In the U.S., we often let our expressions of gratitude collect through the year like little treasures quietly stowed away until November rolls around. Then, on Thanksgiving, we unleash them explicitly and joyfully in a shower of gratitude for things big and small: Health, happiness, puppies, seat warmers in the car, financial stability, our partners and spouses, spectator sports, chocolate, neoprene, coffee, hair, grandchildren, opposable thumbs, trade winds and piña coladas, the smell of pine trees, flannel sheets, my children's caring and thoughtful teachers, british accents, Craig's safe return from China, modern medicine... The list goes on, and I'm sure yours does, too. Thanksgiving is truly about more than food: It is a wonderful explosion of good feelings, warmth, and hope. But if it's so warm and fuzzy, why do we wait for a special day to give thanks? Maybe it's because we need the regular reminder. After all, our daily lives are often fraught with shitty things big and small, that take on more urgency than the things we love and are grateful for.
Sometimes, during our Februaries, Junes, and Augusts, we do remember the things that make us feel grateful or fortunate. But what would it take to make every single day a day of giving thanks; a day of gratitude? I'd like to think it doesn't take a cancer diagnosis. But I do know that not one day has gone by since last November that I have not been immensely thankful for someone or something. Some days I almost tear up with thankfulness and relief for simply being here, for Craig's kindness and love, and my ability to play soccer with a bunch of other middle aged men and women. Other days, it's more mundane stuff: gel nail polish, for example, or large sized non-stick bandaids for the cuts on my knees from soccer. Cancer sucks, but in a very bizarre way, I'm grateful for how my cancer diagnosis made me more aware of all of the little beautiful things. They're there. All the time. Right in front of us.
So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm going to share here a post I made here on my blog last May titled, simply, "Grateful." Happy thanks-giving, everyone.
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