I was thinking about writing on thankfulness today with the big holiday coming up.
Perhaps it is a desire to remind myself that – even when I mess up, blow deadlines and have a generally yucky feeling – life is pretty good. My family is healthy, I have a job as does my husband and while we do not have a lot of money we do have enough.
That idea was totally blown out of the water when I read “Gratitude, Shmatitude” at Snide Reply. How right she is that sometimes you have to deal with what is at the moment and gratitude has to wait some days.
The strange thing is that it reminded me of a life lesson found in a Star Trek movie. Spock’s human brother is a healer who takes away the emotional pain that the roughest situations give us. Dr. McCoy in particular has become a believer as he never got over the guilt of taking his father off of life support one week before a cure for McCoy’s father’s illness was discovered.
It is at this moment that Captain Kirk refuses, stating that the worst moments of our lives are what shapes and forms us. Would Dr. McCoy had become a less able doctor if his father’s experience had not propelled him? We need those times to push us and eat at us to make ourselves better.
I am going to think about that as my frozen rock of a turkey slowly thaws and perhaps be cook-able tomorrow. I will think about that as I put up Christmas lights on the warmest Thanksgiving in years. I will think about it all as I watch Miracle on 34th Street for the umpteenth time.
That is not going to stop me from feeling grateful for the good things because I learned long ago there are always going to be people trying to drag you down. Some people are happiest when they are dragging you down. Some people think cynicism is hip when it is really hiding from your own emotions. I have been one of those persons at different times in my life and I am not going back there. If that means I have to shine the light of gratitude to keep from sliding down the slope of despair, I am doing it.
But here is what I am not doing. I am not joining a gratitude group or keeping a gratitude journal. Some days, I will go to bed angrier than a red hen at something stupid the husband has done and forget to think of things that make me grateful. (Like no one else has ever done that.) Nor am I going to force you to state how you feel grateful for something or chide you when life puts you on the negative side of the fence. I have cousins whose mother died two years ago at this time and telling them to be grateful they had her as long as they did is a bit cruel and stupid.
What I am still going to do is be happy for what I do have because as far as I can tell, I have it pretty good. It has not always been easy but my life is easier than a lot of other people. And that makes me feel lucky and good.
If that is gratitude, well, so be it.