Thanksgiving is the time, of course, for giving thanks, and you don’t have to think very hard or look very far to start counting your blessings. I like to consider myself a thankful person, even in the face of adversity. I’m not always as positive as I should be, but I’m thankful. When I was a young girl, I used to make a little production about writing my blessings down on paper on Thanksgiving Day. They would be simple, something like: Thank you for my mom and dad and brother and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. Thanks for Gigi my dog who follows me wherever I go. Thanks for my best friends Gayle and Tommy. Thanks for our color TV. Thanks for my teacher Miss McGurk…I really like her a lot. It was all very simple and to the point because at that age you don’t think into the depths of what true thanks entails.
As the years have unfolded, giving thanks on Thanksgiving Day has become deeply reflective and maybe a bit more complicated. Not everyone gets to live in that Norman Rockwell painting depicting the perfect Thanksgiving. I’m embarrassed to say that some years, depending on where I am at that point, I become a bit arid on the subject. Circumstances like the loss of loved ones or financial blows or job changes that didn’t turn out for the better or health problems or loneliness. I’m sure others who are going through the ups and downs of life may have similar feelings. It’s just that sometimes our perspectives get strained and fuzzy, and it’s hard to imagine that things will ever get better, even though they usually do.
At these times I like to try really hard to look at my daily life and at the little things that make me happy. It mostly revolves around nature and pets. Like admiring a gorgeous pink and blue sunrise over the bay or making wishes on the thousands of brilliantly twinkling stars in the clear night sky. Enjoying the splendor of a full, round blue moon. I admire the spectacular magnificence of the ocean or the colorful array of autumn leaves or the ability to breath in the clear cool air on my daily walks. I snuggle with my pets who make me laugh as I enjoy their amusing antics. I try to savor good food and try new recipes. Mostly, I try really hard not to dwell on the “what ifs?” It’s not always easy.
So, if I can offer a suggestion to those who need a boost on this Thanksgiving Day, if you’re losing hope…give thanks that tomorrow is a brand new day to begin again.
If you think you’ll never get ahead financially, give thanks that you have enough for this day.
If you’re lonely, have faith that you never know what surprises may be in store for you.
If you have a roof over your head and heat to keep you warm on these frigid winter nights, remember you are luckier than many.
If you’re sick, be hopeful in your doctor and medicine and that in time it will get better.
If you’ve had a good dinner and your belly is full, you are truly blessed.
If you can get up in the morning and move at all, try to remember there are those who can’t.
Minimize the negative; accentuate the positive, even when it takes all the strength you can muster up to do so. And just keep it simple.
For my expanding family, friends and loved ones. My faith. My crazy pets. A place to live. My health. Work. Good food. Creature comforts. The beauty of nature. The promise of hope. In all of this I give thanks to my dear, sweet, generous God.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.