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THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

I had paragraphs written for today's Thankful Friday and as I read through it all, I thought to myself "that doesn't sound very grateful." What is my intention behind this whole gratitude thing on Fridays any way?  Some times it becomes a list, but I've noticed that some times it becomes a complaint. This sucks and I'm thankful that it's over, almost over, fixed or what ever kind of complaint. I am being grateful for complaining. That's gross. 

I feel change in the air. I'm ready to set my New Year's resolutions before this year has even ended. I see a reinvention of a sorts, a girl who wears a bunch of beaded bracelets on one wrist and has a lotus tattoo on the other wrist (I had a clear vision of a lotus wrapping it's petals around my wrist). I see myself pairing down all of my things and truly getting myself organized. But most importantly, I see a girl with genuine gratitude for the life she has. I feel I've maybe been lacking genuine lately.

This week I made a mistake with the bills that left us in a hole on our checking account. I was able to transfer funds from savings to bail us out of the hole and there was no damage other than my guilt of having to take money from savings. I can clearly remember a time when there wouldn't have been money in savings to cover overdrafts in my checking. I also know that there are so many people out there who don't have a savings account to cover overdrafts in their checking. I am very aware that there are those who must choose between a loaf of bread or paying the electric bill. I am not grateful that I am not that person, because I've been that person. I can be grateful that I am in a place where I can actually have a savings account even if it is a small one. I can also be grateful for the reminder to be a more responsible spender so when the opportunity arises, I can help out that person who needs a loaf of bread.

Some times it is a good idea to step back and look at our words from a different angle. Usually I will ask myself "what am I doing right now?" as way to pull my focus to this present moment. It's a mindfulness tool. Perhaps I need to consider the same kind of questioning for Thankful Friday entries. What am I truly grateful for this week? The answer to that question may result in a list at times, but it should never result in a complaint. The point of all of this is to be mindful of blessings that I have. It is a reminder for those days I wake up wanting to punch someone that I should be grateful to have the ability to get up (and punch someone if need be). Bad days are bad days. I'm not trying to sugar coat them or be all "at least I'm not that guy." What I can do is recognize the bad day with something that wasn't so bad. Sometimes I need a kick in the pants to remind me to do just that. 

I am grateful for new babies (Sarah brought her new one to work the other day and I got to hold her for almost an hour). I am grateful for the Gong Lab I signed us up for tonight. I am thankful for some pretty good things happening for friends I love dear. I am genuinely thankful for each and every kind word from you. Here's to a weekend of cleaning and Thanksgiving preparations and a very Thankful Friday.