11/23/2011 05:19 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2012

What Are You Thankful For?

"To everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, turn. And a time for every purpose under heaven."

I loved The Byrd's version of this Bible verse from Ecclesiastes. I didn't know it was from the Bible at the time. It was just a cool song that got a young girl thinking. As we enter the holiday season with Thanksgiving upon us, I was reflecting about how we are grateful for different things during different seasons of our lives. As a kid I was thankful for my Barbie and her "house," my Chatty Cathy, my portable record player, my glittery banana seat Stingray bike, my neighbor's pool, and my multicultural loving family. Even as an eight-year-old I knew that many families were not as warm and open as mine.

As a teenager I was thankful for a career in acting that kept me busy, curious and exposed to life outside of my small, known world. In my early twenties I was thankful for the financial benefits that acting as a young girl afforded me, which allowed me to attend drama school in London. In my late twenties, gratitude came by way of meeting the love of my life. I had not believed that I would ever meet someone as loving and caring as the man who was to become my husband and father to my two boys.

These seasons sometimes blend together, like a Los Angeles summer into a Los Angeles fall, an almost imperceptible change. In my forties I was thankful that my parents were present in my children's lives, loving them in ways so specific to grandparents, while still being young enough to enjoy the gifts of their long marriage and the benefits the entire family received from their love and care.

Now, as a Post50 woman, I am thankful for all the ups and downs along the way, all the seeds that have been sown that have led me to this new season of gratitude. Without all the periods that have come before there could not be this time, this stage of life, this clarity about what is really important. Each seed sprouted an idea, an experience, a part of who I am today. And today, I am even more grateful for life's blessings, for the love that exists, for the love that remains when friends and family have passed, and for the love that will be. Happy Thanksgiving.

We asked our readers to tell us what they are most thankful for. Check out the slide show below. You'll be inspired by what they have to say.