Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving thoughts

I have a blog post scheduled for tomorrow over at Seeds of Devotion about being thankful for bacon. Ironically, over the weekend (I wrote the post a week ago) a chef in our building gave us several pounds of pre-cooked bacon. It's probably the equivalent of 15 pounds of raw meat. So now we have bacon in abundance.

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It's gray and drippy this morning. I've noticed the weather lately, because we have to walk the dog. I've also noticed how odd it is that, in an era when we are almost completely protected from the elements, complaints about the weather pepper the conversation as much as they do. Perhaps our idea of hardship has been reduced to a scale that ranges from comfort to inconvenience. You'd think we'd simply be thankful for warm homes and good coats and umbrellas, but getting more doesn't seem to make us thankful at all. We adjust our expectations instead of our level of gratitude.

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I went down to Trader Joe's yesterday to do some of my Thanksgiving Dinner shopping. On the way back, a young woman (maybe mid-20s) offered me her seat on the train. I demurred and stood, rather stunned at the thought that I've aged enough that people think I need to sit down. Then I laughed: life is good when people are thoughtful enough to offer you a seat on the subway. Regardless of the reason.  

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I noticed a sign at a clothing store near Trader Joe's about a Black Friday sale that starts at 4am. 

Really? People do that? Wow. 

For the record, I'm thankful for online shopping. 

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There is no toilet paper in the house this morning. I am not thankful for this, but I do realize it's a first-world problem which I have the financial resources to remedy. Which is better: to focus on the annoyance, or put it in perspective?

I'm beginning to think paying too much attention to minor woes causes us to lose the emotional muscle we need to deal with bigger things. We focus our energy on finger exercises, and hence when we come to the times in life when we have to lift weights it feels impossible.  

Some of us look at the glass as half empty, others as half full. But even a half-empty glass has water in it. Just sayin'.  


  1. "So now we have bacon in abundance. It's gray and drippy this morning." This made me take a pause. Then I realized they were two separate trains of thought. My mind was locked into the thought of 15 glorious pounds of bacon, and I skipped over the row of asterisks.

    Around here, people line up for hours ahead of the store openings on "Black Friday." Do they do the same in the big city? Personally, Black Friday is also known as Hibernation Day. I don't get out unless I must - and only then it's for things like milk or eggs.

    Thank you for the reminder to be thankful for the little things that we take for granted, like TP and a half-full/empty glass of water.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Andrew, and the rest of the Attaway household!

  2. Ah Julia, I just loved your post today. I have been trying to focus on things I am thankful for also instead of the small annoyances around me. Everything is all about perspectives.

    I too might be offered a seat on the bus or train because of my age if we had any around here. As I pass a mirror, I have to sometimes look twice because when I think of myself, I am young but the mirror is begining to tell a different story.

    My daughter and I are one of those that gets up early on Black Friday to get the best deals we can but this year several of the local stores are opening at midnight so perhaps we will stay up all night. Our highlight is a leasurely breakfast after a successful shopping trip. We are two of the crazy ones.

    Have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. Was just musing recently about how culturally we seem to feel so advanced and amazing in our accomplishments. Yet compared to pioneers willing to risk their lives to relocate, Cubans and Haitians who risk their lives on the ricketiest of rafts to escape oppression, and Pilgrims arming religious freedoms in strange lands, we have nothing over them....

  4. Ps. I am in South Florida hence the Cubans and Haitians awareness.