Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Choose to be Grateful

I have to be honest – this wasn’t the post I originally set down to write.  I had a choice of a number of topics, and all seemed negative.  Some were political, some were sports-related, and with tomorrow being Thanksgiving, none of them set right with me.  That bummed me out.

And frankly, I’ve been feeling bummed a lot of late, partly because of events around me (terrorist attack in Paris and the fallout from that attack, refugee “crisis,” Feds ready to raise interest rates, etc.) and much closer to home (lost a friend to cancer, had a root canal go bad and have a return trip to the “drill team” set for next week, another home appliance shot craps, etc.). The bummed-ness was affecting my desire to write, let alone my ability to write well (which also bummed me a bit, but then I usually write sucky anyway and hope no one notices).

While doing some research (aka flipping through Facebook’s news feed) I found this article about choosing to be grateful. The timing could not be better. The story resonated with me, and especially this one line:

For many people, gratitude is difficult, because life is difficult.

No shit.  Life can be a struggle, and what this article (and many more – see below) suggests is that despite the struggle, the search for the “good” will not only help you through the struggle better than if you  only concentrate on the “bad” but it will also make you feel better about everything else.  Just what I needed now.  In spades.

So for today, and the rest of the weekend (because it’s appropriate, dammit), I choose to be grateful, and I’m letting go of all that negativity.  I say through the weekend because I have to see the dentist on Monday.  As Mom says, “we’ll see.”

I realize that pretty much everything we do is a choice.  Yes, sometimes it doesn’t FEEL like a choice, but it is.  Even doing nothing about something is a choice (to be inactive and do nothing).  Mona and I joke about all the changes we’ve made in our lives, and all the various “choices” we’ve had.  Sometimes we had to choose between two lousy choices (or sometimes more than two lousy ones), but we always tried to pick the “least worst.” 

So why not choose to be grateful?  Surely I have plenty for which to be grateful (or, because of tomorrow), thankful.  Yes, plenty.  I have good health (except for tooth #19, of course), I’ve been married to the same wonderful woman for 40 years (I never know when she might read this, and want to make it to 41), the business had a another great year, my four ebooks continue to sell (I’m a thousandaire, not a millionaire), we have heat in the house, I have many friends across the globe (and even some on Facebook)…oh, I could go on and on.

And that’s the point.  We SHOULD go on and on about the good stuff.  Because it will make us healthier and happier.  So says the research here, here, here, and here (and in the original link). 

And isn’t the whole idea in life to be happy?

So be thankful.  Be grateful.  Be happy.  And share all of that with family, friends, neighbors…heck, total strangers if the mood strikes you.  Why not?  It might make THEM grateful, and you know what happens next.

And if you have trouble coming up with reasons to be grateful, try this:

Happy Thanksgiving.

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