It’s hard to get in the habit of saying “thanks”.  The days go by and my frustrations and struggles can sometimes overshadow the realization I’ve got a pretty good life.  This Thanksgiving holiday is a reminder of my need to be thankful.

And yet….if you think about it, all the holidays are about giving thanks for something.  There’s Mother’s Day and Father’s day.  There are all the religious holidays on which we give thanks for our relationship with our Creator and for all the good things that have come to us in our lives. There are all the civic holidays on which we give thanks for the founding of our country, and for the men and women who worked, fought and died for it.

The idea of a single day of thanksgiving misses the point. What about the other 364 days?  Weren’t there things to be thankful for on each one of them? Maybe the idea of Thanksgiving needs to be more than just a one-day event on our calendar–maybe it  needs to be a permanent state of mind.

Sitting here on the shank end of a Monday (and it has been a truly repulsive Monday) I was chewing on some frustrations and disappointments that sprang up today like weeds in the garden of my Thanksgiving week.   To get out of this mood, I decided to reflect on the things I’m thankful, and started a list.  About 14 items later, it was clear I needed to shut up and stop complaining.

Here are the top  things on my list.  Each one of them is something  I can imagine my life without, but it would be a much different life. And I kind of  like the one I’ve got.  It isn’t perfect, but its mine.  Make your own list and, if you feel like it, share it with me.

  • My children
  • My grandchildren
  • My brothers and sisters
  • Deep friendships with very special friends
  • Good health
  • Interesting work
  • Great clients
  • Mentors who have helped me along the way
  • Poetry, and my new book
  • Living in Portland
  • The Columbia Gorge
  • All the books that have become my close friends
  • Reaching my 70’s relatively undamaged
  • The surprising generosity of everyday life

Thanks!  I’m grateful for you, too, because you are part of my world, and you read what I write.  And that’s a real gift to me.  So, here’s a Thanksgiving haiku for you.

For what we’re given
And from what we have been spared
Daily gratitude

Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving!