For the first time in months, there was no reason to rise early. My daughter slept until she was ready to wake up, and we both lounged around, watching movies, reading, and generally enjoying the day until we were ready to go to the restaurant for dinner. We had a nice, unhurried dinner, and returned home in a happy food coma. A glass of wine later, while finishing a movie I had started before dinner, I sat back and considered the day.
This was our first Thanksgiving without my son, and my younger sister, whom we generally hung out with for the last couple of Thanksgivings was out of town. We are living in a motel room with only a microwave and a refrigerator. My car is making a weird noise, and Tuesday afternoon, the seat started this weird lean to one side. In theory, I should have been slightly unhappy about today.
What I actually feel, is blessed. There is a roof over my daughter's and my head. There are a lot of people that can't say that. We were able to go to a restaurant for dinner, Might not be what I had in mind, but at least we were able to do that: there are plenty of people who could not. My car note pretty much busted my budget for the next two weeks, but I am able to maintain my transportation, as I remember what my life was like on the bus.
What I have chosen, on this day, and everyday, is gratitude. My situation is not all it could be, but today, and everyday, I maintain that there will always be someone in more dire circumstances that I, and that I should be grateful for the blessings I do have. Always strive to do, and be, better, but never forget to be thankful for the small things you do have.
This occurs to me as we in the US prepare for Black Friday, the day when stores open frighteningly early in the morning to entice consumers to start spending for Christmas gifts for family and friends. In all honesty, the large retailers hope to appeal to the shopper's latent feelings of something missing in their lives that they hope to get them to fill up with more stuff. Coming on the heals of Thanksgiving, the day of gratitude for what you currently have, it's especially ironic to have all of the advertising leading up to this day focused on convincing you that you absolutely need to add something new to your life or home. In fact, you need it so badly that you are willing to camp out overnight for it, and fight other shoppers for it. Maybe if we could learn to be more grateful for what we already have, we could start to avoid the inevitable scenes of violence that we see every year over the Thanksgiving holidays.
I refuse to be a part of the madness. Yes, this is the start of the Holiday season, but I will not be joining the insane crowds. I will remember what I have, and where I am, and find ways to revel in some kind of peace. The one thing in really short supply, that we can definitely use more of. Perhaps a short hike, a trip to the park, or maybe just a walk around the block. So long as it is something that will get me outside for a little while, away from the TV, with all of it's non-stop advertising, and finding some small sliver of peace in the outdoors.
Have a peaceful day, Dear Reader.