As Canadian Thanksgiving approaches, I’ve been thinking about the things that bug the heck out of me. This brooding gets pretty old pretty fast. So I thought about how I could turn these irritants into little nuggets of golden gratefulness. I came up with these three unconventional things to be thankful for.
Mean, Miserable People
What is there to be thankful for in the mean words and cutting actions of others? I mean, they’re irritating, right? But these folks in their meanness and miserableness remind me of the times when I’ve been mean and miserable. I get ready to either mount my high horse or play the victim, and then I take a long look in the mirror. Oh yeah, I’ve been that person! I will try not to be that person, but the chances are very good that I will be either mean or miserable or both again, and probably it will be soon.
Listen to me read this post:
Mean people (or more accurately mean actions) also remind me of the power and the importance of love and kindness. Cruelty is so easily destructive and sharp criticism can build walls of mistrust and misunderstanding. Love alone can tear those barriers down.
How can I be grateful for my rapidly disappearing life and my deteriorating body? Well, getting older sure beats being dead. For some reason, each morning when I wake up and each night before I fall asleep, I think about how old I am. For a long time, I’ve identified myself by my age and judged my success or failure in life by what I have or haven’t accomplished by certain ages. It’s true and it’s stupid. I’m sick of primarily thinking of myself as a person of a certain age. I don’t want to worry about it anymore. I’m tired of judging myself.
Lately I’ve recognized all the great gifts that aging has given me. I love my more peaceful life. When I was a youth, I remember always needing to have music on or needing to be in conversation with someone. I bathed my brain in racket. Nowadays, I spend a lot of time alone and in silence. Nowadays, I bathe my mind in quiet.
I love the patience I’ve fostered over the years. Without the passing of time, I could’ve never become so patient. I used to push myself so hard, to do this and to do that. And now I work slowly and steadily and with no hope of an outcome. I always get somewhere working this way just as surely as I would by pressuring myself with goals I may never achieve. For me, this steady pace is one of the best things about being older.
Yes, with aging have come aches and pains. That’s how it goes. What is there about pain to make me feel thankful? It’s kind of like the old joke:
Why are you banging your head against that wall?
Because it feels so good when I stop.
Those pain-free moments are blissful. Pain also reminds me of all the miles I’ve walked and all those years I’ve had the opportunity to be active. I didn’t have a physical disability or disease that kept me from moving. Thank goodness because I really enjoy activity. Because of this, my hips and knees are wearing out, but I’m confident I’ve got quite a few miles left in them yet.
Perception is My Choice
This October and at this age, I can focus on the mean words of others and use that as my excuse to be cruel and angry, too. Or I can remember to be kind and to change the world that way.
As another fall sets in, I can choose to feel down about my aging body or, instead, I can feel grateful that I’m as healthy and active as I am.
When pain comes to visit, I can curse it and wish that I had no pain at all or I can choose to remember that this mild pain means that I’ve moved and I’ve lived and that I am still gratefully alive. Happy Thanksgiving!
If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read and listened to here, consider supporting my work via Patreon. That would make my day! Thanks for reading and listening. ~ Lori