“Silent Gratitude Isn’t Much Use To Anyone”

Today is a celebrated day of giving thanks, and being grateful…it’s sort of a requirement, but I think that every day we should try, even just for a moment, to be appreciative.  Even in the worst circumstance, in my world at least, there is something to be glad for Every. Single. Day.  I know many people who are religious or practice some sort of faith, and make this effort daily, thanking God for another day of a beating heart and air to breathe.  I know a few people who are so lucky in so many ways, and from my vantage point, have no idea how good they have it, and yet continually find something negative to focus on or worry over, or think they have something they must complain about.  I know some people for whom life has been hard, and currently has insurmountable difficulties, and so it is really an effort for them to find things to be glad for or grateful for, but still, it must be done…well, no, let me rephrase that– nothing must be done or has to be done,-  but I think that if we want to live a better life, have a more fulfilling ride on this big blue ball, (as an old friend used to say) being thankful for all or anything that is good, or going well, or is joyful, or makes us feel loved or makes us want to love, is an excellent place to begin.

I think about the people who go to the rescue mission for a meal today…many of them were not much different from you and me a few months ago…it is only a few missed paychecks away from awfulness for most of us, but so many people fail to recognize that…they are of the “us” and “them” mindset, not realizing how very close they are to being a -them- and I think about that, a lot, this time of year…how grateful I am that wealthy people hire me to do things for them…that people trusting me with their beach houses is what allows me to keep food in my pantry and pay my property taxes…it’s SO EASY to get sucked into this modern world mind-set of wanting, wanting, wanting, more-more-more, but not stopping, even for a moment, to be glad and thankful for what we already have.  AND, more than anything, recognizing or realizing that it could change in the blink of an eye…

“There’s a million things to be, you know that there are.” 

I have been accused of, and also celebrated for, being too “public” about stuff…I have been blogging since 2009 so there have been many things that have happened in my life and I’ve written about, and I have tried to be very sensitive to the fact that my family and friends don’t necessarily want to have their issues or their troubles, or their joys & celebrations for that matter, discussed in a public way, so I seldom make reference to specific people, and try to maintain an air of anonymity most of the time.  That being written, I am very thankful for my parents on this Thanksgiving;  two people who grew up in very different families with very different lifestyles and that they found each other, and shared such common values and chose to make a family, and create a shared life together, and that I got to be born to them and have felt loved, for every day of my life…That’s some powerful thanksgiving right there…Even in my darkest moments, even in what at times felt like depths of despair, in moments of raging regret, and in times of unsettling uncertainty, I have felt loved.  If nothing else in this life that I live, that is something really wonderful for which I should feel and do feel, deeply thankful…

My vocabulary is not sufficient to even attempt to describe my level gratitude for this… I know people who grew up with only one parent or the other, or neither parent, and I know people who had both parents, but who were not at all good at the actual job of parenting, but I am not one of those people…I had, and still have, both of my parents who loved each other so truly and loved their daughters so fully, and now love the children of their daughters just as much, and the young daughters of one of those children too…it just goes on and on and on…like the shampoo commercial of my youth, and so on and so on and so on… Sure, sometimes we bicker, sometimes we have had disagreements or arguments or upsets.  There have been a few bad situations, or really bad events, and we have at times felt uneasy around each other, and some of us have had times where we didn’t talk and didn’t really want to see each other, and sure words have been spoken that some of us wish we could take back, but the love never wavered…I have made some really terrible choices in my life, and I have done some really stupid things, but knowing that I have parents who love me no matter what…all they want is for me to be happy and have a good life and not have struggles…is a tower of strength that I depend on to survive, like air and water.

For sure, one of you gentle readers might very well be thinking, ‘oh!, life is crap, this is awful, this is hopeless, she’s living in La-La land in her beautiful house  and typing away at her stupid new computer, with her handsome boyfriend to eat dinner with every night, and her perfect little granddaughters next door and has job she likes, and a great truck and can afford wine when she needs it, and I am miserable, and I hate this or that  and nothing is right’…I get it,  I swear I do…BUT I do believe that if today, and then tomorrow, and then the next day, and so on and so on and so on, you find ONE thing, even one tiny seemingly meaningless thing, that you can feel thankful for, you will find that the next day and the next week and the next month, it becomes easier to find the good and the joy and the right and the hopeful and the beautiful and the wonderful, over and over and over.  Just keep doing it and pretty soon you will discover that things that are Fantastic!  Fabulous!  FanTabulous!  are right here, right now, right in front of your tired eyes, just waiting for you to notice them and be grateful about…Like in the Cat Stevens song, “there are a million ways to be,” so thankful seems as good a place as any, to start.

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