I was doing my dishes tonight, murmuring about having so many dishes to do. I don’t like doing dishes, don’t know many people who do, but it is a necessary task in keeping the house clean. It was during this unpleasant task that a thought struck me; I want to be “Radically Thankful.”
The holiday season of Thanksgiving and Christmas typically bring out thoughts of thankfulness and well being toward others, but I want to be more thankful and throughout the year, not just during the holiday season. I want to be dramatically changed in my thinking and actions by becoming “Radically Thankful.” So what does this mean? What will it look like in my life?
The most obvious change needs to be in how I think about unpleasant tasks and people, finding the truth of why I need to be thankful. Doing dishes for example, I can grumble about how many dishes have to be done, how the water is too hot OR I can be thankful that I have food to cook and eat, dishes to eat off of, silverware to eat with, pots and pans to cook in, a furnace that heats the water and oil to fuel the furnace. But this is not radical enough for me, for me it needs to go deeper in order to transform. I want to be thankful for those things that would be perceived as “my right” to grumble about, sitting in traffic, waiting in a check out line, being cut-off by another driver or shopper, being totally inconvenienced by someone else. I’m not advocating giving up my rights; laying down as a doormat to others, no, not at all! We all have to have good boundaries and take care of ourselves in order to be healthy. But what I am saying is that I choose to not ruminate beyond the moment, forgive and change my attitude. Here is my commitment, my resolution prior to New Year’s:
For each inconvenience and unpleasant experience I choose to find something to be radically thankful for.
1. Stuck in traffic…I own a car and have a place to go
2. Stuck in a check out line…I have money to buy things with and live in a country that offers items for me to buy.
3. Inconvenienced by others…I am healthy enough to be around others, I am not isolated.
4. My car or house needs a repair…at least I have a car and a place to live.
5. Not enough money…I am thankful for what I do have, mindful there are plenty with none.
6. Too hot or too cold…I am alive to experience temperature changes and live in a part of the country that has a change of season.
7. I am bored…my life is without drama or crisis.
This list could go on ad infinitum; it will grow as my attitude changes. As I look toward Thanksgiving, I am deeply thankful for my family, my job, home, pets and car. I am thankful for my friends and acquaintances along with others that I meet, never getting their names. I believe that this change of attitude will get me more than $2.50 will buy. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, may your holiday be blessed, thank you for reading.