You’ve seen the memes, the doormats, and the hand-painted wall décor reminding you to be grateful. You’ve seen the #blessed social media posts, maybe you even attempted a gratitude journal. Being actively grateful can be a challenge and it’s definitely something you have to practice. Add a year like 2020 to the mix and feeling thankful can be especially hard.
The go-to Thanksgiving table “What are you thankful for” responses might not apply this year – spending time with family, a job and a steady paycheck, hobbies, even the opportunity to sit around the Thanksgiving table may not exist for some this year. And that sucks.
As a culture, we’ve been conditioned to be grateful for what we have, especially what we have that is above and beyond the norm. This year has stripped us bare, forcing us back to basics. And we grieve what we are missing – the parties, travel, shopping, even simply seeing the entirety of another person’s face. It’s bitter and brutal, with still no definite end in sight.
While we should all be grateful for our health, for the people working on a vaccine, those working on the front lines, and our veterans here and far – when wrapped up in our own despair, even that can be hard.
If you’re struggling to find even the tiniest glimmer of gratitude and just can’t stomach the frou-frou, optimist, every cloud has a silver lining approach – lean into your cynical side instead. You don’t just have to be grateful for the heartwarming crap. Look for the most ridiculous things you can be thankful for – maybe that you scored the last OREO from the cupboard, that you didn’t stub your toe today, or the dog didn’t eat her own frozen turd this morning. You could be thankful that you can wear your pajamas to your “stay at home” Thanksgiving and no one can say a word, or that you don’t have to come up with something cheesy thing to be thankful for at the dinner table.
When you feel a little better after coming up with snarky things that make you #blessed, you might be able to find a way to feel legitimately grateful about somethings too. This year, don’t focus on being thankful for what you have, instead, focus on being grateful for who you are – that might be your sense of humor, your incredible work ethic, the way you show up for your siblings and parents, or even the ability to make your home a really nice place to hang out Every. Single. Day. for the past year.
If all else fails – you can just be thankful you’re still breathing – albeit not in public without the mandatory face covering.
At Real Stories North, we’re grateful for all our readers.
Thank you for sharing our stories! Happy Thanksgiving.