Another October holiday has past, another turkey cooked and another feast consumed. So what now? In the daily rush and grind of everyday life and work do we ever stop to think what it truly means to be thankful anymore?
What does it mean to be thankful? It seems like such any easy question to answer, yet it is more complicated than we think. I mean we have a entire holiday devoted to giving thanks. Yes we can say we are thankful for a host of things, good food, health, a home, family and friends; all things worthy of thanks for sure but what beyond that? Do we see beyond what is in front of us anymore? Are you thankful beyond Thanksgiving Day?
Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for all the things I listed above too, but my thanks this year extends beyond the physical possessions I own and beyond the people I hold most dear. My thanks are for the enlightenment I have gone through, the reawakening, and the rebirth. Every day the air I breathe is a gift. The sun upon my face is a treasure. The earth I walk on is to be loved. Each day is a new beginning. Now I can appreciate this fact.
I guess now that I am entering another stage of my life, being over forty (but not my much), and leaving the selfishness and self-consumption of my adolescence behind I find myself contemplating life and all it has to offer more than ever before. Maybe it is an existential crisis, a search for a new identity and purpose. Many may be familiar with the same feelings. I am telling you forty does something to you. It really does. I had a hard time dealing with the reality that I was turning forty this year, let alone having to deal with all of these new thoughts, ideas, life lessons, passions, feelings. It is like I am meeting myself for the very first time.
I have little patience for BS anymore, I leave drama alone, I hate wasting time, and I really do not care what anyone thinks of me or says about me anymore. These things paralyzed me in my youth. I was a people pleasing, bend over backward yes person. And now, well I am a whole new me with a whole new outlook on MY LIFE and the way I WANT TO LIVE IT. See now I truly understand that I cannot control anyone else in this universe. I can only control myself; my impulses, my thoughts, my words, my actions. This realization is what I am most thankful for.
I think being thankful is like a journey you take during your life. As each experience happens, each lesson is learned and each opportunity presents itself we use these experiences to calculate what we are thankful for. It’s like a math equation for life.
Opportunities ÷ experiences+ people x lessons learned-BS= Life (my calculation)
Life is complicated, complex, intriguing, overwhelming, exhausting, hard and filled with many unexpected twists and turns. Just like parenthood, it does not come with a “how to” manual. You live life and make it the way you want it. Good or bad. You alone control your destiny and your decisions. So after this thanksgiving I want to say I am truly thankful. For turning forty, for my life, all the lessons I have learned, the people I have met, the opportunities I have been given, the paths I have chosen that led me here and the experiences I have loved.
So as you prepare for tomorrow and next Thanksgiving ask yourself what you are really thankful for. It may not be as easy as it seems.