It was a four-hour debate, all of which took place while I was trying to relax.

The heated discussion was between me and myself while spending the day at a spa, a birthday present from my guy. Instead of enjoying a day of pampering, I began asking some serious questions about myself.

Every time the thought crossed my mind there were plenty of other ways my guy could have spent his hard-earned money, I would counter with, but I deserve this. I’d convince myself to relax and enjoy and then feel guilty I was being treated like a queen while there are so many who would think they were royalty if they had a roof over their head or a decent meal.

It’s hard to imagine what life would be like without all the comforts of home or the security and support a family provides. Even though I walked out of the spa with my nails painted and hair all fixed up, I felt an ugliness stirring inside as I asked myself the question, “Are you truly thankful?”

I feel like I have good manners. I’m polite and say thank you, but how often do I show how thankful I am? How about my closet full of coats I don’t ever wear but think I’m going to someday, so I keep them tucked away? I have 10 coats of all different sizes and varieties while so many wish for just one. Same with shoes, clothes and blankets.

I can drive anywhere I want, in a reliable car and often stop for one of those funky coffee drinks I can’t pronounce. How many people, in this cold weather, are longing to have one cup of plain coffee or a way to get to the store? I can go to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned or to the doctor when I’m sick. I can buy deodorant, toothpaste and toilet paper whenever I need them. I have no idea what life would be like if I didn’t have the resources to be able to buy everyday items I need for my well-being.

So the real question is, “Am I really that selfish and self-absorbed, and do I take my lifestyle for granted?”

It was my birthday after all and I didn’t want to spend the rest of the day in this battle of the wits, but the nudge was still there. You know that nudge that keeps poking until it’s finally acknowledged the self-debate isn’t over until a solution has been declared.

Note to self: Clean out closets, stay away from the pumpkin pie on Thursday and remember good deeds are best when done without guilt or boasting.

The debate is over as the solution is simple: Give more thanks, be more giving as I celebrate Thanksgiving with food, family and faith.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence, Missouri. Email her at