I was in a restaurant last night and they were advertising a yummy-looking “Thanksgiving Day Sandwich” with turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing on it. The picture made it look mouth-watering, as they do. I wanted that sandwich more at that moment than I want world peace.
I ordered the soup and salad bar.
It wasn’t Thanksgiving yet, I had said. We’re going to have turkey in a few weeks, I reasoned….
The salad bar was abysmal and the soup was worse. Amidst noodles that had been sitting in the pot for so long that they had actually disintegrated, I learned a lesson I should already know:
Don’t ever pass up an opportunity for Thanksgiving.
We are a funny bunch, really. We wait for some Hallmark nod on the calendar to tell us when to gift and whom to gift, when to be thankful for vets and grandparents and, yes, even Jesus. We look at the calendar at the beginning of the month, the week, to see how many more days before we need to be thankful.
Maybe it’s time to just live Thanksgiving, instead of visiting it just once a year. Maybe it’s time to eat turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce and stuffing in July and April and February. Maybe it’s OK to skip that horrible salad bar with no garbanzo beans two weeks from Turkey Day and enjoy the sandwich in the picture.
Life is short.
We have to be thankful for those gifts in our lives every day. To live thankful moments. To point them out throughout the day as we realize and remind just how gifted and spoiled we are.
To be able to read this. Right here. To be able to have a computer to bring up the entire world at our fingertips. To turn on the heat when there’s a chill in the house. To jump in the car and run up to the store for coffee at any hour of any day.
We allow that precious, clean water to run and run and run while we get ready for hot showers and tooth brushing. We leave the lights on. As a society we throw out billions of pounds of food each year.
There isn’t a day that goes by that there isn’t Thanksgiving right there, all around us.
Too many times we get tangled up, allowing ourselves to see only the latest, greatest downturn or curveball in our lives. We lament the $ 400 dollar car repair bill and the hair-do that keeps ending up as a hair DON’T every morning. We get caught up in people who are this or that. The lawn company that did a lousy job of trimming. The letter carrier who changed his route and now delivers three hours later.
We need Thanksgiving more than one day a year.
Let’s commit to Thanksgiving. Let’s eat turkey in August while we remind ourselves the countless blessings, wonders, abilities and options we have in our lives. Let’s choose the big picture. Let’s make appreciation the default option for every one of our thought choices. Let’s totally freak out the greeting card store when we ask for Christmas cards in May, Mothers and Fathers Day cards in September, “thank a vet” cards in March.
A zebra doesn’t need a calendar to tell him he’s got stripes on.
Please, pass the stuffing.