Being Thankful for the Little Things

Every November, my Facebook news feed is filled with well-intentioned daily posts of all those things for which we are thankful.  Every year, though, these are the same – family, friends, a job, a home, etc.

Though I am thankful for my family, my job, and plethora of other people and things, I can’t help but think that there are so many other things – “little” things  that we use each and every day – that make our lives, our families, our jobs, and our homes that much nicer.

So, I decided to concentrate on these things, which I know some people saw as crazy.  A few even messaged me saying they I was “mocking” Thanksgiving.   But that was never my intention.  My intention was to make sure that we realize that the life we live is made possible by the little things.

If you read my blog, then you know that I spent time each summer with my grandparents when I was growing up.  My grandparents were very poor, and always happy for all they had.  They didn’t have indoor plumbing, which meant my cousins and I made many trips to the outhouse by flashlight and took baths in the galvanized tub in the kitchen.

They did have running water in the kitchen, but when my mom was growing up, the family didn’t even have that.  They had a large stone fireplace that heated the entire cabin, lanterns instead of electricity, and a kitchen stove that used wood in order to heat water,  cook or bake.

 

The nights where I live have grown cold now  – below freezing – and most of us have simply flipped a switch to “heat” and turned up the thermostat.  This morning, I had toilet paper in my bathroom, soap and a hot shower, and toothpaste.  I also had my perfume, and those that know me well know that I consider this a necessity.

When you posted your days of thankfulness on Facebook this month, did you think about being thankful for these things? Probably not.  We tend to take these things for granted.   Instead, we spend the holidays thinking about our families, the food we eat, and the gifts we purchase on Black Friday.  We don’t stop to think that there are so many little things that go into making our lives luxurious.

Maybe you don’t consider your life to be “luxurious”.  You dream about a bigger house, a new car, or even just a job where you have money left over after paying your bills.

Ask yourself this: did you wake up in a warm bed this morning?  Did you have enough to eat yesterday?  Did you enjoy a hot shower this morning, or maybe a cup of coffee while watching the news?  If you answered yes, then your life is luxurious.

Did you use soap or body wash in the shower?  Did you have shampoo and conditioner for your hair, and toothpaste for your toothbrush?  Then your life is luxurious.

Are you reading this post on your smart phone, tablet, or laptop?  Then your life is luxurious.

This morning, right here in the U.S., many woke up without heat, without food, without electricity or running water.  Others woke up in shelters or on the streets.  Not because they’re lazy or addicts, but because they lost a job, divorce/separation, fleeing domestic violence, a long-term illness with extensive medical bills; the list goes on.

Others did not have family with whom to spend their Thanksgiving holiday.  Others didn’t have the money for a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and were thankful for the sandwich they could afford.

So, the next time you feel like you can’t catch a break or that you can’t handle another one of life’s curve balls, stop and consider all that you do have.  Think about the little things that make your life a little nicer, a little easier, and little more luxurious.   Then think about what you can do to make someone else’s life a little more luxurious.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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