Gratitude, schamtitude…(yeah, I made that up)

Today is Thanksgiving, a day in America where either you sit and rail against the atrocity of the day and the atrocities of this country and avoid the gorge-fest known as Thanksgiving Dinner. Or you are sitting around in pajama jeans because you are planning on eating like a human on death row, as if tomorrow all the food on the planet will suddenly disappear. November is also a month when people strive to express their gratitude for all that they have; an activity that I must admit has value.

Last night the college boy (that is my son for newcomers) posed a question that stayed with me all night and into the morning. Why is it that in order to express gratitude, we often do it at the expense of others? Trust me, I am guilty of this myself, after all it’s never “Gee, I am thankful for my house, food, blah-blah” Instead “Well at least I have a roof over my head, hell some people don’t even have that.” Yes, it is true that many on this planet are without basic necessities; it is an evil reality of the world we live in that many go without. Everyone over a certain age knows this on some level. Yet, must we only feel good about ourselves when we compare ourselves to others? I admit, I have no answers but it was something that made me think, so I pass it on to you.

Today is a day for me to just be, despite my grand plans to cook a feast, I outsourced the cooking to local chefs (giving thanks all the way for the financial resources that made that possible) who decided to offer pre-made dinners for the slackers amongst us. Funny thing is I like to cook, hell I love it, but truthfully I didn’t feel like cooking for this holiday. Hell, I hate cooking for most holidays, all the joy of the holiday is sucked out for me, when I spend 8 hours on my feet. In the past, I broke my back trying to create the perfect holiday, and I often ended up let down and in a mildly depressive state.

This year I started a personal gratitude project, where every day I write down 5 things that I am grateful for in my gratitude journal. There are days when I repeat things, days when the things I am grateful for are really silly (yes, I have been known to be grateful for not being constipated) and other days the things I am grateful for are huge. As this personal gratitude project winds down (not sure if I will continue it in 2013) and we enter a season when gratitude is the thing to do (Facebook daily gratitude anyone?). I realized that I felt less inclined to participate in a show of gratitude because for almost a year I have tried to live a life of gratitude. Gratitude in a strange way has become routine to me, therefore today is a day just like any other day except that my long lost brother is flying in this evening to join us. Considering that he was last here when the seven year old was a one year old, that is a big deal, but the rest of the day is just a day for us and based off what the man unit and college kid have said, we are just fine with that.

On that note, if you are having a blowout feast with multiple desserts, have one for me since in my slacker state; I have only made one pie. Enjoy the blessings of this day and if you are going shopping on Black Friday, stay safe and don’t get trampled.