When you ask people how they’re doing, the general and accepted answer is, “Fine, thanks. How are you?” It’s a ritual given and received with little thought behind it most of the time. If you know someone well, it might go a little deeper. You might complain about what’s going on in your life that isn’t quite the way it should be in your mind. I’m right there with you. When we’ve invented a term for it – First World Problems – you know it’s common.
On Thanksgiving, we aim to go the other direction with it. We want to find things to be grateful for, and I like to think that we are generally fairly successful at it. I’m grateful that my family is happy and healthy. I’m grateful that my husband has a secure job that he loves. I’m happy that we have a roof over our heads and don’t struggle with paying bills or really any other major aspect of our lives. I’m relieved that my parents – and my husband’s – are alive and healthy and that my parents are so involved in their lives.
The rest of it? That’s the part I tend to gloss over. When we moved, we sold a house I love (and having spoken with the new owners more than once, they agree – they love the house and they know they got a steal on it) and haven’t found a new house we want to buy. We’re renting temporarily in not the most ideal location with thin walls between us and our neighbors for an undetermined length of time while we wait and hope we quickly find that a house that we fall in love with that doesn’t have issues (we almost bought a house but found too many structural issues and walked away) that we can afford. Because my car is parked outside with no garage for the first time since I graduated college, and I’m not looking forward to a winter spent digging it out.
So I could spend all my time focusing on the negative and what I don’t have. But… why? Why would I expend that much energy on something I can’t easily change that really isn’t that bad. It’s not ideal, but where do I have a leg to stand on in being ungrateful – especially this time of year?
I’m not complaining, and I haven’t been. Things really are fine, and there are some real positives to our situation right now, not the least of which that my husband has been able to walk to work, and we can walk various other places as a family, as well.
Let’s find things to be grateful for today on Thanksgiving, even when we might not ordinarily be grateful for them. What are you thankful for?