So often we dwell on the things that seem impossible rather than on the things that are possible. So often we are depressed by what remains to be done and forget to be thankful for all that has been done.
Marian Wright Edelman
For those of us in the United States this is the week that we set aside a day of thanksgiving. I hope those of you in the other parts of the world will join us at least mentally as we reflect on what we have at a time that is difficult for so many people.
What I would like for all of us to do this week is not let ourselves be dragged into depression by our problems but rather rise in appreciation of what we do have. I believe that almost all of us are much better off than the majority of the people in the world.
I may not eat at fancy restaurants as I use to but I eat and I eat pretty well. I may not be able to buy as much as I once did but I already have more than enough to meet my needs. While I have lost friends that I will always miss, they have been replaced by others who enrich my life. I am blessed by my family who while having problems as most do, find joy in each other.
I can go on and on listing what is right in my life and hopefully I will continue to do so between now and Thanksgiving Thursday, I know I will not have time think about what I don’t have. And you know what? At the end of the week I am going to build on all I have to be thankful for and waste no time trying to find out who to blame for today’s challenging times.
It is time to look ahead with hope and not back in desperation. In fact I would love for you and me to always concentrate on being thankful for our life as it is while working to make it and the lives of others even better.
So please take sometime to be thankful this week and then on Thursday when you spend the day with others let them see that you truly appreciate them and the opportunity to share what is right in your life. Just think what the day would be if everyone decided to celebrate what they have rather then covet what they don’t have.
To live a life of gratitude is to open our eyes to the countless ways in which we are supported by the world around us. Such a life provides less space for our suffering because our attention is more balanced. We are more often occupied with noticing what we are given, thanking those who have helped us, and repaying the world in some concrete way for what we are receiving.
She told me that parenthood changes everything. But parenthood also changes with each baby. Here are some of the ways having a second and third child differs from having your first:
-1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
-2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
-3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.
The Baby’s Name
-1st baby: You pore over baby-name books and practice pronouncing and writing combinations of all your favorites.
-2nd baby: Someone has to name his or her kid after your great-aunt Mavis, right? It might as well be you.
-3rd baby: You open a name book, close your eyes, and see where your finger points.
Preparing for the Birth
-1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
-2nd baby: You don’t bother practicing because you remember that last time, breathing didn’t do a thing.
-3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your 8th month.
-1st baby: You pre-wash your newborn’s clothes, color coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby’s little bureau.
-2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
-3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can’t they?
-1st baby: At the first sign of distress — a whimper, a frown you pick up the baby.
-2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
-3rd baby: You teach your 3-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.
-1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home 5 times.
-2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
-3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.
-1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
-2nd baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your older child isn’t squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
-3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.
If you want to make people angry, lie. If you want to make them livid, tell the truth.
Boy is this true or what?
When a man needs a suit, he and his wife go to the store. The salesman and the wife make selections from the rack. The husband tries them on. The wife and the salesman discuss the fit, remarking on the fullness, thinness or any asymmetry of the husband’s body. The jacket and pants are pulled, tucked, pleated and bunched in assessing the need for tailoring.
Once a suit is chosen, the wife and the store’s tailor repeat the fitting procedure and then negotiate a date when the suit will be ready.
On leaving the store, the husband may talk if he wishes.
To belittle is to be little.
A cowboy rode into town and stopped at a saloon for a drink. Unfortunately, the locals always had a habit of picking on strangers, which he was. When he finished his drink, he found his horse had been stolen.
He went back into the bar, flipped his gun into the air, caught it above his head without even looking and fired a shot into the ceiling. "Which one of you sidewinders stole my horse?" he yelled with surprising forcefulness. No one answered.
"All right, I’m gonna have another beer, and if my hoss ain’t back outside by the time I finish, I’m gonna do what i dun in texas! And I don’t like to have to do what I dun in texas!"
Some of the locals shifted restlessly. He had another beer, walked outside, and his horse was back! He saddled-up and started riding out of town.
The bartender wandered out of the bar and asked, "Say pardner, before you go… what happened in Texas?"
The cowboy turned back and said, "I had to walk home."
What’s the difference between a boyfriend and a husband?
About 30 pounds.
One night a wife found her husband standing over their baby’s crib. Silently she watched him. As he stood looking down at the sleeping infant, she saw on his face a mixture of emotions: disbelief, doubt, delight, amazement, enchantment, skepticism.
Touched by this unusual display and the deep emotions it aroused, with eyes glistening she slipped her arm around her husband.
"A penny for your thoughts," she said.
"It’s amazing!" he replied. "I just can’t see how anybody can make a crib like that for only $46.50."
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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The editor is somewhat senile.