Once again the Thanksgiving holiday is upon us. Every year it arrives sooner than expected. This year in particular Chicagoans were confused by the beautiful warm weather that persisted well into October. It seems that Thanksgiving will occur just as summer ended.

This last week many patients have said to me that Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday. Part of this is because most of us have three days to relax with families and friends after the actual holiday. Also the absence of gifts removes an element of complexity.

Thanksgiving is also a holiday that is explicitly about gratitude, which in and of itself is beneficial. In recent years we have begun to understand some of the ways in which gratitude is beneficial to health and well-being. Many people start their day by considering things that they are grateful for. This helps to put the day’s frustrations in perspective.

My gratitude list could go on for pages, but here are a few key items:

1. A Loving Family

I am blessed with a family in which everyone cares for each other and enjoys each other’s company.

2. Talented and Interesting Friends

My friends are tremendously creative and constantly inspire me and teach me new things.

3. A Great Team

I am lucky to have the best possible teammates at the Whole Beauty® Institute. We are all committed to the same goal: doing our very best for our patients.

4. A fantastic group of patients

Every new person who comes to work for me remarks that our patients are the nicest group they have ever seen. Many have been coming to us for 15 or even 20 years. They trust us with their family members and friends. Our patients make every day in the office a joy.

5. Creative People

Despite the numerous problems that we face in our county and in the world I am convinced that everything will turn out okay. Creative people will bail us out from what appear to be intractable problems, as they have through the course of human history. The artists, musicians, and writers will inspire each of us to be more creative in our daily lives and to look at the world with fresh vision.

6. Living in Chicago

Our beautiful city has its problems, but it is spectacular and full of creative vitality. In the end that will overcome our problems.

7. Guardian Angels

They have helped me in difficult times. Sometimes the angel is a friend, a passerby, or a tree. It’s just a matter of figuring out the message.

8. Meaningful Work

I am so fortunate to have work that allows for creativity and continuous improvement. There is never a day that is dull.

9. Freedom to care for our patients in an individualized way

As much of medicine becomes impersonal and rushed, we can still practice the old fashioned way, with plenty of time to see each patient. Our patients become our long-term friends.

10. Connection to a force greater than oneself

Each of us experiences spiritual energy in a different way. This energy sustains us in difficult times, provides the source of creativity, and helps us add to what is good in the world.

I thank my patients for contributing to the success of the Whole Beauty® team.

-Dr. John Q. Cook, M.D.