I am going to have to be completely, bare boned, honest with you all, I did not spend Thanksgiving – the one day of the year where the day is literally devoted to being grateful – very thankful. In fact I was angry. I was angry that I had to work, I was angry that everything was closed, I was angry that I was in Buffalo for 35 hours: freezing, lonely and bored ( in that order) when some of my coworkers had managed to slip through the crew scheduling cracks and were spending the day with their friends and families… the very place where I had wanted to be. I let my anger and frustration simmer and fester until I had just about ruined my day. Actually scratch that, it totally ruined my day. One negative thought turned into two, then three, and pretty soon I was just a ball of negativity, wallowing in self pity refusing to get out of my crisp, white hotel sheets.
I was texting a friend of mine, letting all of that disappointment show quite freely, and he being a marine and the realist that he is and not one to put up with whining and petty B.S, pretty much put me in my place and said, “you know what? I am not spending Thanksgiving with my family either, I have spent a lot of holidays alone. I guess I just had a different mindset about it.” In other words he said, I went through the same thing but I had a positive outlook, and the only reason you are having such a bad day is because of YOU. Yikes. The brutal honesty of those Marines, let me tell you. Has he ever heard of sugar-coating? I think not. But he was totally right, and I was completely ashamed because I had wasted my whole day getting upset about what I didn’t have, what I couldn’t change, when God has truly blessed me with so much.
If I could do yesterday over, I would start the morning thinking of ALL of the reasons why I should be eternally grateful – not just on Thanksgiving but every single day. Every single day that we wake up, and have breath in our lungs we have something to be thankful for. We may have trials, we may have disappointments, but there is ALWAYS a reason, many reasons, to wake up and live each day with a grateful heart. I could say that I wasted yesterday, but I do think I learned some things. So here is my challenge for you, whenever you wake up and you start to feel that negativity setting in, start to feel those, “what if I had this,” or, “what if I was here,” take a deep breath, and tell yourself this day is a blessing. God has blessed me with another day to love people, to make an impact on the world, to simply breathe. If that’s the only thing you feel you have to be thankful for hang onto it. Hang onto that single thought and I guarantee it will multiply. All it takes is one positive thought, and you will begin to see that there are blessings in all the little things too, in the fact that you have warm clothes to wear, in your morning coffee, in the smile of an old friend. I can’t change my day from yesterday. I can’t go back and change my attitude, but I will start today in a different way, and for that I am Thankful.