Sometimes we forget to be thankful. It is easier this month here in the USA because we celebrate Thanksgiving, a day devoted to copious amounts of food including but not limited to, roast turkey with stuffing, squash, cranberry sauce, yams with marshmallows and, a must at every table, pumpkin pie. The day is set aside from other holidays so that we might remember the blessings and gifts we have received in the past year.
Of course, we don’t really need to wait for a special day to remind us to be thankful.
Everyday our lives are filled with gifts. Consider the things we tend to take for granted each day. A warm house, the food we eat, the sun breaking through a window pane, the soft patter of rain on the roof and the ability we have to feel and hear these gifts. To breathe fully. To sleep in peaceful bliss. They are common place things, unless you lose them.
And of course there are our animal companions. Those crazy, exasperating, laughable, ever-forgiving, sometimes frustrating, unbelievably precious gifts that share our lives. As babies they pooh on our carpets, chew on our shoes, inexplicably need to go out in the middle of a rainy night just to see what’s happening out there in the dark and unintentionally scoop up every minute we have to spare. Adolescence comes with the terrible two’s when our dogs experiment with boundaries as they test our patience that sometimes runs in short supply. They grow to maturity. Life gets busy and our companions don’t require the time they once did and so sometimes go unnoticed or at times become inconvenient, though our love for them is still strong. The muzzle grays, feet become unsteady and we have to help them up. They pooh on our carpets and need the heat turned up to be comfortable. They require every spare minute we can manage. We are back to the beginning.
They share our beds and comfort us when no one else can seem to understand. They wait patiently while other projects take priority; other chores need to be completed and obligations fulfilled that do not include them.
They are a constant in our lives. And like many things we perceive to be always with us…the sky, our spouse, the evening coo of a mourning dove, the pup that takes up most of the bed…we forget to be thankful that all these things enrich our lives with smiles, joy, laughter, and yes, even tears. One cannot cry for something they did not mourn. One cannot mourn without having loved.
Make a new tradition. Instead of waiting for Thanksgiving to be thankful for all the beautiful things in our lives, how about being grateful every morning?
An interesting thing will occur. The list will become longer with each observance. Every day we will find more and more things to add to the list. We will appreciate more experiences, cherish more moments and laugh a little louder. Less becomes more and more becomes less as we consider the smaller things in life that are, in fact, the joy of life itself.
Every day becomes Thanksgiving.