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It'll be quick this week. I have pumpkin pies in the oven!
I'm sure you're used to getting lots of "be thankful for this and that" e-mails this year. Do you have a case of the "blah, blah, blahs"? Feeling like you don't have much to be thankful for this year?
Of course, there are some folks facing recent tragedies and incredibly difficult circumstances, and I don't think anyone begrudges them the right to be down at what is usually a fun, happy time.
But for the rest of us who face the usual stack of trials and tribulations, maybe we should let ourselves go and skip being thankful this year, too. After all...
...you have to spend Thanksgiving with obnoxious relatives, usually of the in-law persuasion
...your spouse won't do anything but watch football or complain about being in the kitchen
...you aren't getting a raise or bonus this year
...your living expenses keep increasing
...your credit card company just raised its fees
...your credit card is maxed out thanks to higher gas prices
...your bank just raised its fees
...your office Christmas party has been cancelled
...your house isn't worth what it used to be
...your investments aren't doing so hot
...your kids may have to go to a state college
...your have to turn down your heat and hot water
...you may not be able to take a vacation this year
...your neighbor is not only putting up the inflated Pooh merry-go-round in the front yard this year, this year but he's taken lessons from Clark Griswold and lit up your entire living room with a cluster of spotlights on the fiberglass Rudolph
See how easy it is? Here's my list...
...the kids can't pick up after themselves
...I can't even use the bathroom without being interrupted
...I don't have any cashmere sweaters or tall boots and I don't have the money to buy them
...I'm hosting both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner
...I have to do all the shopping and wrapping and distributing
...I still have to put away all the spring and summer clothes, sorting and deciding what's a hand-me-down and what goes to charity
...I just bought my son size XL clothes and now they're too small, 4 months later
...one of the kids might need braces
...Fritos just went up 84 cents a bag at Wal-Mart
Yep, those are some tough--and just plain annoying--things to deal with this year.
And here's yet another list. Some people...
...don't have any relatives, much less in-laws
...don't have a job or income
...rely on charity to survive
...don't have an entertainment or savings budget
...don't have a bank
...don't have investments and never will
...don't have a car
...don't have kids to send to college because they're in prison
...don't have kids to send to college because they succumbed to illness
...don't have kids to send to college because they ran away from home
...don't have kids to send to college because they're trapped in drugs or crime
...don't have kids who bother talking to them any more
...don't have a house
...don't have heat or hot water
...don't have indoor plumbing or running water
...have never taken a vacation and never will
...can't read or write
...can't physically get out of bed
...are facing a terminal illness
...are watching someone they love slowly die from a terminal illness
...have a loved one in the military who hasn't been home in months
...are mentally ill and will never live a normal life
...live in a garbage dump
...are physically and/or mentally abused every day of their lives
...live in a war zone or dictatorship, afraid for their lives
Yep, I tricked you. Makes MOST of the stuff on our list seem a little
easier to handle, doesn't it?
Let's not trivialize the problems we have, but let's not get bogged down in them, either. We all have something to be thankful for. So let's just do it and enjoy one day.
If you're an 80's kid like me, watch Band Aid do their thing in this classic video:
There are still kids out there with big stomachs and
flies buzzing around their heads, and there are kids right here in
America going hungry. But now more than ever it's easier to
do something about it. With online donations, you can make
a difference quickly. Take a moment to give to your local
mission, homeless shelter, church or the Salvation Army:
I hope you have a wonderful and truly happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. May
you be content in all your blessings!
I am very thankful for all of you, and thankful that you choose to read my
newsletter week after week. I count you as friends.