12 Not So Obvious Things to be Thankful for This Thanksgiving

11/27/2013 12:15 pm ET | Updated Jan 27, 2014

Yes, we should be thankful for a lot of things this Thanksgiving.

Parents, spouses, children, friends and loved ones are usually at the top of the our list.

But this Thanksgiving, perhaps we should be thankful for a few other things in our life that may not be so obvious.

Why not be thankful for the simple things? Or even the wrong turns, twists of fate or the challenges we have had in our life?

Because isn't every wrong turn an opportunity to learn?

As we look back at a year where clouds of uncertainty seem to hover always above, there might just be a tiny line of silver that we haven't noticed.

Here are 12 not so obvious things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

1. Relationships gone sour for helping us to discover the power of resilience that we didn't know we had inside.

2. The woman at the coffee shop who shows up happy every morning to serve her customers with enthusiasm and energy for showing us that our life's purpose doesn't have to be so grand and can be as simple as making a positive contribution to someone else's day.

3. The disgruntled coworker who can make us realize that it's easy to put blame on others but harder to look within.

4. The rude guy at the restaurant for making us realize that all of us have some baggage we're carrying around and sometimes the best strategy is forgiveness.

5. Kids who don't listen to their parents because sometimes parents can be just plain wrong.

6. Plans that went completely out the window that gave us a chance to discover a beautiful new path we never would have taken.

7. The deep conversation with a total stranger that showed us that no matter where we come from, we're all the same inside.

8. Those who resist change because they teach us that letting go is hard to do but it's still a choice. And while it's easy to default to the usual, we have to make the effort to change because that's where real growth happens.

9. The person who didn't give us a fair chance at success in our work because it forced us to reinvent ourselves into something better.

10. The rough rocks of rejection we had to go through because they became the stepping stones to our success.

11. The seemingly annoying friend who puts up inspirational quotes on Facebook everyday and even though we don't read them all, our soul appreciates it because all words matter.

12. The grey hair we try to hide because each one shows us the mark of wisdom that we've earned through the years.

So let's go ahead and be thankful for everything that a full life has to offer - the good, the bad and the bumpy.