Finding Thankfulness

In my life, cynicism and criticalness is is easy. In fact, it’s my norm.. my go to. Thankfulness — now that’s a challenge. Believe it or not, that’s what yesterday was for. Shocker I know… dark meat or light meat is not the only thing that should be on your mind on Thanksgiving. Now I myself am not entirely sure how we got from pilgrims to turkey dinner and football in a matter of a few centuries… but none-the-less.. the day is (by it’s namesake) a day to give thanks. So here is what I’m thankful for on this holiday:

I’m thankful for my mother-in-law’s eagerness to please a household, for her kind and honest smile that says, “It’s not perfect, but it will do.” I’m thankful for rambunctious children and the shameless opportunity to dance and play alongside them. I’m thankful for my sister-in-law, that she proudly walks out of the door the same woman she walked in as. I am thankful for her confidence. I’m thankful for my grandparents-in-law, the way they smile adoringly at their family, the way they perfectly arrange the fruit basket year after year. I’m thankful for my little brother’s long hugs, for the grown-up air he’s suddenly gathered around him. I’m thankful for my mother’s charm, that she highlights even the dullest of moments. I’m thankful for my grandmother’s charisma, that she is instant friends with whoever she sits next to. I’m thankful for my aunt’s quiet desire to serve, for my uncle’s exploding kindness. I’m thankful for my sister’s inclusiveness, she always makes me feel at home. I’m thankful for my stepdad’s encouraging words, the way he’ll always share a good thought about another. I’m thankful for my grandfather’s smile, for his deep, compassionate heart. I’m thankful still for my husband’s impossibly constant grace.

Practicing thankfulness is painful where is it should be natural. My heart smiles when I force it into my hardened heart. Aha! New Year’s Resolution #1 has been conceived: to find thankfulness in everyday’s frustration, to see beyond annoyances and unfairness and to realize how stupid beautiful this life is.

The end.