Why I’m not living a grateful life this Thanksgiving

grateIf I don’t appear to live a grateful life, it’s because I’m busy! So much so that I often jokingly ask how I could’ve had time to work a 9 to 5. Many mornings when I arise, I place my feet on the floor and walk to the bathroom never once doubting that I am supposed to be right where I am. Alive! It’s not ungrateful, it’s just neglect.

Don’t I appreciate life? I know people who wouldn’t dare get out of bed without thanking God, reading a few pages from their devotionals, and meditating. Not me! I’m deep in thought, mentally preparing for the day or mapping out the next endeavor. I forget to remember to be grateful.

Sometimes when I’ve stressed over a situation and it turns out fine, it may take hours for me to remember to thank God for answering my prayer. When a friend or family member is given a clean bill of health, I don’t drop, immediately, to my knees. I whisper a prayer and keep it moving. I live an ungrateful life!

When my spouse has cooked a special meal, I don’t say thank you. I assume he knows I appreciate it just as he appreciates when it’s my turn.Thoughtless? Or just careless in terms of displaying gratitude, for I am certainly grateful not to have cooked it myself.

When I go out with friends and one of them stops us from digging in so that they can bless the food, I am humbled, and slightly embarrassed. This person is living a grateful life!

When I dine at a restaurant and the waiter serves my food or brings extra napkins or water, I say thank you, but I don’t really mean it. When I’m getting my drink from the bar or the attendant brings my car around, I say thank you, but these are hollow thank you’s. They aren’t signs of real gratitude. I’m going to tip them and I expect their best service. Thank you in those situations is me saying, “Yes, put it down over there.”

Gratefulness is when a service worker has gone out of his or her way to make my day better. Gratefulness is reserved for a store clerk who calls me when the shoes, dress, or suit, comes in at an especially low price or it’s when the waiter runs after me waving the doggie bag I carelessly left behind.

There are times though that gratefulness just smacks me in the face—like saying thank you to a child and letting him know that I value his sweet little kindness. Or when my husband remembers to fill the gas tank for my trip to town. It’s when my neighbor brings over a freshly baked pound cake because she knows I like them.

Everyday that I’m alive, if I reflect on it, I’m living life gratefully. Even now as I sit in a room that I’ve turned into an office, looking out my window on my garden that is frosted over now, I’m grateful. My computer is in relatively good shape, though it’s 6 years old, but I don’t think about that. It’s only when I hear how someone took an old door and placed it across two plywood horses or someone who has to share the computer with the rest of family, that I think about what I have.

I don’t go around touching everything and saying how grateful I am, and I don’t need Thanksgiving to remind me to live a grateful life.

I believe remembering to live in the moment—embracing this life and accepting that it won’t go on forever—stopping to reflect on what I’ve done and what I still need to do—will make me grateful for each moment I have left.

My gratefulness sees me setting aside more time to chat with friends. I’ve been a terrible friend and sister. In addition, if I’m going to spend time alone writing about these people, I can show them a little more attention. Being happy more often and having more fun will be included in my new grateful life.

Oh, and being grateful to you who have taken time to read this. May the end of 2015 and all of 2016 find me producing more meaningful writing to show my gratitude for this blessing of storytelling; and when I’m not writing, I will burn candles and dance barefoot with my husband, or catch a movie, watch a tv show, or, God forbid, watch football.

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Educator, Author, Blogger, and supporter of Independent Writers. One mystery novel, The Neon Houses, http://amzn.to/2kSqdPX. Find me on Twitter @boom_lyn.

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