That moment around the Thanksgiving table filled with wondrous high-caloric temptations and goodies when some young relative innocently raises his or her said and utters the dreaded sentence:
“Let’s go around the table and all say what we’re thankful for.”
By this point, you’ve either been in the kitchen since 4 a.m. and you’re mainly thankful for sitting down, or you’re already in a sugar-induced trance and you’re thankful for sitting down, or you’re trying very hard to keep from slapping someone and you’re thankful for sitting down.
But now the gauntlet has been thrown down. You must appear to be somewhat intelligent. Generous. Considerate of those around you. (Even though you’re convinced a few of them voted badly in the last election and maybe a few owe you money.)
Of course you’re thankful for good health. For the ability to see, walk and hear. For friends and family. For the food on the table, the roof over your head and the clothes you wear. You’re truly grateful for it all, and you lift a sincere prayer for those who are not so fortunate.
And these days, there are far, far, far too many of those.
But just for a moment, take a look at the lighter side of gratitude. The little things that maybe no one says out loud but several are thinking. The little things that can make or break a day.
For instance, as a boomer, you might say you are grateful for:
The mute button.
Someone else bagging the leaves.
Your favorite sweatshirt. Socks. Cap.
Watching the original “Bishop’s Wife” every holiday and feeling like Cary Grant and Loretta Young are right next to you.
A warm cat on your lap.
A warm dog lying across your feet.
Not answering the phone after 8 p.m.
“Arthritis” caps on Alleve.
Eyeglasses. Several pairs of eyeglasses.
Knowing where these eyeglasses are.
Phoning an old friend and enjoying a happy hour over the phone.
Knowing your turkey and dressing turned out wonderfully because you’ve been making it longer than just about anyone else in the room.
Taking real joy in watching others and really understanding how precious life is.
And did I mention elastic?
As we get older, let’s embrace what we’ve earned…the right to sit back, breathe and enjoy it all…and focus on what really matters: time together. And maybe a little extra time on the couch!
“I am grateful for what I am and what I have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.”
Henry David Thoreau