Thanks for Nothing

Yeah, I wrote a Madison Finn book with this title. But I was talking about something completely different. Still…

So what happens when every time you feel like Debbie Downer, mired in the yucky, hating on life, ready to run away from reality…there is ALWAYS someone who says, “awww,  really? I don’t understand why you’re unhappy. You have so much to be thankful for.”

Okay, I admit it’s true. That is the right thing to say. That’s the considerate, unselfish, and grateful thing to say. And trust me, I have a lot of gratitude in here.

I get to be creative in my job. I’m a lucky mom to three rapidly growing teenagers. I have a cool best friend/life partner/husband who actually does all the laundry in our house. (I mean ALL the laundry and that’s just like…JACKPOT!) 

And yet. 

Sometimes the intention of gratitude still doesn’t help me deal with the really hard stuff. I try valiantly to shed my sarcastic skin, but it’s stuck on like Gorilla Glue.

I wish and wish sometimes that:

  1. Life didn’t always boil down to how much stuff we all have–or don’t have, as the case may be.
  2. The TV didn’t always scream at me, whether the news or some over-the-top commercial for puppy underwear (not a real thing, but you get the idea…). 
  3. Other drivers actually used turn signals when making turns.
  4. People wrote back.
  5. People didn’t always let their cell go to voicemail.
  6. People said “please” and “thank you” out loud. And held doors open for the next person. And…well, you get the idea.

Gratitude is a concerted effort. We know we should be more grateful, but we’re tired/lazy/angry/frustrated/numb/____________________(fill in the blank). Somewhere along the way, we give up on the inspiration it takes to let our thankfulness shine. We need to let down our guard, be unafraid. We need to reflect on possibility and where we fit in. 

On my front door is a wreath I made with seven bucks, fake flowers, and a glue gun. I put a decorative sign on top, one of those cheesy ones from the fabric and craft store, that reads GIVE THANKS. It was my shortcut to the message at hand. 

Not the actual door sign, but close. 

And I am happy to report that the sign works. Just because. It’s hard NOT to give thanks when some big sign is reminding me to do just that. I’m sort of a sucker for signs. 

Consider yourself reminded, too. Go give thanks all over the place. Thanks for something. Thanks for everything.

And have a candy cane on me. 

PS: You know what to do now. Fill in those comment forms down below. Tell me what YOU give thanks for most of the time.