Writing about thankfulness only a few days before Thanksgiving seems a little long overdue and at the same time platitudinous. Yet, despite the fact that both of those statements are true, here I am.
Thankfulness is kind of a funny thing, oftentimes it comes in the simplest way—in response to someone holding a door open for you, or after a compliment is given—but true thankfulness comes when you actually consider what it is you are thankful for. As I write about this topic, the words uttered on the page continue to feel platitudinous, but it has got me thinking about how we perceive thankfulness and whether or not we are actually connected with the act.
This year, I have been thinking a lot about the people and the reasons why I am thankful and I think you should take the time as well.
People often speak of gratitude as something that we should inhabit regularly, take for instance The Harvard Mental Health Letter who lists out advice on gratitude: you should send a thank-you note once a month, “thank someone mentally,” “keep a gratitude journal,” “count your blessings,” “meditate,” and “pray.” The weird thing is that not only do The Harvard Mental Health Letter speak about gratitude in this way but so do a large number of bloggers, psychologists, and journalists. They turn thankfulness into something that is self-indulgent, or onanistic if you will because it involves no real action towards thanking anyone, yet you are able to still receive the health benefits of being thankful.
This year, I have been thinking a lot about the reasons I am thankful and I think you should take the time as well. Even if you just sit down for five minutes out of your day, and actually consider the things and people you are thankful for, do it, but then don’t stop there, take action to actually thank those people in whatever big or small way you can.
If your wife really loves hand massages because she spends her days typing at a computer all day, then massage her hands. If your brother has been wanting you to spend time with him, then do it, and thank him for all he has done for you, and even if he hasn’t.
I implore you to embrace the vulnerability and actually allow others to feel the benefits of thankfulness instead of you.
Instead of Instagramming photos of your perfectly decorated holiday table or the turkey, you will inevitably be eating, show your loved one genuine thanks in person. It seems like a simple enough task, but it can be one that makes us feel pretty vulnerable. I implore you to embrace the vulnerability and actually allow others to feel the benefits of thankfulness instead of you. Happy Thanksgiving dear readers, thank you for reading my posts, listening to my rants, liking my Instagram photos and just letting me have a space to share my thoughts.
*I may or may not have puked from the level of cheese this post contained, my guess, fontina.*