What I am pondering today is the Art of Giving Thanks. So many people just take this day (which is sadly a day celebrating the beginning of genocide for Native American peoples - but that's a whole other can of worms), just to celebrate being thankful. Just this one day - TODAY.
But there is so much to be thankful for every day. I have never understood why just this one day we celebrate being thankful. (Yes I was one of those kids that never passed the Terrible Two's WHY? WHY? WHY?)
Why are we not thankful every single day of the year?
In 2010, after a huge upheaval in my life, I started doing daily gratefuls on my Facebook page. Posting each day what I was grateful (thankful) for. Some days, when the darkness closed in, it was very hard to come up with something. Then there were the days that I had 20 things and had to choose just a few. I still do this today, and it has changed my perspective on being thankful.
I find that being thankful is an art form. So many people do not really know HOW to be thankful for what they have. In my current situation, I am between jobs, what am I thankful for?
My mom, step-dad, my mom's friends, my friends, my landlord, my kitty Gabby, having a cabin to live in (shelter from the cold), my old truck (though the snow kicks her butt she still drives at 15 and gets me where I need to go) and so much more.
Yes, being between jobs is scary, but there is so much to be thankful for that it helps keep fear from overpowering me. I truly wish others could see this too.
So often I read on Facebook all the bad things going on in people's lives. How they don't have this or that or this happened and their life is incomplete or they are mad at this and that. It makes me sad. No, I am not saying to be jolly all the time and forget the bad things, but don't dwell on them. In my current situation, if I did that, I would be curled in a ball on the floor and catatonic.
What I am asking is that people practice the art of being thankful. So this bad thing happened, is it the end of the world - No. Does it suck for right now - Yes. Do you have something to be grateful for that can help you over that suck - Yes - you woke up today. You have another chance.
My great-grandmother and my mom taught me about being thankful for everything. Gifts (even if it's something you don't want) - send a thank you card. People's time - gift them a gift or a thank you card. Family (even if they piss you off) - be grateful for them as they were your first teachers. Friends and enemies - again, they have come and gone and some have stayed the test of time - be grateful even if you can only send them a message on Facebook and say Hi.
I have been applying for several positions and had several interviews. I have sent or given Thank You cards to everyone that has taken the time to interview me. Some people look like I gave them a snake and others have never heard of such a thing. For me, I am thankful for their time and consideration, even if they didn't or don't hire me. They will remember me.
You might try it. A personal note of thanks, there is something about a handwritten note, could make someone else's day. While we all center on our own lives, we forget others are suffering silently too.
The holiday seasons tend to make people more emotional and it's easier to be thankful, I think. But imagine a world where we were thankful all year round and not just one day.
Perhaps if we were more thankful for what we have and not for what we think we need to have, Black Friday wouldn't exist. And perhaps we would be closer to peace. I might be a dreamer (I have been told that several times), but being thankful takes so much less energy than being unhappy. Try it everyday, not just on Thanksgiving.
For those of you that have read this whole blog. Thank you. I hope your life is filled with so much to be thankful for every day.