Why gratitude should last more than once a year

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holiday dinner tableFor many of us, we will celebrate a major holiday tomorrow as we sit down to eat a large meal with family and friends, maybe watch some football, get started on our holiday shopping.  Some traditions will be born and some will be revisited and shared with new generations.  My family will sit down around 2pm and share our dinner complete with pumpkin pie to finish off the evening.

But have we forgotten what really matters most?  It isn’t if the Dallas Cowboys win their football game or who showed up with an unexpected guest at the dinner table.  It isn’t the family squabbles that seem to come to the surface more or who wants to go to which store to get the best bargain on whatever the kids really don’t even need.  But since they asked for it, we should get it.

When did the brainwashing begin?  When did we forget that a holiday meant that every store was closed and that in itself forced us to be plan our days at home?  Which CEO’s decided that keeping employees from their families just to get more product out the door?

I wonder if those same CEO’s would take some of their own time and give it to the less fortunate…

Something happens this time of year and is celebrated most on the fourth Thursday in America.  It’s Thanksgiving — a holiday celebrated when the pilgrims landed in this country and had a feast with the Native Americans.

Life was much simpler then.

We expressed our sincerest gratitude for being invited to partake in such a meal and share great company.  But now we take it all for granted.

However, this year will be different for some families.  I personally know of three families that will experience their first Thanksgiving without a beloved family member and as their memories of the previous years’ events come to the forefront, they will now will be forced to remember last year as the last one this loved one was with them.  Silently, my heart breaks for them as well as the others with whom I have no connection.

Our lives are full of busyness and we often find ourselves filling them with meaningless trinkets and other items that will be forgotten a month from now.  But when was the last time, we were really grateful? People on Facebook share something they are grateful for during the month of November, but then what?  We just stop sharing because it doesn’t seem to be “the thing to do” anymore since it is no longer Thanksgiving?

Being thankful is not a day assigned on the calendar.

calendar

It is a sense of awareness that only comes when we appreciate our blessings instead of missing something else.   It it is being at peace with where you are without the longing to be anywhere else.  It is the acceptance that you could have more but you have enough.

As you sit around the table tomorrow eating probably more than you should, be grateful for every day you don’t have to wonder when your next meal will come.  As you sit on the floor playing with your grandchildren, be grateful that you can still keep up with them.

People want more and more and maybe if we just stopped wanting, we would consider ourselves blessed enough.  Being grateful isn’t tied to more…it’s tied to the feeling of being happy and satisfied with what we have now.

Because plenty of us have less…much less.

Michelle A. Homme 2015 ©

 

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