How to be Thankful.

Dan.jpgI just returned home from dinner out with the kids. It’s a nice rainy night, and we were all so warm and cozy inside the restaurant. It was the usual mix of merriment, and frustration, with us trying to have a good time, yet my daughter and I having to sit through the boys’ ongoing bickering. I shouldn’t be too surprised, as I don’t think I liked my older brother much until we both became adults. 

Yet my lackluster mood must have been quite transparent, as my daughter asked if I was feeling okay. I asked why she was asking, to which she responded that I looked either very tired, or perhaps life was just getting to me. Without giving much thought to what I was going to say, I unfortunately responded that I was tired of life. Not one of my best moments.

I’m really struggling to maintain a sense of gratitude for life these days. Of course it is only highlighted by the fact that Thanksgiving arrives this week. I’m so tired of all the commercials with all the happy families preparing for their gatherings. I know that there is plenty for me to be thankful for, that’s not the issue. I’m just tired of having to be optimistic about a life that has really disappointed me.

I think people would be very surprised to hear this from me, as I’m usually a good spirited person. I’m the one who others feel good about, knowing that I am “doing so well” in spite of my loss. Family members keep telling me that things are beginning to go my way, and that there must be good things ahead for me and my kids. I wouldn’t necessarily argue their point, I am fortunate, and some positive things have been coming my way, yet again, why must I be thankful?

Is it because being bitter is so unbecoming? Is bitter so last year? Well, I suppose it is. I know that I need to be thankful, yet I struggle to know how. For the sake of those gathered around the table I will put on my thankful attire. I will speak in platitudes if I must. Yet here, and now, I want to express how difficult it is to do so. I want to say that I am thankful for many things, yet I am not yet at a place where I can genuinely say that I am a thankful person. I am not yet ready to celebrate this feast of thanksgiving. I am still hurting, and I know that I am not alone. At the same time I know, and trust, that I will be in a better frame of mind in the future, and for that, I suppose I am thankful.


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