As you gather around the table on Turkey Day, you may be asked to name one thing for which you are grateful. Have you thought what your answer might be this year? The way you answer that question depends on your state of mind. Think carefully as you determine what kind of house guest you’re going to be…and what this portends for the year ahead. Will you answer with attitude, platitudes or gratitude?
Do you resent having to get dressed up to attend a dinner filled with people you may or may not like? Do you dread the chitter-chatter and small talk… a “talent” you’ve not yet mastered, nor want to? Do you fully expect to be miserable, to overeat, and to be bored stiff by people you only see once a year? Then, guess what? Your Thanksgiving Day will be miserable and your prophecy of doom and gloom will be fulfilled.
If you think that “T” Day is fraught with hypocrisy, revisionist history, pompous friends, and bombastic relatives who spew their disdain for everything from rigged football games to lying, thieving politicians, then, perhaps you plan to approach the alleged feast with a defensive strategy. With tongue firmly against cheek, you entertain yourself by projecting a sarcastic and arrogant persona.
When asked the critical question of what YOU are grateful for, you can astound and amaze your fellow Thanksgiviens with platitudes that are customized to fit their political points of view: “I’m thankful for world peace” (wink wink). “I’m grateful that this bird is organic and was only grain-fed (to your meat and potatoes family members). “I’m grateful that we haven’t been nuked by our less affluent friends in Iran and North Korea. They all just need a big hug” (to the college students in your family). “I’m grateful that the Native Americans have forgiven our intrusion into their country and are now benefiting from capitalism with their casino empires” (to your politically correct crowd). Or, the coup de grace, and what you really want to say: “I’m grateful that Thanksgiving only comes ’round once a year.”
For those of you who are less cynical and are truly grateful to be with family and friends, this day should be a glorious one for you.
This has been a harsh year for many people: high unemployment, two ongoing wars, an ever-increasing national debt, several flu epidemics, and the usual trials and tribulations of daily life – violence, death, poverty, depression, addictions, and natural disasters, to name a few.
Take a hard look at your life and compare it to those who make the 11 o’clock news. How does your life rank when you see the tragedies of others, day in and day out? Give yourself 10 points each time you answer the following questions in the affirmative.
- Do you have a roof over your head? (10 points)
- Do you have food in your refrigerator or access to food? (10 points)
- Do you have clothes on your back? (10 points)
- Can you breathe and walk without assistance? (10 points)
- Can you see the sun set and rise each day? (10 points)
- Can you hear the sound of a baby cry or the raindrops on your roof? (10 points)
- Can you feel the cool, brisk wind on your face? (10 points)
- Can you remember your first kiss, your first love, or your first car? (10 points)
- Can you taste the difference between cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie? (10 points)
- Do you love someone who returns the feeling? (10 points)
If you scored 60 points or better, then you are better off than 90% of the people in this world. You have much to be grateful for. If all (or most) of your senses work, if your brain still functions, if you are still alive and have someone who loves you, then you are way ahead of the game. You can still have dreams and goals. You can aspire to build a better life. You should truly be grateful, not just on Thanksgiving, but on every single day of your life.
Deborah L. Bishop is a professional writer and business woman with a wonderfully diverse background. Her goal is to provide people with unique coping strategies and techniques. Deborah will not only show you how to rewrite your personal history, but will give you the necessary tools for leading a more fulfilling and successful life. Visit her site at http://time-outformoms.com to access her free report, “The Secret Weapon That Combats Fear and Stress.”