Thanksgiving Every Day
The serving platters are still sitting on the buffet, waiting to be stuffed into the back of the cabinet. The wine glasses that mock me with their "hand wash only" attitudes are clean, resting upside down on the counter. The table linens are slowly but surely getting washed, but piled high on the ironing board, waiting for thoughtful attention before being stored away. Every piece of decent tupperware is being used to hold the leftovers from another Thanksgiving meal. And I'm completely over eating turkey. I won't reach for it again until November 2020. Thanksgiving is only one day, but the remnants of the day are lasting. Thanksgiving is the official day of giving thanks. But since the dishes and the food last longer than just one day, why not let the thanks stick around a bit longer, too? Who says we have to only be thankful in November?
If you are reading this blog posting, it is a given that you have much to be thankful for. A computer. A phone. A job with a screen. Access to the internet. The world at your fingertips. Be thankful for whatever and whoever has provided that, yourself included. We tend to spend little time being thankful for what is before us and way too much time lamenting what we don't have, or what we are missing, or what we think we need. We all have SO much. Why not make every day Thanksgiving?
Give thanks for the ordinary day. Wake up each morning and be thankful for the day that is yours to enjoy. Not everyone has another day before them. Not everyone has the opportunity to create a day of their choosing. It is a blessing to have those choices before you, from the moment you wake up. It is a blessing to wake up.
Be thankful for your body, in whatever form it takes. It holds you up and serves you well. It heals. It protects you. It motors you through life. Feed it, honor it, stretch its limits but above all else, be thankful. Your body serves you every day. Even unhealthy bodies fight the good fight to keep you standing. Be thankful for your health.
Be thankful for your connections to the people around you. When we remember that we have people in our lives who know us and love us anyway, it makes it a whole lot easier to tolerate the drama and weather the relationship turbulence that can be an inevitable consequence of connections. Not everyone has connections. Be thankful for yours and your ability to foster them.
Our emotions are something to be thankful for as they indicate our humanity, not a character flaw. It is ok to cry and rant. It is ok to be angry and throw the periodic tantrum. We are human. We have feelings. I am more inclined to worry about the person who never reveals their emotions in the face of our roller coaster world. Emotions, and your ability to be vulnerable enough to share them, is something to be thankful for.
Give thanks for your abilities, tapped and untapped, recognized or currently hiding, the opportunity to use them and the expression of them. Not many of us are award-winning anythings. We don't have trophies. We probably don't have Olympic medals. But we have talents and abilities at our disposal that we should never take for granted and never underestimate simply because of our lack of a trophy case. Share your talents. Get really skilled at reminding yourself of what you can do instead of what you can't. And make sharing them something that others can be thankful for, too.
Be thankful for all of the small stuff. The funny story your child takes too long sharing when you are trying to find a parking space. The shoes cluttering the front hall that you trip over again and again. The dust that keeps collecting in the corner. The sink full of dirty dishes. The never-ending pile of mail to sort. Without a talkative child, a family you love, a roof over your head, nourishing meals, and a life to sort, you wouldn't have any of those other things that become the stuff of daily life. It is small, but it means a lot when we take the time to remember. It keeps us mindful that all of that small stuff is the stuff of life. And life is good. So be thankful.
Give thanks for whatever you can, whenever you can. For your life. For lessons learned. For experiences good and bad. For time. For you. Don't wait until one big meal to reflect upon what you have right before you. Make every day Thanksgiving. Once the wine glasses are finally put away and the last piece of pie has been eaten, remind yourself what you still have left to enjoy and give thanks for. Big hint: absolutely everything.