I can be a cynic.
(I prefer realist. But those around me may debate the semantics.)
In spite of this, I also have a major crush on gratitude. Strike that. I’m in deep with gratitude. We’re in a committed relationship with matching tattoos and a DVR full of episodes of House Hunters. Not only do I find joy in really simple things (wilting spinach over heating elements, the scent found only by walking by an active dryer vent), but I am able to be truly thankful for that joy. This, to me, is one of the great ironies of my lil life. Critical eye sharpened, ready and willing to call out the cracks while also searching for any chance I get to be like “Yes! Life! This is the best! You are the best! I’m in! I support! I love!”
I understand the two aren’t mutually exclusive, gratitude and cynicism. In fact, it would make sense that where there is cynicism, there is also a search for gratitude. As the kind of person who looks around at life and is constantly seeing lemons, I’m apt to CHUG the lemonade when I come across it. But they’re definitely an odd coupling.
IF THIS IS MAKING ME SOUND FULL OF MYSELF, I’M SORRY(ish), BUT IT’S TRULY ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT MYSELF SO BARE WITH ME, OK?
My point to all of this is that I’m a big fan of Thanksgiving. The food I could take or leave (beside Alice Water’s scalloped potatoes that I will find any excuse to make), but the thankfulness is something I look forward to– the ability to ask anyone “what are you thankful for?” no matter how uncomfortable that makes them.
What I want to debunk is the idea that your main channels of gratitude have gotta always be the big four:
(sub options may be safety, food, education… yawn.)
You’re appreciative for these things.
I’m appreciative for these things.
We’re all appreciative for these things. And if you’re not, then you’ve got bigger problems than I care to help you with, FRANKLY.
I want to dig a little deeper. I want us all to dig a little deeper. Let’s move this from an okay date where I forget how many siblings you told me you have by the drive home to a real panty-dropper, if you catch my DRIFT, PEOPLE.
What makes you tick? And by tick, I mean, twitch. Gratitude so strong that it causes a temporary nerve issue on your human face.
What kind of YouTube videos make you so grateful to be on this earth that you tear up alone in your room, just you and the glow your laptop at 1am on a Tuesday?
Who in your life this year drove you so insane this year that it forced you to be thankful for the rest of the semi-normal people?
THIS is the Thanksgiving that I want us all to have. Thanksgiving that forces people to stop being nice and start being real. …REAL THANKFUL, AMIRIGHT?
You’ve gotta dig for it, but it’s wonderful habit to foster. You’ll be doing it constantly before you know it. Sort of like driving on the freeway with a small part of your brain keeping an eye out for Hawaii license plates. Also, if gratitude sounds like a drag to you, turn it into something more cunning – a competition that you can play with your friends to be the very most grateful. So grateful that you WIN! BECAUSE LIFE IS ABOUT WINNING!!!!!
Anyway, this year has a lot of those for me that I’m going to keep thinking about this whole week and maybe post about later. A deluge of gratitude that I want to make sure I get the most mileage out of that I possibly can.
Thankfulness isn’t just for awkward conversation once a year on an unseasonably warm day in November. It’s an opportunity to literally change the way life turns out.
Hit me up with the things you’re gutturally thankful for. Big or small.