Some of you will be reading this before Thanksgiving and therefore the Thanksgiving commentary from those who are writing about Thanksgiving-to-come will feel appropriate. Some may even be reading it on Thanksgiving Day and may feel the goodwill and sense of blessings intended for all, giving them yet more reasons to feel blessed. Yet others still may not get around to reading it until after they are all through with the hustle and bustle of the holiday dinner and/or the company coming and going or the traveling far to visit their loved ones.
We will be happy and thankful if you read our articles or our columns at any time at all.
As I write this, it is three days until Thanksgiving. I would have preferred to take at least one of those days for total introspection and meditation and contemplation, but as real-life would have it, I don’t have that luxury. I have time commitments right up until Wednesday night.
The good news is that the older we get, the more we figure out ways to do things that we don’t have time for. One of the ways we can give ourselves a little more time is to just not do the things we don’t really want to do, the things we don’t especially like doing, and the things that aren’t that important to begin with. It’s funny how life goes on when we’re sick or unable to do what was so important before, yet now everybody can manage without it being done.
Some days we might not even have time to go through our mail, so we happily throw out those envelopes that are more than likely solicitations or advertisements of some sort,
Then there’s the time spent looking at emails that we didn’t want in the first place. I am now spending a little bit of time clicking on their unsubscribe button (if they have one) or replying to them to please take me off their mailing list. I would prefer having a lot less email since around 200 emails a day is a bit much.
Well, we all have our ways of cutting down on what we do — or feel we have to do — but we ought never to cut down on those things we truly want to do, such as staying in touch with our friends, writing those letters we’ve been meaning to do, visiting our neighbor who has no family and loves it when we show up to play dominoes or checkers with him, and calling anyone we haven’t spoken to in years.
Anything that brings happiness to others and makes us feel glad we did it is a worthwhile thing. Reading emails or spending two hours on Facebook might not do as much for us.
Needless to say, we ought not to wait till Thanksgiving comes around to do those things that brighten up another’s day, yet if we do wait, at least let’s get hopping to actually do them. I can tell you from personal experience that there is practically nothing better than getting a card or letter in the mail from an old friend, sharing some happy memories and telling me what I mean to them. As we get older (and that’s the only way life works), we so like knowing that the trails we’ve traveled and the deeds we’ve done along the way have not faded into oblivion. We know that when we get those unexpected little envelopes in the mail telling us that those memories live on and what we did or shared mattered, it can make our day — or even our year.
So even though many more hours of work lie ahead, tonight and tomorrow, and other commitments lie ahead on Wednesday, I am spending time with my happy memories and thoughts of all the many things I am grateful for as I write these words.
Gratitude is so much a part of a happy, healthy, and peaceful life that it really should come up at a doctor’s appointment. If a person does not have a grateful heart, chances are their heart may be in need of a little fixing. And gratitude, in my opinion, is more important than some of the other subjects they teach in school.
Old-fashioned values never go out of style, and the more children learn those values, the more gratitude they’ll have, automatically, as they grow older and have their own memories of what they are grateful for.
So to all those of you who have a place in my heart, I am grateful. I am grateful for all the usual things and all those personal things that only each one of us alone can know. And my appreciation for all the blessings in my life does not start on Thanksgiving Day Eve and end at midnight of the official day. I’m with all those who honor the
source of their blessings each and every day. My heart is full, and that fullness is heavy with gratitude as I hope yours is too!
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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.