Saturday, January 1, 2011

Thank Goodness

My first goal for 2011 is Practicing Thankfulness. I got the idea from the FB game in November where people would post what  they were thankful for each day. It seems like religious people are constantly being reminded to "Thank God." Those of us who are not religious are faced with a dilemma. Even though we may realize how fortunate we are, we don't really have anyone to thank. Without "God" where do we go with our feelings of being blessed. I am told that in Japan many people give thanks before eating a meal. It is not a thanks to God, but rather a general feeling of gratitude that recognizes that many people have worked so that we may have our needs met. It also recognizes that while we are fortunate enough to have our needs met, others are not. So that is what I mean by giving thanks.

So why Thankfulness for my first goal...
I have so many things in my life to be thankful for, but sometimes I want more. There is nothing wrong with that wanting, as long as it is tempered with gratitude for all the ways I am already blessed. Once a person starts to dwell on what they want instead of what they have it can be an endless cycle. There is always more to be had. I don't just mean physical things like a bigger house or more money. It is also easy to want more from other people instead of being thankful for all they give you already and all the ways they are already great.  Remembering to be thankful pushes those wants back where they belong. Also, focusing on the positive every day makes it easier to avoid all those negative thoughts.

My life is great right now. It is not perfect, but in terms of all the basics, things are going very well. I think if I get in the habit of recognizing all that I have to be grateful for now it will be easier to see when things aren't so great. Some day something bad will happen to me or my family. In those dark hours, although I won't have God to turn to, I will have the knowledge that in general I have led a blessed life.

And so for today January 1, 2011 I am thankful for the blank slate that a new year brings. I am thankful that 2010 was a pretty good year for my family, and I am thankful that I got to ring in the new year with my wonderful husband and my almost perfect daughters.

Happy New Year's To All


Shannon said...

Great post! It is a much needed reminder for me, right now, to be thankful for what I have in a certain someone, in particular - made me realize that I need to stop letting the small things get to me. I need be remember to appreciate for all the great qualities this person has!

Shannon said...

By the way, the "Me" above is me - Shannon!:)