Being thankful is so underrated these days. I think back to my childhood growing up. I was an 80’s baby, born in 1983 yet I can remember it like it was yesterday. Thanksgiving at my mother’s house was always a great time. The nostalgic smell of roasted turkey, ham, macaroni and cheese, fresh collard greens, candied yams, cornbread, and so much more fills my nostrils and thus my mental space with goodness, my soul with joy, and my belly with food. 🙂
My family and I didn’t have much growing up considering the fact that I was the youngest of 8 kids. Many times we struggled, but I honestly cannot remember a single year that we did not have a huge Thanksgiving feast. My parents sometimes planned for months to make sure that one day we ate exceptionally well. Then like most families we would watch football, go outside and play, and ride bikes in the cool weather. Pure happiness and blissful thoughts.
The shear excitement of being out of school, playing Nintendo after dinner, and being with my family the following Friday after Thanksgiving was more than enough. I truly don’t even remember Black Friday being a special event growing up in the 1980’s and 90’s. I’m sure that some commercialization was present back then, but in no comparison to today. I always remembered watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Christmas movies back to back and enjoying my mom’s famous leftover fried turkey sandwiches.
Let me be clear: In no way am I being judgmental or condemning anyone that enjoys the hustle and bustle of Black Friday. I surely enjoy it as well with all of the savings and specials. I just have to ask, have we become so obsessed with materialistic possessions that we don’t even know how to operate within the realm of simplicity anymore? It’s simply a question that I have pondered on while I hypocritically fill my shopping cart with toys, games, and clothes for my 4 children.
As we approach Thanksgiving 2018, I challenge you to focus on the simple things and maintain an attitude of gratitude. Even if your circumstances are not ideal or are just plain negative, their is always someone out there that would love to live the life you have. Some stranger out there would indulge in the pieces of food you find not appetizing to your precious taste buds. What would the child out there living in poverty say about your situation if he looked into the dining room of your home?
My friends the giving of thanks is the key to having a successful Thanksgiving. It’s not the holiday it’self. Be grateful, be content, and be happy everyday. Happiness comes from within a thankful heart. Thank God for another day. Learn to be grateful for your health. If you can open your mouth to eat, that’s a blessing. If you have the means to treat your family to food in general, you have it better than people in various countries around the world! I have a quick story to share with you my reader.
As I complained about a lack of money one day I had an associate tell me a harsh reality. He stated “If you have the type of problems that can actually be solved by accumulating more money, consider yourself lucky.” I was offended because he had money and was very successful. As I reluctantly inquired what he meant by this, I realized that from his response he looked at my situation similar to how I viewed his. He looked at me and said “You don’t know how lucky you are having a wife, 4 beautiful healthy kids, and people that love you. I just moved here by myself, no family, no associations, just me.”
I started to think about a few things. Their are rich people with terminal illnesses. There are successful single people that have no one to spend their wealth on. There are beautiful people that struggle with self esteem because of how they were treated in the past. When I was laid off from my job this past July that coworker ended up moving back home to be closer to his family. This made me realize something that I will share with you all. Put your life in perspective this Thanksgiving, so you can truly be thankful. Don’t compare, it’s all a state of mind. Signing off for now,
V.R. (Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!)