I hope everyone had a very good Thanksgiving yesterday. Our small family dinner at a suburban PA inn was quite nice, especially because my mother, aunt, husband, and son could all be there with me.
One of life’s truest blessings is seeing the same faces — even the wrinkled ones :)– around the Thanksgiving table each year. Yet the texture of each holiday may be different, depending on who’s able to be present. So yesterday I paused silently to think about those who weren’t . . . or couldn’t be.
Next year, I look forward to seeing these same faces–and I hope even more faces–around the Thanksgiving table in my own home.
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Now, you may be wondering about the significance of the unusual image in this post. It’s actually an ad from a clock company that inscribes gratitude quotes on its customizeable large wall clocks (which can also be personalized in other ways). I was searching for a graphic that incorporates the notion that Thanksgiving–or more precisely, thankfulness–isn’t just about what happens on the fourth Thursday of November. Rather, it’s about how we live throughout time–in every moment we take a breath, we can find some reason to be happy about it. And maybe appreciating what we have lays the foundation for bringing even more good things into our lives. And the more treasures we have, the more we have to share with others. (I know it doesn’t always work that way, but wouldn’t it be nice if it did. . . .)
I’m not quite evolved enough to appreciate everything that happens with each breath I take. But I am grateful for all that I have–as well as for all that I don’t have (a disease with a more dire prognosis, for example).
Also, I wanted to include a quotation in this day-after-the-holiday post, and I combed through lists of them trying to find an appropriate one. The thought I was trying to capture was something like what I remember reading somewhere many years ago: to understand gratitude, imagine that you’ve lost everything–and then found it again.
I wasn’t able to find an actual quotation that totally encapsulates the essence of what I’ve been trying to say in plainer words above, but this one comes close:
Take full account of the excellencies which you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not. — Marcus Aurelius
To me, the day after Thanksgiving is also the day before another 24 hours in which to be grateful, both for what I have and for what I don’t have.
And understanding this–really getting it–may just be therapeutic.
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Back to regular blogging about health and healthcare tomorrow.