Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.
~William Arthur Ward
Yesterday Americans celebrated Thanksgiving; a time of gathering with family and friends, a time to stop and celebrate all the blessings in our lives, a time to step out of our shoebox diorama and just rest. On this holiday we eat…eat…eat, then eat some more, watch football or movies, play games and call up long lost relatives for the annual chit-chat. The day is a nice respite, but I’m always grateful when it’s over.
My family has the tradition of going around the room and saying what we are grateful for. From the oldest (74) to the youngest (8), there was a common thread I picked up on yesterday; nothing shared was of materialistic origin. Sure, shelter and clothing were mentioned; but not designer jeans, or new convertibles, elaborate vacations or money. The kids said nothing about video games or the Wii when it was their turn. What mattered the most? Family, health, friends, employment, God/Higher Power, love, peace, pets. What a blessing!
There have been many years when it was very difficult for me to find something to be thankful for. A black cloud of depression shadowed me and a backpack of burdens weighted me down, but I always found one thing to contribute. There is always a silver lining on every cloud no matter how gloomy things appear.
I’ve come a long way since those troubled times, and one thing that helps me remain positive is making a gratitude list. I try to do that as frequently as I can. What I have discovered is that when I do make a gratitude list and write it down (instead of simply thinking about it), my outlook on life is brighter. Everything around me seems sharp and clear instead of fuzzy and gray.
That is what I want you to do today; write a poem of gratitude. It can be a list of many things, a special memory, maybe a person who has made a difference in your life, or a list from A-Z of what you are thankful for.
So the word today is gratitude. I can’t wait to read your offerings. One thing’s for certain- I’m grateful for all of you!