When I think of Thanksgiving, I have this picturesque vision of a Norman Rockwell painting with everyone sitting at a large dining room table, filled with all sorts of Thanksgiving favorites. Everyone is holding hands and looking at one another as they go around the table, announcing their once-a-year “What I’m Thankful For” bit.
This is a Thanksgiving Day tradition for so many families. It seems to be the one time of year when you have to put your public speaking fears to the side, and announce to your family that you are thankful for them.
Or for pickles, as I’ve heard my daughter exclaim.
A new tradition that I have seen pop up on social media over the last few years is the daily thanks, beginning on November 1 and ending on Thanksgiving Day. Every day, you announce to your Facebook friends what you are thankful for on that day, and each day forward. And every year, I think to myself, what a great way to be mindful of the things you have in your life and to be thankful. It doesn’t mean I have participated yet… maybe next year.
Since recently turning thirty-four, I find that I hear myself using the word ‘thankful’ more than I ever used to.
“I am so thankful for…”, “I am blessed…”, “I’m super appreciative of…”.
I assume that is one those “come-with-age” things. At 15, I’m certain I wasn’t saying, “I’m so appreciative of my mom. I don’t know HOW she deals with me, but man, she is great!”
At 21, I definitely wasn’t saying, “I’m so thankful for my amazing sorority sisters who will buy me a beer when I’m down in the dumps,” or “I’m so blessed to have a car that gets me from college to my boyfriend’s house two hours away”. I’m pretty sure I was thinking,“This thing is a hunk of junk, and I want a new car!”
I doubt my mom was expecting me to be praising her at 15, and from the stories I hear, she wasn’t praising her mom at that age.
But nowadays, when I’m lying down at night, the only part of my day where there is true peace and quiet, I reflect on the day, and I am just so thankful.
- To have three healthy little ones. One might have a few more “quirks” than the others, but I know that others moms face tougher issues, and I’m reminded that what I deal with is peanuts compared to some.
- To have a roof over our heads, and food on our table.
- That at 34, I’m finally finding things that I’m confident I’m decent at doing: writing, helping people find joy in their life through shopping and decorating, and running my own business. I am also pretty good at making it from sun-up to sundown without losing a child.
As we come into the month of November, we gear up for another hearty meal and quality time with family and friends. As the daily Facebook posts begin, it’s all to serve as a reminder that we should be thankful every day; Not just on the last Thursday in November. We should tell the people that we are thankful for every day. We should tell them on January 24, and May 18, and September 30. Remember to always be thankful. Even, if at that moment, you’re only thankful to still be on this earth.
Oh… and call your mom.