Q: Everybody is doing that #thankful thing online, and I don’t know if I have a whole month of things to post. It has been a hard year in every category (job, relationships, health). This is a tough way to start the holiday season.
A: November does put a lot of pressure on folks to post laundry lists of what they have or feel when it comes to gratitude. If you’re over/underwhelmed by life and struggling to get basic needs met, then seeing the hashtags of others telling the world how #blessed they are, or reminding you to #givethanks can be tough. Forgive me. I don’t mean to sugarcoat it. It’s more than that. It’s painful. I know.
The Fickle Fairy of Fate has been zapping every category you mentioned in my house too this year, which has made it mighty difficult to see those hashtags of thanks go by when scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. Mental health experts suggest going on a digital diet, but social media plays a big role in my business and I’d miss work opportunities and such. Stepping away from the keyboard is not an option for me, but I’ve found away to watch others at their bountiful banquet table without feeling deprived. I try to think of just like being on a diet when invited to a buffet.
Making a list that starts with the tiniest grain of gratitude. Put it somewhere for your eyes only. You are not required to share the first tiny 20 items with anybody either. I’m going to share a few of mine to get you started:
Closing my eyes. Even for 10 seconds. Being removed from everything for a moment sometimes helps. I’m thankful I can do that.
Water. Whether taking time to drink a glass, wash my hands or face or the time to take a bath, I’m so happy to have water in my world.
Hot water. Giving myself permission to make or have a mug of coffee/tea/cocoa is a luxury I don’t take for granted, even if time constraints mean I’ll have to slug it down quicker than I’d like. I’m still happy to have it available.
Smiles. When someone waves me into traffic or holds a door open when my hands are full, the gesture is an even lovelier gift when accompanied by a smile. That means a lot to me.
Words. As a storyteller I like to string words together, but my heart skips multiple beats when words are presented to me. To be given words in every form, too. Written, spoken, sung … I love that! I’m not a fan of the distasteful ones, so I am a bit discriminating – but wildly appreciative of all the rest.
Time. Whether mine or someone else’s. Not a tick of an analog clock or heartbeat goes by that I don’t recognize the importance of that commodity. It’s an article of trade not always easy to come by.
You. I #givethanks and I’m #thankful for you. #blessed.
xo – t.