some it has a religious connotation, a celebration of thanks for the many blessings throughout the year. For others it's a day of turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and football, not to mention an abundance of company, with family and friends finally getting together and catching up. Whatever your beliefs, Thanksgiving is a chance for many to come together and reflect on the year's happenings.

As the industry prepares to turn the page on another year, I think it's only fitting that we take a moment to give thanks for all the successes and failures that have defined 2009. It's easy to celebrate the good times. But being thankful during the challenging moments, as well? Now that is true thanksgiving. It's an elementary concept of binary opposition. In order to truly appreciate sweet success you must understand and experience what it feels like to fail.

Sure, business may be down and the near future may yield some not-so-great numbers, but to the family who has spent years saving and finally gotten that pool they've always wanted, you, as a builder, have given them many years of family memories. And as a hot tub dealer, you give families a place to ease the stress and provide a warm soak for aching muscles and experience togetherness.

Some may catagorize pools and spas as a luxury, but for us in the industry, they are a part of everyday life. They represent the memory of familial trips to community pools or water parks, they serve as a therapeutic means to recovery or comfort, they bring the world together while watching Michael Phelps break records by earning eight gold medals in a pool in Beijing, and they give us a place to spend time with family and friends.

Whether you recognize the Thanksgiving holiday or not, take a few moments to give thanks for your successes and failures, because it is with each of those that life truly is bountiful.

Jenna Danninger
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