It’s just after noon on Thanksgiving and I’ve been seeing droves of people on social media post about the things they are thankful for. I think that’s truly great, I do. It’s nice when social media becomes a warm fuzzy place and everyone forgets they’ve been arguing about politics for weeks on end. But I mentioned in passing to someone that Thanksgiving is kind of a BS holiday. I know to say such a thing seems very cynical, blasphemous, even un-American, but I didn’t mean it from a cynical place, despite the Pilgrims’s super “ethical” treatment of the Native Americans.
I say it’s bullshit, because we need to practice gratitude every single waking day. Maybe that’s a “hippie,” touchy-feely kind of thing for me to say, but I have enough experience with essential oils, reiki, energy flow, and agnosticism to comfortably call myself a modern hippie.
For the past year or so, I’ve been practicing gratitude every day, purposefully, and for anything I can muster some gratitude for. Some days, I have gratitude for everything, and other days, it’s a little harder to find, but I always stop to practice gratitude.
This gratitude, this intangible thing…this feeling that you can’t hold or touch, has changed my life in the most amazing ways. Between my dinosaur and practicing gratitude, I’ve found my life is overflowing with the most amazing people, experiences, and things. These are all things I knew were great previously, but I didn’t realize how truly wonderful they were until I looked at them through the lens of gratitude.
Practicing gratitude is simple. You can send thank-you cards, or texts, or emails. You can make phone calls to people you need to say “thank you” to. On Black Friday, you can make sure you look the overworked and exhausted cashier in the eye and say “Thank you” when they give you your card back. Gratitude can be a few quick mental thank-yous before you go to bed at night. It’s simple, it barely takes any time, and it’s free. You’ll feel good, and you’ll make others feel good by sharing it. It’s contagious. Facebook and twitter are proof of that at this very moment.
Remember to practice gratitude even on your worst day. Every great story starts with someone waking up in the morning, before amazing things started to happen. By the time you open your eyes, you already have so much to be thankful for.
I understand if you want to be thankful for family, friends, and mountains of food today, but don’t forget them the other 364 days of the year. They’re all awesome then, too.