Each Thanksgiving, I’ve used this space in a very unique way that no other blogger or Facebooker has ever imagined: to express my gratitude for my many, many blessings. Sometimes I’ve talked about my appreciation for friends and family, and other times for more silly things, like fuzzy socks and the Keurig.
This year, I write with a heavy heart and mind. Personally, professionally, and as a citizen of this volatile and deeply troubled world, I’ve found it’s been hard to see the light sometimes.
Gratitude can be hard to summon when the world feels so dark and scary. Yet, gratitude also is the antidote to that very problem . “The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness,” the Dalai Lama reminds us.
Yesterday, out of the blue, I got an email from a young volunteer I work with. She’s not someone who normally emotes, either negatively or positively, which is what made her words so powerful.
“Jen, Happy Thanksgiving,” the email began. “Thank you for being you and for all you do every day to make life a little better for everyone.”
I teared up a little. Then, feeling inspired, I began sending similar emails to a few people I had been remiss in contacting.
Two sentences is all it took. Imagine if we cultivated that kind of gratitude in our lives every day and allowed it to propagate and spread like wildflowers.
This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for a husband who still induces butterflies, cracks me up, and cooks incredible quiche. I am grateful for a brother who is awe-inspiring and a sister-in-law who might be a superhero. I am grateful for parents who love unconditionally and have always been our biggest cheerleaders. I am grateful for in-laws who are loving, supportive and crazy in all the best ways. I am grateful for best friends who share my passion for aerial arts, take me bumper bowling, and are generous in time and love. I am grateful for an extended family that is there for one another in ways big and small, and sometimes feels too good to be true. I am grateful for two amazing cats, a good job, a working car, and the church house.
And, let’s be honest, I am also grateful for the Keurig.
Whether you are traveling to spend today with friends or family, or you are curled up at home with movies and grilled cheese (our preferred way to spend Thanksgiving), may you feel love, appreciation and a sense of hope for the future and our world. That’s not so much to ask for, is it?