I had a large chunk of a Thankful Friday written up and I just deleted it all. There was something about it that seamed too I don't know what, but it felt lacking in gratitude. There are so many times when I feel like I'm calling it in and lose a little focus on real gratitude. What does it really mean to be grateful? This is a question I ask myself often usually when I start doubting myself about my sincerity in writing a weekly post on being grateful. Whenever I am doubting, I go look up the definition of the word gratitude.
the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness.
I should just have this definition tattooed onto my forearm so that I never forget that gratitude is so much more than just being thankful. Today my brain clicks on the "and return kindness" part of that definition. I always offer to return a cart for someone when I am headed into the same store they just left. I usually let the person with two items go ahead of me in a check out line when I have way more than two items in my cart. I will stand holding the door for someone just a few seconds longer if I see them headed that way. I've been working really hard at treating others the way I wish to be treated. Sometimes that last part is difficult when the other person is not being nice or polite, but I still believe in killing with kindness. I want to be at the ready to show my appreciation and return kindness. At the same time, I want to be at the ready to accept appreciation and kindness. Because, let's face it, sometimes accepting is so much more difficult than giving.
J's oldest boy, J.R. is graduating from the US Marine Corps Recruits today. There are mixed feelings about his decision to follow in his father's footsteps, but I am so very proud of him. I am thankful for the young man he has grown to be. I am thankful he is the kind of young man who makes a commitment to something and sticks with it even when he has chosen a not so easy path. I am thankful that after months of whatever they put those kids through, he still has my Dad's goofy grin of a smile. J.R. looks almost exactly like my Dad did at his age. I am thankful that Randy and Katrina made it safely out to San Diego to see him graduate. I am thankful for the cat and the dog keeping me warm when I was on the couch, sick this week. I am thankful for the eggs we ate last night that came from our own backyard. I am thankful for you.
Hoping you all have a safe, but frightfully fun Halloween and a truly Thankful Friday.