When Thanksgiving comes around everyone starts posting and tweeting about the obvious things they are thankful for – health, friends, family, children, pumpkin pie, etc.
Yawn! (Yes, the exclamation point was intentional.)
Don’t get me wrong. I’m thankful for all of those – especially pumpkin pie. But I’d like to challenge you to dig deeper this year. Here’s my short list of the things we should be thankful for that we never think about.
Weekends and Holidays – Think everyone gets weekends and the major holidays off from work to spend time with family and friends or recharge? Think again. If you’re in retail or food service, you know what I’m talking about. Even yours truly spent many holidays in the 1990s inside a radio studio, spinning CDs.
Your Mind – Contrary to popular belief, free will isn’t just a religious idea. We all have the ability to make decisions and learn from our mistakes – it’s a human privilege. In fact, it’s the only real control we have in our lives. The wisdom that comes with age is something that should not be taken for granted.
Time – If you’re reading this it means you woke up today and that’s a big plus. Remember that some people who experienced yesterday will not be experiencing today. Learn to be thankful for the time you have and never complain about having too little of it because that’s simply not true. We all experience the same clock and calendar.
Challenges – Without the pain of bad times and the challenges life brings, we would never be able to appreciate the good times. The Yin and the Yang are real things. You cannot have one without the other.
Music/Art – Nietzsche said “Without music, life would be a mistake.” Many of my earliest memories as a child involve music in some manner. It’s a huge part of my life and I know I’m not alone. Your emotions can be dealt with through music. You can relive moments with music. Recently I met a man who never listens to music. I mean, he’s never heard any of it – Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, Air Supply – zilch. I feel bad for him because there’s an aspect missing from his existence that would undoubtedly make him feel more alive.
I also have a personal list of appreciations:
Size 13-Wide shoes – I can make regular 13s fit if I cut my toe nails.
Great Value Honey Roasted Peanuts – accept no substitutes. These are the brand’s best kept secret – like crack cocaine for fat guys who work from home.
Happy Hour – it just plain makes me happy. Bonus? It’s almost always more than ONE hour.
How Babies are Made – I don’t mean to get too weird in my first column but let’s be honest with each other. Mother Nature knew what she was doing. If making babies was like watching paint dry or getting a root canal, the human race wouldn’t have made it beyond Adam and Eve.
Cheater Reading Glasses – you don’t realize how bad you need them until you try them for the first time.
(You can reach Brad Carl via email to email@example.com and find him on Twitter as @bradcarl22)