Holidays can be stressful. Some of us are spending our first Thanksgiving without a loved one, looking at that empty place at the table and wishing that person were there to annoy the ever-loving crap out of you with his ill-informed political opinions. What you’d give to hear his voice spouting nonsense again. You didn’t think you’d miss him, but now he’s gone and a whole shade of color is gone from your life. It’s worse when it is someone you actually liked.
Some of us come to the table with baggage we’ve been toting around since fourth grade, when our cousin told everyone in the school that he caught us stuffing our bras with toilet paper. And yet even more of us don’t have any idea why we paste a smile on our faces and dive head first into a sea of sibling rivalries, passive-aggressive parents, crazy uncles, and juvenile delinquent nieces.
But Thanksgiving is a tradition. A family one. And, so, we partake, eating turkey and green bean casserole and cranberry sauce, and a whole host of other calorie-laden delights we wouldn’t dare eat on any other day with such reckless abandon.
Most of our families have some variation on the “I’m thankful for” tradition. Some families go around the room and talk about what they are thankful for. Some just sit and tell nostalgic stories. Some are only thankful if the football team they have money on wins the game. But all of us recognize the word “thanks” in “Thanksgiving” and at the very least think about what we are thankful for. Or what we ought to be thankful for, what we wish we were thankful for. Even if at that very moment we don’t appreciate it one iota, we know we should and so we think it.
I’m grateful for my heath. My family. My job that is sucking the soul out of my very being while paying me half of what I’m worth. That sort of thing.
But that’s trite. When you really get down to it, there are other things to be thankful for that don’t get mention. After all, just like a grain of sand in your shoe or a tiny fiber of barbecue from lunch between your teeth can ruin your day, the little things can make us happy as well.
And so, without further ado, here’s my list of the top ten often overlooked things I am truly thankful for, in no particular order.
- Pillowtop mattresses.
- Heated seats in my car on a cold morning.
- The fact that people keep on writing really good books despite being told that ‘no one reads anymore.’
- Honeycrisp apples.
- The utility of a stapler.
- The caffeine in coffee.
- Foot-shaped shoes that don’t look orthopedic.
- When my teenage children tell me the teenage gossip.
- Fleece sleep pants.
I could go on, but you get the gist. If the big things give you a headache or heart palpitations, you’re not alone. Just don’t focus on them. Get out your reading glasses* so you can see the little things that are up close and personal. Sometimes the big picture is over-rated and it is the details that really make things good.
What are the small things that make your life better? Do you agree with my list? Tell me in the comments below.
*(I’m also thankful for fully functional and somewhat attractive reading glasses that you can get at the Dollar Tree by the armload so you can scatter them all around your orbit so you are never without)
If you enjoyed this and want to read more like it, visit Lori on Twitter, or on Facebook or on Instagram at LoriDuffWrites. Lori is the Readers Favorite and eLit award winner for her latest release, “You Know I Love You Because You’re Still Alive.” She is also the author of the bestselling books “Mismatched Shoes and Upside Down Pizza,” and “The Armadillo, the Pickaxe, and the Laundry Basket.”