Wednesday, November 23, 2011

When Thankfulness Doesn’t Come Easily

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone.
Image by David Castillo Dominici

Sometimes it’s hard to find something to be thankful for.  The basics are easy – I’m thankful for my family and my friends.  But then I start getting nit-picky.  I’m thankful for my family, but it would be nice if my son didn’t have so many challenges.  I’m thankful for my friends, but I’m frustrated that I don’t get to see them as often as I would like.  I’m thankful that I have a roof over my head, but I don’t like where we live…  I could go on, but I’ll spare you.

It seems like for every good thing in my life, there’s something that could be done to make it “better.”  As you might imagine, thinking like this sets us up for failure and depression. While I don’t completely subscribe to the “Law of Attraction” theory, I do think that focusing on the negative constantly sets me up to only find the negative in everything.

I’ve been participating in the “thankful” game on Facebook this month, naming something I am thankful for every day in November.  The first week was easy:  family, friends and so forth.  But then I ran out of the big ones and had to really start thinking about it.  With so much going wrong in my life, could I really find 30 things to be thankful for?  It seemed like a tall order. 

I noticed that some of my friends popped up with their posts first thing in the morning, every morning.  “Luckies,” I sulked.  “Sure they have lots to be thankful for.”  I had to work at this.  But we’re almost to Thanksgiving now, and I’ve managed to come up with something every day.  Sure, sometimes it gets posted right before I go to bed, but it’s there.  I’ve also had to resist the temptation to show gratitude tempered by snark, for example “I’m grateful to have a car, but I wish the stupid heater would work.”  Instead, despite my crabbiness, I simply say “I’m thankful for a car that runs and gets us from point a to point b.” 

I think one of the keys to getting us through this tricky time is going to be remembering what’s important and how much we already have – regardless of whether we think it could be in better condition or not.

What are you especially thankful for this year?

No comments:

Post a Comment