Tis the day of every year when Americans plan an entire day around one, usually very traditional meal that inevitably sends everyone into a tryptophan-enduced food coma.
It's also a day to give thanks for the good things in your life... like being lucky enough to have enough food on your table to send you into a tryptophan-enduced food coma.
A lot of people on social media spent the past few weeks saying one different thing they were thankful for each day leading up to Thanksgiving. I thought that was a cool idea, and considered doing it myself, but it seemed like a lot of pressure. Having to come up with a different thing to be thankful for 27 days in a row? I could see that getting snarky or superficial pretty quickly (especially in my sarcastic brain) and that would defeat the purpose of recognizing the really important things I'm thankful for, which have been front and center the last two months because those two months have kind of really sucked.
See, when the going gets tough, recognizing the important things is really easy.
When a loved one dies, you miss them and wish you had more time with them. Time is precious and so is family. I am thankful for the precious time I've had so far in my life with my loved ones.
When a loved one's health is jeopardized, you miss the time when health wasn't a constant worry and hope for recovery. I am thankful for modern medicine and trained doctors who can remove disease from a person's body and help them eventually feel better. I am thankful my mom is on the road to recovery. I am also thankful for my own good health to date.
When a lot of stuff goes bad in your life at one time, you miss being able to laugh and wish for more carefree times. You also need a shoulder or two or five to lean on. I am thankful for my rocks, the friends in my life who take me out for wine and let me vent, give great hugs, call to check on me and my family, and in a few special cases pray for me (and get their whole church to pray for my mom). I don't know what I'd do without my friends.
And when it pours rain, you miss the warmth of the sun and wish for brightness. I am thankful I've made it through the last two dreary months and can smile again. Being too emotionally exhausted to actually experience life is no way to live. So even though one part of my life is still in a potential downward spiral, I'm choosing not to focus on that.
One of my favorite inspirational blogs had a post a few months ago titled, Nine Things You Do Not Need to Be Happy. This line flew out at me, because I truly believe this, but often forget it: "The best thing you can do it let go of what you can't control and invest your energy in the things you can." It also says the formula for being happy is to do your best and appreciate what you have.
So that's what I did today .... and will continue tomorrow and every day after. Focus on the good things and appreciate them while I still can.
You don't need a tryptophan-packed turkey dinner for that.